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How to Calculate the Cost of a Machined Part

2022-05-13 16:34:50

Many factors go into determining the price of machined parts. These factors include the type of material and its availability. Set-up costs, tolerances, and surface finishes are also important factors. The following is a guide to determining the price of machined parts. There is no single answer to the question, so keep reading to learn how to calculate the cost of a machined part.


The material cost of a machined part depends on several factors. The larger the part is, the more material it will require, and the more complicated the process will be. It is easy to create an unnecessarily expensive part, but there are ways to avoid it. A good way to start is to consult knowledgeable manufacturers who can help you design an efficient part. Premium membership can be worth the cost.

The materials used in manufacturing a machined part are also an important factor. While some materials are more expensive to purchase as raw materials, others are more difficult to work with and require special care during fabrication. The more expensive the material is, the more it will cost to produce. In addition, some materials are hazardous, so the cost of safety precautions is also more expensive. In addition to the materials cost, other factors impact the price of a machined part.

Another factor that influences the material cost of a machined part is the amount of time it takes to produce the part. When the part is small, the start-up cost makes up a large percentage. However, as the quantity increases, the per-unit cost decreases. In fact, by increasing the volume, the unit cost can be reduced by 50 percent or more. Increasing volume can also reduce the total manufacturing time five to ten times.

If you are a small-volume customer, plastics are the most affordable option. While these plastics may be expensive, they have a lower cost per block than other materials. Furthermore, because they are more difficult to machine, plastic materials are less expensive than aluminum 6061. The price per block for PEEK is higher than that of aluminum 6061, but they are also more durable. When ordering, you will need to consider the surface finish you want for the machined part.

Set-up costs

The set-up costs for a machined part refer to the time required to load tooling, install fixtures, and set machine zeros and offsets. The total time for the part's manufacturing process can be significant. This cost increases for complicated components. The part's cost depends heavily on how many parts you order. To reduce the set-up cost of a machined part, consider ways to shorten setup times.

One simple and effective way to estimate set-up costs is to look at the part's print or simple sketch. Then, determine which operations are necessary to create the part. If this method is not possible, a Feature Recognition Software can help you. This software can analyze the CAD model and provide a list of Features. You can then fill in these details to get a precise cost estimate.

Minimum charges are another common factor. These minimums are the entry price in the custom machining market and are associated with the first price of CNC work or fabrication. The base cost involves the costs of calibrating and turning on the equipment. This cost should be factored into every quote you receive. The minimum charge may even be higher than the part's total cost. In addition to the material costs, the minimum charge includes labor costs and set-up time.

The quantity of a machined part greatly affects the unit price. When the part is small, start-up costs will be a large part of the total cost. As volume increases, the per-unit cost decreases. A large-volume order can reduce the unit cost by five to ten times. You will also be able to cut your startup cost by more than half if you order high volumes.


Tolerances in machined parts are important in some cases. Tight tolerances are necessary for many parts of manufacturing processes, but some materials can be difficult to machine. This includes soft materials, such as plastics, which tend to warp or bend when cut. Some materials may also have a high level of abrasiveness, making them more difficult to cut to tight tolerances. Other materials, such as aluminum, can be harder to work with and may require special tools to achieve the tightest tolerances.

Tolerances in machined parts may also be based on the materials used in the production process. Tighter tolerances mean more precision, while looser tolerances mean less. A tight tolerance will depend on the end users, as tight tolerances may result in additional set-up costs and lead times. Tighter tolerances may require additional machining processes, such as grinding or lapping. However, they are worth the extra costs in the long run.

GD&T is a superior, though the more complex system of specifying the geometric features of a part. It specifies the size, shape, flatness, true position, and concentricity of the part. GD&T helps avoid excessive waste in the manufacturing process by specifying only critical features. This saves time and money while ensuring the best quality. Tolerances can be difficult to interpret, so it's important to understand how to interpret them.

Machined parts' tolerance can be positive or negative, but both types are important. A positive tolerance means that the part can be smaller than the basic size, while a negative tolerance means that it can't be any larger. When the tolerances are set in this way, it's important to check these measurements carefully. If the deviations exceed the limits set by the manufacturer, they won't be considered usable.

Surface finishes

The first step in finding out how much a machined part costs is to specify its design. For instance, a complex part may require a custom fixture, manual rotation, repositioning, or even multi-axis CNC technology. Then, the part's surface finish is also specified, including the color, texture, and pattern. The surface finish varies by type, and each surface finish is more expensive than the last.

Several factors affect the overall cost of machining a component. First and foremost is the cost of the material. Different materials cost differently based on availability, desirable properties, and overall production costs. Generally, metals cost more than non-metals. Below is a chart illustrating the relative cost of common engineering metals. Keep in mind that metal prices vary from region to region, so the exact price of the material you use may differ from the price of a similar part manufactured elsewhere.

Next, determine the amount of time to complete each operation on the part. If you can get the part's design from a print or a simple sketch, you can determine which operations are necessary to produce the part. But if you can't get an experienced machinist to do this, use Feature Recognition Software. This program can analyze the CAD model and return a set of Features, from which you can estimate the time it will take to complete the process. Then, fill in the details and produce a robust Feature-Based Cost Estimate.

Lead time

Many factors contribute to how much a machined part costs, including its size, type, and complexity. In addition to the material cost, you should also consider labor and equipment costs. Depending on the part's size and complexity, the materials used in the processing process can vary significantly. Costs such as transportation and consumption can also affect the price. These fees are generally higher for parts that require complex processes. When calculating the cost, the hourly cost of equipment used to create a part is also considered.

The size of a part also has a great impact on the price. For example, larger parts consume more material than smaller ones, and higher-quality materials can be difficult to obtain and increase lead times. In addition, complex parts require more machining than simple ones, and they may also require more programming or fixturing. In these cases, cutting corners can be a bad idea. Ultimately, your project should be designed to meet the specifications and requirements of your project.

Another factor that can increase the overall cost of a machined part is the size of the blank. The blank must be at least 3mm larger than the end part, affecting overall costs. In addition, the blank must have all the edges of the part removed. This can add up fast. If you want to minimize costs, use a tool that allows you to remove material without rekeying information, such as a Feeds and Speeds Calculator.

Another factor that impacts the price of CNC machining is the quantity of the parts being machined. CNC machining is cost-effective for small batches, but the costs per part increase as the quantity increases. If you require larger quantities, consider hiring CNC machines. CNC machines are expensive and require more maintenance. You should also take into account the delivery time for your project. Adding surface finishing will increase the price of the part.