When it comes to higher volume production, subtractive manufacturing offers high tolerances, fine detailing and a desirable finish.
Subtractive manufacturing is a traditional production method that uses machining tools and expertise to cut away a block of material to create high quality 3D parts. It is a highly skilled process, which has been continuously optimised over the last 50 years.
Subjective manufacturing comprises four main techniques:
- CNC Machining (3- or 5-Axis) – this is ideal for precision engineered parts in a wide range of metals and plastics. It has long been the preferred production method for a variety of industries and is still favoured as the primary subtractive manufacturing technology.
- EDM Machining – electrodes or wires are used to create electrical discharges (sparks) in this operation. This is a non-contact process which makes it ideal for fragile or thin walled parts; however it is also capable of delivering highly detailed, precision results in hard materials.
- Laser Cutting – by concentrating a high intensity light on a surface, the laser creates an extreme heat which causes the material to melt away. This relatively quick process can be used for profiling and subsequent fabrication.
- Water Jet – this is a similar process to laser cutting, but without the heat. Pressurised water (often mixed with an abrasive material) is passed through a small nozzle to cut away at the thickest of materials including titanium, stainless steel, granite and concrete, leaving a good edge finish.
Advantages of Subtractive Manufacturing
Subtractive manufacturing is generally advised in the production of metal and plastic parts. It offers high levels of integrity and the resulting parts can be put through strength testing to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
CNC machining can be used to create large scale parts that would not be possible with other production methods.
How Can We Help You?
When it comes to rapid manufacturing, you want a production method that delivers your desired results. We will take the time to understand your exacting requirements before advising on the most cost effective and time efficient means of matching your expectations. We are fiercely independent, so you can rely on us to offer the right solution every time.