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CNC Machining

Rigid Foam
Rigid Foam
Carving Foam
Carving Foam
Phenolic Machining
Phenolic Machining
Plastics
Plastics

CNC Machine Turning

CNC Machine Milling

CNC Screw Machining

Plastic Machining

cnc machining

At American Micro Industries, we offer custom machining services and materials — our complete manufacturing facility gives us the opportunity to manufacture parts to drawing specifications. All of our products — including rigid foam, carving foam, phenolics and plastics — are made from only high-quality materials.

Whether you need the material to create your part, the custom CNC machining service to create your part, or both, American Micro Industries has everything you need to get the particular parts you need.

What Is CNC Machining?

cnc machining

CNC machining is a manufacturing process that uses programmed compute software, instead of manual control, to guide the movement of the machinery, ultimately creating the part you need. Much like 3D printing, it turns the virtual part you’ve designed in the computer software program into the physical part.

However, the way it works is very different from 3D printing. For example, you may begin with a large block of carving foam, but once it is manufactured through CNC machining, it could become a piece of insulation or packaging for electronics.

CNC machining is used in a variety of industries — especially industries where pieces are mass-produced and need to meet specific requirements, such as a preferred level of tolerance. For example, you’ll find that a certain type of CNC machining is used to create insulation pieces, automotive parts, and even the tiniest and most delicate pieces in small electronics. In the aerospace and military industries, where demands are high, CNC machining is used to develop parts that meet those demands with accuracy and precision.

CNC Machining Material Types

There is a wide variety of materials that may be used in CNC machining. The type of material depends upon the part you’re creating. Whether you’re ordering material to run on your own CNC machine or looking for custom CNC machining services, choosing the right high-quality material is essential.

At AMI, we offer rigid foam, carving foam, phenolics and plastics. What you select depends on the application. We’ve included some information on the characteristics of each of these materials, as well as the applications they serve, below.

Rigid Foam

Rigid foams are used where the design or application requires structural integrity, temperature compensation and thermal and mechanical stability. Rigid foam is used in satellites, radomes, antennas and packaging for electronic enclosures. Rigid foam is also used as an architectural and structural replacement for conventional wood and aluminum applications.

We offer custom rigid foam CNC machining using:

  • Rigid Foam Insulation
  • Structural/Core Foam
  • Microwave Foam
  • High-Density Foam
  • Phenolic Foam
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyimide Foam
  • Polyurethane Foam
  • Rigid Urethane Foam
  • Polystyrene

To learn more about each of the custom rigid foam CNC machining materials, visit our rigid foam page.

Carving Foam

cnc machining

Carving foam is one of the best materials for carving or sculpting because it’s lightweight, soft and dense. It also has good resistance to moisture and temperatures as well as general wear and tear. As a result, carving foam is often used for various types of insulation and prototypes for molds, as well as to manufacture gaskets, seals and other components. It’s also popular for soundproofing applications, since it contains polyisocyanurate, or ISO — a thermoset plastic material that absorbs sound.

We offer four different types of carving foam. While our #2 and #3 products can be hand-carved, our #4 and #6 foams require CNC machining. This makes them suitable for the mass production of custom electrical components. Foam can be cut, glued or coated with other materials to bring your particular part to life. You can order blocks of our carving foam and cut them yourself or you can send in a drawing and let us do the custom foam CNC machining for you.

Phenolics

We can machine components from various phenolic materials, many of which meet MIL-I-24768 and related requirements. Our CE and LE product lines offer exceptional mechanical properties, whereas our glass phenolic material — also known as Garolite® — can be used to insulate a range of custom electrical components.

CE phenolic is produced from a medium weave cotton cloth impregnated with a phenolic resin binder. LE phenolic, on the other hand, is constructed from a fine weave linen cloth impregnated with a phenolic resin binder. This type provides a better finish for machined components, especially those with intricately detailed elements.

Our glass series is a glass-woven fabric impregnated with various resin binders to optimize the unique characteristic of the material, making it ideal for electrical insulation. All phenolic products are available in multiple colors and sold in sheet stock, rod, angle and U-channel forms.

Plastics

There are many types of plastic materials used in manufacturing. We work with the most popular types to meet the demands of customers in aerospace, automotive, medical and electronic industries. Our plastic CNC machining can be done using:

  • Acetal (POM)
  • Acrylics (PMMA)
  • Noryl® (PPO)
  • PVC
  • PVDF
  • PC
  • PP
  • Teflon® (PTFE)
  • UHMW (UHMWPE)

Typical applications include bearings, bushings, tubes and electrical insulation, among others. Whether your finished component must possess high impact strength, superior temperature resistance, a low coefficient of friction or any other specific property, we have the expertise to help you select the best plastic material and machining technique for your project requirements.

CNC Machining Materials From American Micro Industries

All of the above materials are available in sheet form for your material sourcing needs. American Micro Industries is unique in that we don’t have minimum order requirements and we can quickly fulfill any request from our Chambersburg, PA, headquarters.

For more information about the different materials we work with, or for assistance choosing a product for your application, contact us to speak with one of our account managers directly.

Manufacturing Capabilities

When you’re considering partnering with a company to help you with custom CNC machining services, it’s important to know what type of facility they have. We’ve invested heavily in technology and the team necessary to offer advanced electrical component machining services. As a result, our custom electrical component manufacturing capabilities are unparalleled in our industry and meet the requirements of some of the most demanding organizations.

cnc machining

Our CNC department can engineer and fabricate parts to meet your unique requirements and specifications. We utilize the best in CNC CAD/CAM software, including AutoCAD and Virtual Gibbs CAM. We can import your drawings directly into our geometric database for 3D imaging. We can program parts with swept shapes, tapers and complex compound contours. We can produce micromachined components from a variety of materials that suit your application.

