The work of skilled artisans is universally appraised for the unique nature of each individual item. Even if the craftsman would strive to create two completely similar products using the same material and techniques, it could never happen. However, there are many fields in which case the products are valued not because of their art-like qualities, but because of their maximum compliance with the design created using specialised software.
Who needs CNC milling?
Industrial design is a very broad field; complex laws have been passed for regulation of the field, and a number of different institutions supervise compliance with respective legislation. CNC 3D milling is an integral part of industrial design – it is an excellently quick and accurate way for turning an image rotating on the computer screen into a tangible, three-dimensional product. As such, CNC 3D milling provides a quick and affordable answer to questions like ‘does the model created meet the expectations or not?’ or ‘how could the product be made even more functional?’
In addition to the field of industrial design, CNC milling considerably simplifies the work done by architects. Even though it is fascinating to view a building designed from under different angles using some CAD program, if the drawings are turned into industrial or architectural scale models using CNC 3D milling, the volumes designed and relations with surrounding buildings become fabulously clear. Such high-quality models are of great help in making the right decisions for architects and customers alike.
In addition to the aforementioned fields, CNC milling can be utilised by anyone interested in creating a product or cloning a component.
What kind of materials are applicable in CNC milling?
- Industrial grade plastics are used most extensively in CNC milling owing to their good price/quality ratio and versatile characteristics. Whether to prefer POM, PP, TEFLON, ACRYLIC, ABS, or other industrial plastic depends on requirements to the product and the project budget. If the type of plastic is not important, we recommend deciding in favour of POM (polyoxymethylene, polyacetal) – it is affordable and easy to process. Advertising agencies are among the most active users of industrial grade plastics – they discovered CNC milling a long time ago. Engineering industry companies should definitely benefit from CNC milling of industrial grade plastic prototypes. Contact us – we have a lot to offer!
- Wood has always been an excellent material for CNC milling. Whether to choose ash, oak, birch, pine, or other wood depends on the project. In case of design products, such as sinks, we recommend preferring wood of higher density, such as oak or ash. If the product is to be painted or waxed afterwards, we recommend choosing pine, birch, or fir. If you would rather leave the waxing to us, we will use high-quality Osmo oil wax. Once again, CNC milling of wooden products is popular among advertising agencies ordering a lot of custom-made souvenirs and company insignia. We are also very pleased with the growing number of private person customers.
- Aluminium alloys are widely used for CNC milling in the fields of engineering and systems industry, shipbuilding, and production of injection-moulded components. For CNC milling, we prefer hardened and artificially aged alloys characterised by significantly better processability. If the aluminium grade is not important, we recommend using Al-Mg or Al-Zn-Mg alloys. However, in case of moulds affected by the coefficient of thermal expansion, we recommend using Al-Si alloys. In this connection, it is important to keep in mind that the higher the silicon (Si) content, the smaller the thermal (linear) expansion of the material.
- NECURON is a material used extensively in CNC 3D milling of models and moulds. NECURON boards are available in very different densities, with specific gravity ranging between 100 kg/m3 and 1,300 kg/m3, and hardness up to 83 Shore D. The choice of NECURON board density for milling depends on the application. In case of (scale) models, we recommend using NECURON boards of lower density (less expensive). However, in case of moulds intended for production of fibreglass products, in which case it is important to consider the coefficient of thermal expansion, NECURON epoxide boards of higher density should be preferred. NECURON boards are widely used by fibreglass product manufacturers for ordering the moulds necessary for their work. Naturally, NECURON moulds and models are also popular among advertising agencies.
- Milling services based on materials provided by the customer can be ordered if it is absolutely clear that the material contains no foreign bodies incompatible with our technology. If you need a mould or model made of some special material by milling, contact us without hesitation and we will decide whether the material can be used or not within a workday.
Who else should discover the possibilities offered by CNC milling?
CNC milling is an industry with limitless possibilities. Owing to swift development of the technology over the recent years, the milling prices have dropped to a level rendering the services accessible for smaller companies, organisations and private persons as well. We certainly have a lot to offer to restorers and artists.
What kind of performance is to be expected from CNC 3D milling?
ESTEXPRESS Group uses a CNC 3D milling machine with a working area of 1,400x3,000x600 mm. A special quality of our 3D milling machine is the 600 mm height of the Z-axis working area, which gives us a significant advantage upon manufacture of larger components. Our experienced specialists can also cope with production of larger batches. Try us out; our terms and prices could be a pleasant surprise for you!