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7 Best CNC Online Services in 2019

Picture of Brian Obudho
by Brian Obudho
Aug 31, 2019
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CNC machining, though impressive, requires money and experience to work well. Bypass those barriers with this list of the best CNC online services, achieving high-quality end-use parts with minimal effort and time!

CNC Online Services Outsourcing

A CNC mill cutting a complex part out of metal.
A CNC mill cutting a complex part out of metal. (Source: sd3d.com)

In the subtractive manufacturing process, layers of material are removed from a stock piece to produce a custom part. The process is suitable for a range of materials, including wood, plastic, and metals. Ultimately, the automated nature of CNC machines makes it possible to produce parts very accurately.

However, operating CNC machines in-house requires technical expertise and high upfront cost. That’s where this list of CNC online services comes in!

In picking machining shops, we took the following into consideration:

  • Experience: Choosing a provider who has been in the machining industry longer will save you time and money. A company with more skill and experience will likely satisfy your needs with less hassle, even giving suggestions when they see potential problems.
  • Capability: Regardless of time, capability matters a lot. Do they have the complete set of CNC machines (grinding machine, turning machine, milling machine, etc.) needed for your project? Often you will get better pricing, a quick turnaround time, and high precision parts when you work with a provider with excellent machining capability.
  • Quality Control: Quality control is the litmus test of how good the quality will be. The degree of quality control should be at an acceptable or appropriate level.
  • Prototype Availability: A prototype or sample is an excellent way of knowing the machining capability of the CNC online service.
  • Customer Service: Communicating with the machining company should be very easy. They should stick to deadlines, listen to your needs, be helpful, and you should enjoy working with them.

Of course, not all of the CNC online services listed here perfectly meet all the qualities listed above, but each meets at least one or two conditions, and all have a proven track record.

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1

CNC Online Services Xometry

Xometry is capable of machining parts in various metals.
Xometry is capable of machining parts in various metals. (Source: engineering.com)

Xometry is an industry leader in machining services. Customers upload their CAD files to Xometry’s online Instant Quoting Engine, and they receive a quote in just seconds. Due to their massive partner network, Xometry will machine almost any part – the company integrates seamlessly with over 3,000 manufacturing partners in the United States, including facilities that are ITAR-qualified.

These partners support the latest CNC machining and turning process, provide remarkable finishes, and support a high level of part complexity. Xometry can also machine and inspect any 2D drawing to make sure the CNC machined parts are of the best quality.

Its CNC finishes include powder coat, milled, bead blast, anodized (Type II or Type III), and custom finishes.

Advantages of Using Xometry:

  • They can produce parts as fast as one day using their CNC machines.
  • Depending on customer demands, Xometry offers high-precision with tight tolerances.
  • Provides a variety of finishes on metal and plastic parts. These parts are built as per the precise design specifications.
  • Receive feedback, pricing, and lead times in just a matter of clicks. Xometry IQ℠ utilizes Big Data and makes it easier to choose the optimal price/lead time option.
  • Customers get access to the production capacity of over 2,000 manufacturers who have a wide range of capabilities and certifications.

Materials: Works with over 50 metal and plastic materials.

CNC capabilities:

  • 3-axis machining
  • 4-axis machining
  • 5-axis machining
  • Right angle machining
  • Dual-spindle lathes
  • Wire EDM (available upon request)
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CNC Online Services 3D Hubs

A metal part being machined on a 5-axis mill.
A metal part being machined on a 5-axis mill. (Source: 3D Hubs)

3D Hubs recently added a CNC machining service because they figured the opportunity for custom, on-demand manufacturing is much bigger than 3D printing alone. The CNC machining model is similar to their 3D printing business model: Independent CNC service providers connect to a community network and receive tasks from customers through the company’s extensive network. 3D Hubs updates prices based on material and location and also specifies turnaround times.

They offer the following finishes: Smoothing, anodizing, powder coating, electropolishing, brushing, black oxide/blackening, hardcoat anodizing, bead-blasting, and many more.

Advantages of Using 3D Hubs:

  • Works with ISO9001-certified manufacturing partners on request.
  • Upon request, tolerances up to .0008” (0.020mm) are available. Tighter tolerances get examined on a case-by-case basis.
  • The quality assurance is top-notch: Batch inspections in concurrence with ISO2859, inspection reports in every order, and a NDA agreement with all the manufacturing partners.
  • Operates at a global scale and provides automated pricing, which is a good representation of the “real-time” market price for manufacturing a part.
  • Customers can get quotes in seconds, and custom parts are delivered in days.

Materials: A wide range of metals, including brass, alloy steel, titanium, mild steel, tool steel, aluminum, and stainless steel; as well as a wide range of plastics, including POM (Delrin), nylon, PTFE (Teflon), PEEK, polyethylene, ABS, polycarbonate, and PVC.

