Choosing the Best CNC Material for Machining: A Guide

When we talk about CNC machining, it is a process that is seen to be used widely all around the world because of the fact that it is compatible with various different types of materials. When it comes to the correct type of CNC machining material, it is essential to select the suitable material as it plays a significant role in the manufacturing process by bringing efficiency and introducing quality to the parts that are being fabricated as a result of the process. However, choosing the perfect material could be a real challenge.

Guide for CNC Machining Material Selection

There are various different CNC machinists all around the world that are used to select material and other CNC machine metal parts supplier that are perfect in every aspect. This is because of the fact that they are familiar with the selection of the material.

In order to make the selection of material easier for beginners as well, we have summarized the details of the selection process in a way that it had made the process a lot easier even for those who are new in the field of CNC machining and are manufacturing various different components using this process of CNC machining. The method of selection is divided into three main parts that are as:

Prioritizing the Requirement of Your Parts

The part requirement is the essential part when it comes to the process of CNC machining, as it sets the requirement for the type of material that you require to use. There are various different uses of these methods of CNC machining. They are in the form of requirements, including the applications that are the environment where it is supposed to be used. Properties that are presumed in the form of it lightweight, high tensile strength, and most importantly, the budget that you have planned.

Identifying the Potential Materials

Once the process of prioritizing the materials is performed based on the Requirement of the parts that you are planning to use, the next thing that you need to do is to identify some of the materials that fulfill all or at least most of the requirements. Thus one needs to remember them by making a list of these materials.

Choosing the Most Suitable Type of Material

When it comes to the selection of the most suitable type of material, it is often see that choosing the most suitable material requires making compromises between the Requirement of the parts. For instance, you might have to choose cost over the features of mechanical performance if the budget provided is not in range.

Considering the Requirement of Your Parts When Picking CNC Machining Material

Application of the Parts 

One needs to make sure that the CNC material that you plan to use is compatible with the application that you plan to use it for and the environment in which it is suppose use. For instance, if we compare stainless steel with carbon steel which is use to make the structural parts that are use in the marine environment. It is observe that both types of materials are consider machinable options.

However, when it comes to stainless steel will become a lot more suitable option because of the fact that it is an option that is corrosion resistant. But if the same application is consider in a normal or a dry environment, then we would consider carbon steel as an even better option because of the fact that it is more robust and more durable in nature.

Weight of the Parts 

It is also advise to ensure that the material that you are using  have the correct weight as well base on the Requirement of your application. It is not necessary that bigger would always mean better. For instance, when it comes to aluminum and other such types of low-density materials appear to an ideal option that is use in the automotive and aerospace industry due to their lightweight and incredible strength.

Properties of the Parts

When it comes to the suitable CNC material, we get to see that the right CNC materials have the relevant properties that are helpful in the process of effective machining without causing any loss of the functions that it is suppose to perform. Therefore, it is advise that one should consider the part properties that they can consider based on the Requirement of your application.


When it comes to machinability, it shows how compatible material is with the process of CNC machining. While selecting the correct type of material, one should keep in mind.That it should be highly machinable. As a highly machinable product can lead to an increase in the efficiency and productivity of the process. And can also reduce destroyed CNC parts. When it comes to the parts that are highly machinable. We see that soft metals such as aluminum, copper, brass, and plastics are consider the highly machinable options. That could use. However, when it comes to hard metals and rigid plastics such as metals or carbon fiber are materials that have low machinability. Thus, there is a chance that they would lead to low productivity and production efficiency due to the need to control the speed of cutting using the CNC machine. They can also result in damaging the metal parts as they might require special cutting tools, as seen in the case of titanium.


Mainly there are two different measures when it comes to the strength of metals and plastics. While looking for a perfect material, there are certain factors that need to consider. These are in the form of:

  • Tensile strength

It is the resistance of the material in the form of a pull force.

  • Compression/Load bearing

The resistance of the material to a constant load

  • Toughness 

The ability of the material to resist tearing

  • Elasticity 

The ability of the material to return to its original shape when it is stretch.

Heat Resistance 

Being heat resistant is the property of a material that shows its ability to resist any type of changes. That are observe in the mechanical properties due to a change in environmental conditions like temperature. The change in temperature can be directly influential on the materials. Thus it is recommend to go for the materials. That do not expand or contract much due to the changes in the temperature.

Corrosion Resistance

Being corrosion resistant is the property of a material that allows it to resist any type of changes. And failures that could be a result of the action of foreign substances. A very common example of it could be in the form of water. However, water only is not a foreign substance. There are various other products like oil, grease, and chemical reagents in the form of acids, salts, and alcohol. That could also include in the list of foreign substances. Thus, it is suggest that one needs to ensure a proper, timely checkup. And maintenance to verify the ability of the material to withstand chemical exposures.

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