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cnc precision machining

CNC Precision Machining: Everything You Need to Know

Precision is a crucial aspect of high-quality machining. It is key to delivering accurate products with tight tolerances and desirable surface finishes. Nearly every industry relies on CNC precision machining to create quality custom machined parts that meet requirements.

Let’s dive into the details of precision CNC machining and how it can benefit your project.

What is CNC Precision Machining?

CNC precision machining refers to the use of Computer-Aided Manufacturing blueprints to shape raw material into desired products. It is a subtractive process involving the cutting excesses on various materials with different manufacturing processes.

Precision CNC machining is now an essential part of the manufacturing industry. This process often involves a collaboration between expert designers and professional engineers.

This is necessary to use advanced tools available for creating intricate parts with complex geometries. The tolerance standard of a typical CNC machine is +/- 0.005 in. (0.13mm). For CNC precision machining, it can be as low as +/-0.002 in. (0.051 mm) ~ ±.0002 in. (0.005mm).

If your project involves creating critical components for demanding applications, then precision machining is your way to go.

Types of CNC Precision Machining Equipment

Precision CNC machining involves many different processes. Thus, there is the need for several pieces of equipment for quality work.

Some cases involve putting the tools on a single CNC machine. The machinist will only have to start and stop the machining process in such cases.

In other instances, the machinist has to place the tools on multiple CNC machines. In that case, they will need to move the material or workpiece from one machine to another.

Some of the CNC machines used for effective CNC precision machining include the following:

CNC Milling Machines

cnc miilling

CNC Milling is one of the precise machining processes involving removing excess materials from workpieces using rotary cutters. This manufacturing process involves using various types of mills. Examples of the mills are chamfer mills, helical mills, and end mills.

Computer numerical control enabled machines also include hand milling machines, universal milling machines, omniversal milling machines, and plain milling machines. These milling machines can have either horizontal or vertical orientations.

CNC Turning Machines

cnc turning

Turning is another precision CNC machining process involving the rotation of the workpiece next to a cutting tool. The cutting tool is often rotating single-point equipment.

CNC lathes are the most common tools for CNC turning processes. Examples of these lathes include engine lathes, engine-purpose lathes, and turret lathes. Other equipments used for turning are taper and straight turning tools, threads, and external grooves.

CNC Drilling Machines

cnc drilling

Drilling involves using rotating drill bits for creating cylindrical holes in workpieces. The drill bits are multi-point tools to ensure precise machining.

Their designs also ensure that the chips off the raw material fall away from it. This way, you can be sure that the drilled holes are neat.

Common drill bits for CNC machining processes are:

  • Spotting Drills – To make pilot or shallow holes.
  • Screw Machine Drills – To produce holes that are not pilot holes.
  • Peck Drills – They help reduce the number of chips from a workpiece.
  • Chucking Reamers – To enlarge holes created previously.
  • Drill Presses – They assist in customized drilling tasks.

Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) Tools


Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) uses sparks of electricity in a precision CNC machining process to get the desired product. A wire EDM setup includes the tooling electrode and the workpiece electrode.

A dielectric fluid separates these electrodes and subjects them to an electrical voltage. Some machinists refer to the process as spark machining, die sinking, wire erosion, or spark eroding. It is very effective in creating intricate parts for different applications.

The optimum sort of CNC machine you choose for your project will depend on the part’s complexity and shape, as well as the material. A cylindrical part, for example, is a good candidate for a CNC lathe because the cutting tool will make contact with the spinning workpiece. On the other hand, 5-axis CNC machining is best for more complex parts with different geometries.

Applications of CNC Precision Machining

applications of cnc precision machining

Precision CNC machining is now receiving wide acceptance in the manufacturing space due to its cost, time-effectiveness, multiple uses, and overall product quality. The CNC machining application and advantages are helpful in the following industries.

Medical Industry

The healthcare sector continues to evolve, needing several new tools. Besides the production of new tools, there is also the need for high volumes of already available equipment.

The medical industry is one of the industries that require equipment that meets exact specifications. Such tools include orthotic devices, MRI machines, implants, safe enclosures, research equipment, and many more. Precision CNC machining makes this possible.

Automotive Industry

The automotive world is among the most revolutionized spaces today. New automobile innovations seem to come up every day, with the latest car iterations. However, it is important to develop prototypes for these parts before including them in the manufacturing line.

As a result, automobile companies choose CNC precision machining to develop these prototypes to the exact specifications. It also makes other transport means such as trucks, shipping vessels, and more.

Aerospace Industry

Aerospace vehicles, be it planes or space shuttles, require the highest level of precision because any error could be severely damaging.

Thus, CNC precision machining helps to make several parts in this industry. Such components include bushings, landing gear ports, airfoils, manifolds, and more.

Military and Defense Industry

Nations worldwide now have various new designs for their defense systems; computer numerical control machining is becoming increasingly relevant.

The precise production process helps bring these new designs to life with different techniques and materials. Some of the parts made for this industry include transportation components, plan parts, ammunition, parts for communication, etc.

Electronics Industry

Components are growing smaller and more powerful as the downsizing trend in consumer electronics continues. These parts are also intended to remain lightweight and compact. 

Even in high-volume production runs, precision CNC machining can handle the required materials while maintaining extremely tight tolerance for even the tiniest component. 

CNC machines can develop and manufacture a wide range of production parts for the electronics industry. Components include consumer electronics, semiconductors, circuit boards, heat sinks, and many more. 

Materials Used for Precision Machining

CNC precision machining creates high-quality parts with extreme precision from an extended range of materials. Here are some of the materials compatible with precision CNC machining:


Precision machining is effective for many metals, regardless of their strength or hardness. The advanced technologies used in this process ensure the effective forming and machining of various metals. 

