CNC Machining – What Materials Can Be Used

CNC machines are electro-mechanical devices that use computer programming to manipulate machine shop tools. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and can actually combine tools that are required to make multiple cuts in machining. Since the end of goal of machining is to create a finished product from a piece of material the ability to program computer devices automated the process and reduces the amount of time and labour required for the completion of the product.

CNC Machining, however does requires specialized knowledge and processes in all stages of product development. The following materials can be used in a CNC Machine:


When using aluminum in a CNC machine it has good formaility, weldability and fatigue strength. Aluminimum is used in many industries such as automatives for gears and shafts, fuse parts, meter shafts and gears, marine equipment, defense applications and in aircraft and aerospace applications.


Plastic can be used in CNC machining. They are excellent for dimensional stability, impact strength and chemical and corrosion resistance. PVC which stands for polyvinyl chloride is a plastic that is easy to use with CNC machines. It is lightweight but also strong allowing multiple products to be made easily with PVC. Common products that are made from plastic includes electronic enclosures, food containers, chemical containers, medical equipment, childrents toys, pipes brushings and fittings and more endless commercial prodcuts.


Brass is a metal alloy with good machinability and excellent electrical conductivity, making it a perfect material for applications that require low friction. It has great corrosion resistance and resistant to chemicals. It does have a lower temperature resistance than products such as steel. Products that can be made with brass include electronic hardware and contacts, fittings, commercial products, Aerospace, mechanical parts and valves and nozzles. It is also used in many products for aesthetic purposes because of its colour.


Steel has excellent machinability features and is one of the most commonly used materials for creating products. It also has very high strength as well as formalbility and can work under very high temperatures. Steel is used in chemical processing products, household appliances, food handling equipment, machinery parts, medical services, grears and shafts, architecture, and many other commercial products.


Titanium is light weight and has high strength. Products that use titanium include aircraft products, jewelry, and medical implants.


You can use wood in a CNC Machine such as pine, oak and many other forms of wood. Using wood in a machine can easily carve out the design that you would like and create finished products much quicker. Products made are signs, carvings, cabinets and other pieces for furniture.