CNC prototyping cost

CNC prototyping cost

When you need prototype manufacturing services, the first thing to consider is the CNC prototyping cost, the second is whether the designed parts can reduce the cost as much as possible without affecting the original intention. Again, that material is more suitable for prototype design, and whether there are more substitutable materials. These problems will need to be solved before mass production.

Factors affecting cost

If you want to know exactly the cost of customized CNC prototyping, you obviously need to know what factors affect the cost. So, how to reduce the cost of CNC machining parts? After all, reasonable cost and the best solution will help your project complete with high quality and short delivery time. Therefore, as a manufacturer of customized precision CNC prototype, DDPROTOTYPE hopes to discuss the main factors related to CNC prototyping cost here.


1. Material selection

As with any type of manufacturing, the material of CNC parts you use is one of the main factors affecting the cost. Some materials are more difficult to process than others, for example, carbon steel is more difficult to process than aluminum alloy, because the machining speed of steel is much slower than aluminum alloy, even with modern tools and advanced machining technology. High hardness materials such as steel or tungsten carbide can wear out expensive consumable cutting tools. If you require CNC machining manufacturers to deal with materials that require additional safety precautions in response to potential hazards, the total cost may increase significantly. Therefore, even before part design, it is one of the important factors to choose the right materials for CNC machining parts.


2. Size and design of parts

Of course, the size and geometry of CNC prototype is also an important factor in CNC machining. Obviously, the larger the part, the more materials are needed for manufacturing. The more complex the geometric design, the higher the processing cost. Parts that require very strict tolerances, a longer machining range, better surface finish, or difficult geometry are more expensive than simple parts. Therefore, when designers design prototype drawings according to intention, they should simplify the structure as much as possible. In the design phase of the component, it is best to consult an experienced CNC prototype manufacturer. DDPROTOTYPE with rich experience can help you design parts with complete functions, high production efficiency and reasonable economic benefits. At DDPROTOTYPE, our team always provides customers with customized CNC prototype manufacturing solutions with the most effective cost. If you need CNC prototyping, please do not hesitate to send CAD files for project review to find out what help our CNC engineering team can provide for your project.


3 what kind of CNC machine will be used?

The equipment required for CNC manufacturing parts will greatly affect the cost. Can CNC machining centers use multi axis machine tools to finish machining, or do they need multiple machines? How many different machines and operations are needed? What size of machine is needed? Modern CNC machining and manufacturing equipment is very expensive, brand, tolerance, size range and capacity are different. All these factors must be taken into account when determining the exact cost of CNC machining parts. In ddprototype, there are more than 30+ CNC machining centers with 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis from Japan and the United States. Many years of machining benefits have diluted the cost of CNC prototyping, so under the same conditions, DDPROTOTYPE has a competitive price, even 30% – 50% lower than that in Europe or the United States. This is considerable. Try sending your CAD drawings to get a competitive price.

4 Quantity of CNC prototypes

One of the most important factors affecting the cost is the number of CNC prototypes to be produced. Some CNC prototyping processes require multiple operations and manufacturing processes to complete. Each of these operations must be set up and processed. With basic manual finishing operations, you must put together the necessary tools and vulnerable parts to perform very complex machining operations using many tools that can be loaded, pulled in and adjusted to produce the specified tolerances. Operation settings can be completed in minutes, days, or even weeks. If all the necessary settings are required to run a prototype sample – all the associated costs must be allocated to the sample, this can be very expensive. If you perform the same setup to run 10000 pieces, you can allocate the same setup cost to 10000 pieces, which will greatly reduce the cost of each piece. The frequency of these operations can also play a role. If the customer needs more than 10 or 50 parts, the cost of a single prototype will be less than 1 prototype part. As a result, it is often possible to reduce component costs by providing assurance of machine duplication and accurate estimation of requirements. Therefore, this means that for the same customized CNC machining parts, the processing cost of large-scale parts is much cheaper than that of small-scale ordering.

5 surface finishing

Many CNC machining parts require additional treatment, such as heat treatment, special treatment operations, surface treatment and special coating. All of these requirements will increase the cost of basic products, so the necessity and cost involved should be evaluated. In general, anodizing is used for surface finishing of aluminum alloy. We have rich experience in anodizing aluminum in DDPROTOTYPE. In the past 15 years, we have processed hundreds of thousands of aluminum alloy prototypes, and established long-term strategic partnerships with many of the world’s top 500 companies, such as Schneider, Olympus,ABB, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, etc.

anodizing ALUMINUM

6. Experience as a mechanic

More complex mechanical parts require more professional and skilled mechanics. The skills and experience of a talented mechanic are not without cost. No formal training program can replace on-the-job experience and on-the-job training. However, many modern machinists have received relevant formal education and on-the-job training. Even with a lifetime of processing experience, and the industry is changing and developing so fast, machinists must be lifelong learners to keep their skills at the forefront. CNC precision machining manufacturers provide continuous training and cross training opportunities. As the complexity and difficulty of the components increase, so do the experience and functions of the machinist, so you can see that the cost increases accordingly.

7. Quality requirements and inspection standards

What tolerance standard is used? This is also one of the factors that affect the processing cost of CNC prototype. High levels of inspection and very strict tolerances will make the cost higher than the lower standard. Therefore, when considering the cost of processing parts, clear quality requirements should always be given for the appropriate inspection level. In ddprototype, there will be a series of test standards for each order, and the standard test report will be sent to each customer along with the prototype. This is our attitude, we will strictly implement the tolerance standard of the prototype, and even exceed the expectations of customers.


Of course, there are other factors that affect the cost of CNC machining parts, such as material price fluctuation, local labor cost level and payment terms. CNC machine manufacturing almost covers all aspects of modern society, because it has many advantages over traditional manufacturing industry. With high production efficiency, customized CNC machining parts are widely used in building equipment components; oil and gas equipment components; high-precision safety device components; power generation components; customized auto parts; home appliance product shell; medical equipment shell and components.


Therefore, if you are a designer or purchasing team, please contact DDPROTOTYPE to evaluate your project free of charge, and whether to produce high-quality precision prototypes with the highest cost performance. If we can do anything for you, just email CAD drawings to