How to Choose Material for your CNC Machining Project

CNC machining is a versatile process you can use to process a wide range of materials.

However, even as you choose a suitable material, there are many variables you must consider. Usualy, many issues arise as a result of making this decision and therefore the aim is to make sure that the final product is as required.

Choosing Material for CNC Machining

Mechanical Properties – Features of the material like strength and elasticity have to be suitable for the function intended for so that the material would work properly in its visualized environment and durable.

Machinability – Different metals are worked on at distinct hardnesses and ease of machining. Consider the freedom of cutting into smaller pieces and drilling to reduce the cost of manufacturing.

Cost – Considering the cost of the material, the cost of manufacturing and the expenses of processing to be within the budget set without reducing the quality of the product.

Surface finishing requirements – You may one smooth or knurled surface finish. Besides, you must know the required and precise dimensions of the final product. This way, you will choose a suitable material machining technique.

Corrosion Resistance – If the environment contains corrosive agents choose materials that are not easily corroded by the corrosive agents.

Temperature and Chemical Compatibility – Choose a material that is resistant to both high and low temperatures and that is also resistant to chemicals that may come into contact with it.

Weight considerations – Weight should be considered while choosing the material to be used. The material should be both strong and light in weight so that it can meet the requirements.

Hardness – Hard materials can be hard to cut and drill. On the other hand, soft materials can be easily machines to get the product but may not be strong enough. Therefore, its important to balance between hardness and machinability.

Electrical conductivity – in choosing materials for electronic appliances, materials that are good conductors of electricity such as copper and silver are chosen. In choosing insulators, plastics can be used.

Physical appearance – for decoration, visually appealing materials should be chosen. The material can be smooth on the surface and of an appealing color.

CNC Machining

CNC Machining

Common Materials for CNC Machining Projects

Aluminum – It is used mainly because it is light and resistant to corrosion. It is applied in electrical materials and also transport sectors.

Stainless steel – The material can withstand harsh conditions and adapt easily to industrial processes, therefore, it can be used in many industrial manufacturing processes as well as construction industries.

Brass – It’s a good conductor of electricity and is corrosion resistant thus can be used where corrosive agents are available. Their corrosive resistance nature makes them protect the products’ quality.

Titanium – This material is strong, light in weight and resistant to corrosion. This makes titanium suitable for use in the aerospace and marine industries.

Copper – it’s a good electrical conductor and can therefore be applied in electronic appliances. It can also be used in the jewelry sector.

Magnesium – it can be able withstand high temperatures and is strong. These makes it suitable for use in engines.

Plastics – plastics of all types are used, this provides multiplicity, cost-effectiveness, and customization options for multiple projects.


In choosing an appropriate CNC machine for a project, it is good to know its level of performance, cost and the specific task the machine is supposed to achieve. Aluminum, steel, brass and plastics can be used. These materials should be strong enough to withstand the harsh conditions it would experience in industries and should also be corrosion resistant.

More resources:

CNC Machining – Source: TSINFA

Brass CNC Machining – Source: TSINFA

Aluminum CNC Machining – Source: TSINFA

CNC Machine Tools – Source: TSINFA

What is CNC Machining – Source: THOMASNET