We have a very modern CNC machine shop that’s extensively equipped to produce your components economically regardless of order quantity. Our equipment includes four Fadal CNC 3-axis Vertical Machining Centers with 15 horsepower and 7500 rpm spindles.

We have a large machining capacity of 30 inches by 16 inches by 12 inches to handle your biggest jobs. Additionally, we have several CNC milling machines, feed through belt sanders, band saws, table saws, routers and drill presses. We can also do secondary operations to complete your parts. We can machine thin sheet stock on a vacuum chuck.

With our cutting-edge facility, you’re sure to get the precision and the high quality you need.

Types of CNC Machining

Not all parts are created equal. Just as there is a variety of different parts, there are also a few different CNC machining techniques used to create them. CNC machine turning, CNC machine milling and CNC screw machining are the three main types. They can be used individually or together to create the unique part you need. We’ve included some specific information about each of them and their applications below.

CNC Machine Turning

CNC machine turning is one of the most common computer-controlled machining processes. It can help you create cylindrical parts of various sizes and dimensions. It works by rotating the workpiece, which is placed horizontally on a mandrel. Then the lathe or other cutting tool strips away the excess material to form the outer area of the workpiece into the desired shape. In addition to creating the cylindrical part, many of these machines are also equipped with a horizontal drill to drill a hole through the center.

CNC machine turning can be used on its own or in combination with other manufacturing processes. On its own, however, this method can’t be used to make oddly shaped parts. Despite offering an exact, but limited, function, it’s a perfect fit for the right job and provides low setup and tooling costs.

CNC machine turning is an excellent solution for mass manufacturing. The process is automated, which keeps labor and setup times to a minimum — a benefit for manufacturers looking for an economical way to bring their product to market.

CNC Machine Milling

The accuracy is just as good with CNC machine milling. But instead of rotating the workpiece, in this case, it’s the tools that move. The workpiece is placed in a machine vice where the table automatically moves around the tool. Multiple tools can be installed on a single mill, giving you the opportunity to create complex parts.

There is a variety of cutting tools available for CNC machine milling so that you can create different shapes of various sizes. For example, conventional drills and bores may be used to create simple holes. Endmills, chamfer, grooving, rounded and other tools are used for more complex work to create bevels, rounded edges and other features. One thing to consider is that because the workpiece must be held firmly in place, it’s not a good fit for flimsy or oddly shaped materials.

cnc machining

Because the milling process is automated, once you program the software to perform the actions to create the workpiece you want, most of your work is done. Programming the software means you’re able to repeat the process over and over again with exceptional accuracy. Consequently, it’s no surprise milling is best for mass-produced parts and short-runs.

Workpieces made from metal, wood, plastic, rigid foam and other materials are an ideal fit. CNC machine milling is often used to create automotive components, construction materials and other items — and its accuracy makes it ideal for meeting quality control requirements for automotive, aerospace and military applications.

CNC Screw Machining

CNC screw machining is recognized for producing items with extremely high dimensional tolerances (+/-.005”). Here’s how it works:

A disc cam feeds the workpiece through a guide bushing to get it as close to the tool as possible. When you move the part, instead of the tool, there’s less vibration and deflection. Therefore, you can achieve closer tolerances.

These machines are also known as Swiss-style lathes. As the name suggests, these devices are used to produce the intricate parts that go into the country’s famous watches. As technology has continued to advance, this type of CNC machining has become particularly useful for technology — specifically in cars and trucks, medical devices, electronics and other manufacturing parts. Pins, pivot rods, spaces and electronic connectors and terminals are all ideal for CNC screw machining.

What could be the downfall of a machine that is capable of creating such intricate parts? It comes at a cost. The guide bushing has to be precisely positioned to maximize performance — and that means you need extra setup time and a skilled person on staff who knows how to work the machinery properly. These are two factors that will lead to higher manufacturing costs.

Turnkey Solutions for Custom Electrical Component Manufacturing

It doesn't matter whether you’re searching for CNC machine turning, CNC machine milling or CNC screw machining. AMI’s value-added precision CNC machining department can provide you with a turnkey solution by producing your unique components, in the best material for the application, machined to your specific requirements — and we’ll do it fast.

We know that turnaround times are critical regardless of the size of your order. We also do not impose a minimum order amount on our customers.

cnc machining

When an off-the-shelf component won’t do, we are unique in our ability to work with you at all stages of the design and manufacturing process. Starting from a prototype part or original drawing, we will do the research and other groundwork necessary to bring your vision to life. Our vertical manufacturing capabilities provide our team with an exceptionally high level of quality control — all with quick turnarounds and economical pricing.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to get started, the first step is choosing a manufacturer and/or supplier who understands your industry and your list of wants and needs when it comes to CNC machining and materials. At American Micro Industries, we’ve worked with customers in a variety of industries with a variety of needs, and we have the expertise to provide you with custom CNC machining services or the supplies you need to complete your CNC machining. We can help you whether you’re starting from a drawing or a prototype.

Whatever your unique situation may be, don’t wait any longer — our experience has prepared us to understand your priorities when it comes to providing CNC machining services and high-quality materials. Our superior machines and materials can provide you with the solutions you need to minimize downtime and maximize your results. To get started,request a quote from us today!