CNC machining is a manufacturing process that uses computers to control the movement of machine tools. This process can be used to create metal parts with a high degree of accuracy and precision. In order to get an accurate quote for CNC machining services, it is important to understand the costs involved in the process. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common factors that impact the cost of CNC machining.

The cost of the CNC machine

The cost of a CNC machine will vary depending on the type of machine and the specific features that it offers. In general, however, the cost of a CNC machine is determined by two main factors: the price of the machine itself and the expected number of hours that the machine will be in operation each year. On average, a CNC machine will run for approximately 5000 hours each year. The price of the machine is then divided by this number of hours to arrive at the machining cost per hour, which is what most machinists use to determine their rates. When considering the cost of a CNC machine, it is important to keep these two factors in mind to get an accurate estimate.

The cost of the metal

Two types of materials used mostly in CNC machining are metals and plastics. Depending on what your product is, you may want your design cut into plastic or metal, which will have an impact on how much you pay.


Metals are generally more expensive than plastics, but they are also more durable. The most common type of metal used in CNC machining is aluminum 6061, which is a good balance of price and durability. If you need a more durable option, stainless steel 303 or brass C360 may be a better choice, but they will be more expensive.


Plastics are typically cheaper to use for CNC machining due to the lower average price for bulk materials as well as the shorter machining times that are required due to their lower hardness. There are a variety of different plastics that can be used for CNC machining, each with its own unique set of properties. Some of the most popular plastics for CNC machining include ABS, nylon 6, and POM. These plastics typically have similar bulk costs to materials like aluminum or steel, but can sometimes be a bit more expensive per block. However, the overall lower cost and shorter machining time can make plastics an attractive option for many CNC machining projects.


Ultimately, the decision of which material to use will depend on the requirements of your product.

The cost of labor

There are numerous benefits to using CNC machining, one of the most significant being the reduction in labor costs. Without the need for additional staff, CNC machining can save businesses a great deal of money. However, it is important not to overlook the labor costs that are associated with this type of machining.


The biggest cost is typically the up-front cost of design and digitalization. This process requires the use of computer software and the assistance of a design expert. While this can be a significant expense, it is important to remember that the labor cost will remain the same regardless of the size of the order. This means that, on a per-unit basis, labor costs are significantly reduced when large orders are placed.


In addition, because CNC machining is so precise, it often eliminates the need for extensive finishing work, further reducing labor costs.

The cost of tooling

When it comes to CNC fabrication, the cost of tooling can play a significant role in the overall price of the project. In some cases, special tool bits may be required to produce the desired results. While these tool bits will remain at the machine shop after production is completed, you may be responsible for paying a portion of the associated costs.


This is because the tooling could potentially become worn during production, particularly if the raw material being used is quite hard. Ultimately, being aware of the potential cost of tooling can help you to better understand the total price of your CNC fabrication project.

The cost of finishing

In the world of CNC machining, there are a lot of different factors that can affect the final cost of your product. One of the biggest choices you’ll make is choosing the right finish for your project.


A high-polish finish is going to be the most expensive option, but it’s also going to give you the smoothest and most polished look. If you’re looking for a product that looks like it’s been machined by a machine, then this is probably the finish you want.


A less expensive option is to choose a finish that still shows some of the machining processes. This can give your product a more rustic look, and it can also save you some money. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that a rougher finish might not be as durable as a high-polish finish.


A product’s finish can serve many purposes, both aesthetic and functional. A gloss finish, for example, creates a reflective surface that can be used to enhance the visual appeal of a product. Similarly, a matt finish or sandblasting can be used to eliminate reflections and provide a more subtle look. For transparent plastics, a mirror polishing finish can give the illusion of glass. Paint finishes and dying are other ways to change the color of products, while laser engraving and tomography can be used to add decorative elements. Finally, a soft-touch finish involves applying a soft rubber-like layer to the product surface, providing both enhanced aesthetic appeal and improved grip.


With so many options available, finishes offer an opportunity to custom-tailor the look and feel of products to suit the needs of any application.

The cost of Shipping

In addition to the cost of the actual CNC machining, you will also need to factor in the cost of shipping. Most machining companies will offer a few different shipping options, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. Shipping costs are typically calculated based on weight, so keep this in mind when selecting your materials. For example, aluminum is much lighter than stainless steel, so it will be less expensive to ship. Be sure to factor in all completion costs when budgeting for your project.


With all of these things to consider, it’s no wonder that so many people outsource their CNC machining needs. When you work with a professional team, you can be sure that your project will stay on budget and on schedule.


If you’re looking for a CNC machining and plastic injection molding supplier that you can rely on, look no further than RJC Mold. We are experts in accelerating your design and innovation process, so you can bring your product to market faster. We use the latest technology and equipment to produce high-quality parts and components, so you can be confident that your product will meet the highest standards. With our experience and expertise, we can help you save time and money during the development process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you bring your product to life.