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What Affects Precision Machining Prices?

There are a number of factors that affect CNC prices, including the type of precision machines applied within the machining process, the material used and the tolerance of the component itself.

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As you gradually increase the tolerance of any component machined, it will cause a rise in the cost of production, because:

  • When tight requirements are required for components, only certain types of materials can be used. Read more about Machining Tolerances.
  • A tighter tolerance limits the manufacturing methods available to the manufacturer. Different materials do have an effect on CNC milling prices.
  • Tooling costs will also rise as more accurate tools and machines are needed to create these tighter tolerances. Different machines deliver different types of tolerances and precision components. Read more about this on our How Precise is Chinese Precision Machining page.
  • The labor force working on the production cycle requires a higher level of skills, thus pushing up the cost of labor and, in the end, the production cycle.
  • Because such tight tolerances and strict requirements are needed, inspection requirements will also have to be increased.
  • Tighter tolerances also lead to higher scrap rates.


In components where extremely tight tolerances are required, these factors are part of the process, but requiring tight tolerances in components where it does not affect the overall function of the product, will unnecessarily increase CNC milling prices.

It is vital to look at each part, its function and then decide from there what tolerance is required from it. From a design standpoint, the product design needs have to be taken into consideration, as must the material, the manufacturing process and the manufacturability of the component itself.

Other factors that also play a role in CNC prices:


The finish required will also affect cost. The higher the component's required finish (be it for durability or appearance), the higher the cost for producing such a component.


The time needed to assemble parts also affect cost - the more time needed, the higher the cost.

Material Cost

The cost of the material is determined by the martial stock needed and the price of each unit using that material stock.

The material stock is determined by the size of the work piece, the method used to cut the stock, and how much units (work pieces or components) need to be produced.

Production Cost

The production cost involves the total time needed for production and the hourly cost of the production cycle (the longer the production time, the higher the cost).

Production costs are influenced by:

  • The set up time needed.
  • The load time.
  • The time it takes to cut material stock, which also depends on the length of the cut as well as the feed rate.
  • Time needed for tool replacements.
  • Idle time.



The total number of cutting tools required will also affect CNC prices. Each tool used has a cost, and the more tools used, the higher the cost. The uniqueness of each tool, the wear it will undergo, the tool material and the size of the tool also plays a role.


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