CNC Capabilities:

3D Hubs has a network of manufacturing partners that gives customers easy access to diverse machining capabilities for all manufacturing needs.

  • CNC Milling Service: They have 3-axis, 3+2 axis and full 5-axis milling centers which allow you to produce highly accurate parts to meet your most stringent requirements. Five-axis milling centers, for example, are capable of producing parts with complex geometries and will significantly increase productivity by reducing the number of machine setups.
  • CNC Turning Service: CNC turning processes remove metal or plastic from parts to produce cylindrical features. 3D Hubs has a wide range of CNC lathes and turning centers that will let you create highly accurate parts. CNC turning machines provide low-cost parts for cylindrical geometries, and live tooling is an option for more complex parts. This is assessed on a case by case basis.
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CNC Online Services Fictiv

An industrial CNC machine spindle.
An industrial CNC machine spindle. (Source: fictiv.com)

Fictiv is creating a new environment where software enables access to fast, high-quality manufacturing. The CNC online service provider is breaking barriers to facilitate access to the tools and services required to bring physical products to life.

Advantages of Using Fictiv:

  • Strong network of local and overseas partners for all your project needs. 
  • ISO-certified company that ensures every part is produced and inspected according to a detailed quality management system. 
  • Their technology enables instant pricing, online feedback, and automatic hole detection. This makes ordering parts much easier. 
  • Dedicated and knowledgeable service team. 
  • Customers’ identity is anonymized with suppliers. 
  • Customers upload their drawings on the Fictiv website to save time communicating design intent. Fictiv then takes care of critical features like reamed holes, bearing surfaces, and snap fits. 

Materials: BrassnylonABSacrylicTeflonUHMWHDPEaluminumstainless steelsteelPEEKpolycarbonatepolypropylenebronze, copper, and Delrin.

CNC Capabilities:

  • CNC Milling: Fictiv offers both 3- and 5-axis machining capabilities, and to optimize for speed, the company recommends minimizing the number of setups. Fictiv works with hundreds of highly-vetted machinists and the engineers have access to a range of more than 50 models of CNC mill machines that include:
    • Mazak Nexus VCN-510C Mori Seiki DV5100
    • Haas VF-2 Super Speed
    • Kitamura-3X Vertical CNC
    • Haas VF-4 Super Speed 
  • CNC Turning: Fictiv offers both standard and live-tooling CNC turning. To speed up the prototyping process, Fictiv recommends limiting the need for live-tooling. As with milling, engineers have access to a wide range of more than 50 CNC lathe machines, including:
    • Doosan LYNX 300
    • Haas ST-30SSY(live tooling)
    • Akira Seiki SL-30
    • Okuma Genos L400
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CNC Online Services BDE INC

BDE Mfg Technologies provides the usual CNC machining services.
BDE Mfg Technologies provides the usual CNC machining services. (Source: BDE Inc / Twitter)

BDE Manufacturing Technologies is a state-of-the-art CNC machine shop that combines old-fashioned craftsmanship with the latest technology to provide innovative solutions for clients. It’s the company’s mission to remain ahead of the technology curve to become a strategic partner to its customers’ success. BDE provides quality services and is defined by precision services backed with innovative thinking.

BDE Inc meets industry certifications like ISO, ASTM, ASME, ASNI, Mil-Spec, and RoHS. It serves a wide range of industries: motorsports, aerospace, energy, High-tech, medical, semiconductor, ATV, food, machine tool, electronics, and military.

Advantages of Using BDE Inc:

  • Experience of more than 30 years in CNC machining and manufacturing services.
  • A committed team of experts who are ready to provide clients with the best-in-class service.
  • Inventor, Solid Works, and Mastercam capabilities.
  • They have a variety of CNC machines that offer flexibility and excellent precision for almost any machining project.
  • Provides prototype CNC machining services to help you get a clear picture of the final product. 
  • Supports design for manufacturability. 

Materials:

Metals such as cobalt, aluminum, carbon steel, molybdenum, brass, magnesium, titanium, bronze alloys, stainless steel, alloy steels, nickel, carbide, beryllium, steel, and tungsten. 

CNC Machining Capabilities:

  • Machining process can involve: Turning, boring, reaming, drilling, tapping, spline, countersinking, internal forming, knurling, counter boring, thread milling, parting/cutting, threading, pocketing, broaching, gear hobbing, facing, and profiling. 

These tasks can be accomplished by either a 3-, 4-, or 5-axis machine that is capable of achieving tolerances of ±0.0002 in, or ±0.005 mm

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CNC Online Services Astro Machine Works

National Manufacturing Day at Astro Machine Works.
National Manufacturing Day at Astro Machine Works. (Source: Astro Machine Works)

Pennsylvania-based Astro Machine Works offers a range of custom CNC machining services for various manufacturing industries, both large and small. Their machining services can cover smaller production runs, prototyping, and special blanket order arrangements.

