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Author Topic: Custom CNC Machining / emachineshop  (Read 1471 times)
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St. Augustine, FL
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Does anyone have any experience with emachineshop.com or any other custom CNC machine shops online? Emachineshop looks promising, but I feel a bit skeptical about it. Essentially looking for an online service to custom machine parts to use for projects/robotics etc.
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Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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I've played with their software which will quote whatever part you build, and I think what you'll find is that they're pretty expensive if you're doing just one or two pieces.
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St. Augustine, FL
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Yeah, since my last post, I downloaded the software to play around with it. The first thing I did was make a 2D sheet of aluminum (essentially drew a rectangle), and the quote came out at over $120.

Not sure If I did something wrong or not, but it scared me!
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Hi - I'd be glad to add some perspective here.  The prices the eMS software gives are greatly influenced by the choices you make in settings, material and in some cases delivery time, as well as how the part is drawn.  As an example, I just drew a 12" x 6" aluminum rectangle, .250" thick, with several circles and and a rectangle within it that go through the part (as if they were punched out of the sheet). I selected 6061 as the aluminum alloy, and when I used the "Economical 2d" settings, I got a price for quantity 1 of $70.  Changing nothing in the drawing but the finish settings to "Precision 3d", the same part is $173.  The reason is different processes and machines are used, based on the tolerances selected.

Quantity also has a huge influence on pricing when it comes to any type of CNC machining.  The time it takes to program the CNC machine is virtually the same whether it will ultimately make 1 part or 100, and in a small order like quantity 1 the programming is the bulk of the time to produce the part - the machine usually makes the single part very quickly.  You'll find that the price difference between quantity 1 and quantity 10 is small relatively speaking - nothing like a 10x increase, especially on a part where the material is not too expensive, and the machining time per piece is relatively quick.

Folks are often taken back by the cost of a custom machined part when they have a similar "production made" part to compare to.  You have to take into consideration the fact that the  production part has its programming and setup costs apread over a large number of units - just the opposite exists with custom parts.

The eMS website has some great tips in the help section on things you can do in your designs and specifications to make your parts at a lower cost.  Feel free to post any other questions you have and I'll try and answer them.  Thanks for downloading the software and giving it a try!

Gary
eMachineShop 
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