The most common metals used for precision CNC machining include the following:

  • Aluminum (6061, 6061-T651, 7075, etc.)
  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Titanium
  • Exotic Metal Alloys


The plastic raw materials used for precision CNC machining could be basic plastics or engineered plastics. Regardless of your choice, the process ensures smooth running at a relatively low cost. 

Some of the materials for plastic CNC machining include:

  • PMMA
  • ABS
  • PC
  • POM
  • PA

Advantages of Precision CNC Machining Services

advantages of precision cnc machining services

Precision CNC machining services produce components to much more exacting standards than conventional machining. It is the ideal solution to meeting stringent requirements and tolerance standards. Some of the advantages include:

Tight Tolerances and Repeatability

The right machines and equipment will help manufacturers produce parts with tolerances as low as +/-0.0001 inches. This ensures that these components will easily fit into the intended applications.

Moreover, the right manufacturing partner with adequate facilities ensures machining parts with the same tolerances repeatably. This advantage helps to establish customer confidence.

Increased Volume and a Wide Array of Applications

Precision CNC machining services can handle large production volume requirements. It is perfect for creating prototypes, high-volume production runs, as well as blanket orders.

The flexibility of CNC machining with several materials is also incredible. This process works perfectly with aluminum, iron, stainless steel, steel, brass, and many other materials. It is also compatible with plastics of various kinds.

Its ability to also benefit various industries ranging from automotive to medical, aerospace and defense sectors makes it highly valuable. As a result, your business can compete in custom-designed part manufacturing, regardless of the size.

High-Quality CNC Technology

CNC precision machining uses computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) or computer-aided design (CAD). These technologies are state-of-the-art, manipulating the equipment to shape the workpiece to the desired product.

Reduced Cycle Times and Lower Labor Costs

Conventional machining often requires machinists to program the machines and adjust the optimal speed and tooling. On the other hand, precision CNC machining involves high-level automation.

Most times, it only requires the operator to start and stop the machine. This has an overall positive result on the turnaround times and labor costs.

Improved Part Quality

CNC precision machining is unmatched when it comes to part quality. These numerically controlled machines use advanced software to make it relatively seamless to meet design specifications, even on complex parts.

Extensive testing of the components also ensures that they meet and surface customers’ expectations.

It is no surprise that precision machining companies boast increased part performance. Many countries also consider it the best solution for their manufacturing applications.

Why Choose Our CNC Precision Machining Services?

AT Machining offers precision CNC machining services you won’t find elsewhere. We guarantee premium manufacturing capabilities with our extensive experience and engineering approach. Our facility and machines put us in the manufacturing forefront to create custom-designed parts.

We also ensure unrivaled technical support and material certification to ensure the manufacturability of parts. Here are a few other reasons why we are the best choice to bring your project to life:

  • Equipped with advanced CNC Machining equipment, from 3 axis CNC machining to 5 axis CNC machining.
  • 10 years’ custom machining experience of European and North American High-quality standard products.
  • Small and mass production quantities are both welcomed.
  • A variety of surface finishes, such as powder coating, anodizing, etc., are available for selection.
  • Guaranteed Quality.
  • Fluent and timely communication of your project.
  • Cost-effective and fast shipping service.
  •  Increased clients’ throughputs.
  • Easy CNC machining of components with complex shapes and three-dimensional parts.
  • Customization of CNC machining services based on CAD designs.


Why is precision machining important?

CNC Precision machining helps create high-quality parts that meet tight tolerance requirements and stringent specifications. It is the best manufacturing technique using high-quality machining technologies to create top-notch components. 

Furthermore, it is compatible with a wide range of materials, ranging from metals to plastics. Thus, it is useful for making parts for many industries, including medical, aerospace, automotive, and defense industries. Other benefits of precision machining are reduced labor costs and quicker turnaround times. 

What is the tolerance AT Machining can reach?

Our standard machining tolerance for prototypes and full production is +/- 0.005 in. (0.13mm). However, we have standard precision and production machining tolerance for greater accuracy which can be up to +/-0.002 in. (0.051 mm) ~ ±.0002 in. (0.005mm).

However, our CNC machining services often achieve greater accuracy, depending on the material and part’s geometry. In this case, you have to ensure that we have every detail of your requirements. Kindly note these detailed requirements on your parts’ designs before uploading CAD files for quoting. 

What does AT Machining need for a quotation?

Before starting any Precision CNC machining process, we require the intended product’s blueprint with CAD or CAM programs. This will give highly detailed 3D models of the product required by the machining process to replicate the component effectively.

We will also need the list of materials, quantity, and finish requests (if needed).

What type of design files does AT Machining accept for quotations?

Our CNC precision machining services require 3D and 2D drawings for an effective manufacturing process. For the 3D drawing, we would prefer STEP, IGES, or XT format.

For the 2D drawing, we would prefer PDF format including the tolerances with their dimensions, if possible.


CNC precision machining is one of the most effective techniques for manufacturing your custom-machined parts. It gives little room for error while producing parts that meet tight tolerance and complex specifications. It is a manufacturing process you should incorporate into your projects. 

Contact us at AT Machining today to learn more about how we can help with your unique production requirements. Our precision CNC machining services are second to none!

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Hey there, I’m Sam!

From AT-Machining, I’m a CNC Machining Expert in this field for more than 20 years.  We offer cost-effective machining services from China. Ask for a quote for your ongoing or upcoming projects now!

Best Regards, Sam, Co-Founder

AT Machining

On-demand CNC Machining With Custom Finishes. You Design It, We'll Make It.