Astro Machine Works is known for its fast turnaround times, regardless of the client’s project size and scope. This makes it easier for clients to keep up with their demanding production schedules.

Advantages of Using Astro Machine Works:

  • Ability to produce custom-made metal CNC machining parts – they tailor their custom CNC milling services to your unique manufacturing processes. 
  • Has more than 30 years of industry experience. 
  • The team has unsurpassed knowledge and expertise. 
  • ISO 9001- and AS9100-certified.

Materials: Astro Machine Works hasn’t exclusively listed the materials that they can CNC machine.

CNC Machining Capability:

  • CNC Milling Service: Excellent for creating parts that feature complex designs and high dimensional tolerances. Performed by three-axis and five-axis milling machines
  • CNC Lathe Machining: Suited for producing intricate parts where precision and accuracy are of great importance. The lathe machines allow for integration with CAD/CAM software systems enabling Astro Machine to download custom drawing files.
  • Water Jet, Laser Cutting, and Wire-EDM machining.

 

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CNC Online Services Flinchbaugh Company Inc

Measuring tolerance on a machined part.
Measuring tolerance on a machined part. (Source: Flinchbaugh / LinkedIn)

Flinchbaugh brags about having around 20 types of CNC machining equipment, which makes it machine shop capabilities extensive. This CNC online service provider configures its equipment with ESPIRIT, which is a trusted CAD/CAM software that optimizes its machining process together with the quote times.

The Advantages of Using Flinchbaugh

  • Flinchbaugh’s machining and milling expertise spans more than eight decades, making it a respected partner for Fortune 500 companies. 
  • With more than eight decades in the industry, Flinchbaugh has refined its processes leading to on-time deliveries, quick turnarounds, fast communication, and minimal waste. 
  • Provides competitive price and a high-quality service. 
  • Offers advanced inventory management system in case a customer’s inventory demands change throughout the year. Flinchbaugh will release your products on predesignated dates based on your schedule and requested part quantities.

Materials: Aluminum, extrusions, stainless steel, copper, forgings, plastics, casting, and more.

CNC Machining Capabilities:

  • CNC Milling: The CNC online service provider operates multiple vertical and horizontal equipment models, plus 40- and 50-taper CNC machining centers. Several of these machines include rigid tapping, pallet changer, high pressure, and through-spindle coolant. Flinchbaugh relies on 5-axis machining equipment for high-precision, complex parts with lean design. Machines include:
    • Okuma MB4000
    • DMG Mori CMX 1100V
    • DMG Mori NLX2500Y-1250
    • Okuma MB5000
  • CNC Lathing: Flinchbaugh also provides lathe services to support the custom CNC machining services. The company often applies its lathe capabilities to non-bulk orders of hardware or parts that exceed the size of its CNC turning equipment
  • CNC Turning: Flinchbaugh maintains turning centers in several different sizes to comply with the broad range of sizes for machine parts. Flinchbaugh provides threading, drilling, boring, taper, facing, and contour turning. A few of its lathes include automatic bar feeders to boost order processing. 
  • CNC Drilling Services: Flinchbaugh also provides CNC drilling services as a way of giving customers a one-stop-shop experience. The drill presses include upright bench and radial drills that can complete the machining of parts while ensuring they adhere to the standards of quality and precision.
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CNC Online Services Protolabs

Protolabs CNC machining center, where all the magic happens.
Protolabs CNC machining center, where all the magic happens. (Source: protolabs.co.uk)

Protolabs prides itself for having hundreds of mills and lathers, and its CNC machining service is designed for both prototyping and low-volume production of end-use components.

Advantages of Using Protolabs:

  • To help improve manufacturability, Protolabs provides basic design guidelines. These guidelines also enhance the cosmetic appearance and reduce production time.
  • No downtime spent waiting for parts.
  • Maintains consistent quality and guaranteed lead times from a single supplier with in-house part production.
  • The quoting system (ProtoQuote) allows for price adjustments based on things like materials and turnaround time. This automated quoting system accepts your 3D CAD models and returns a detailed quote along with suggested design changes, if appropriate, within hours of uploading.

Materials: More than 30 different metal and plastic materials. The materials range from nylon, stainless steel, polycarbonate, copper, aluminum, PEEK, ABS, and magnesium.

CNC Machining Capabilities

  • Milling: This CNC online service provider uses 3-axis and 5-axis indexed milling processes to make parts from more than 30 engineering-grade metals and plastics. These machines mill parts out of a lock in a subtractive manufacturing process.
  • Turning: Protolabs’ CNC turning process produces custom prototypes and end-use production parts in just one day – the turned parts can be bead blasted or left as-machined. Protolabs uses a CNC lathe with live tooling to machine features like grooves, flats, radial holes, and slots. CNC turning with live tooling integrates both lathe and mill capabilities.

Feature image source: MachinesUsed / YouTube

License: The text of "7 Best CNC Online Services in 2019" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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