Welcome to AN-Prototype's Blog

The AN-Prototype blog aims to share the prototyping and rapid manufacturing knowledge, experience and skills we have accumulated over the years. We hope these articles help you optimize your product designs and gain a better understanding of rapid prototyping.

Copper vs Brass What is the difference

Copper vs Brass What is the difference

In the metal world, copper or “red metal”. Red copper and brass are often confused. Although both are versatile copper alloys, they are elemental metals because of their uniqueness, which will affect performance, service life, and even appearance. Copper and brass are two very different metals, with both similarities and significant differences. Choosing the right

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Titanium Vs Aluminum

The Ultimate Guide to Titanium Vs Aluminum

Every industry in today’s market needs to consider the material for the production of parts, the first thing that comes to mind are three characteristics: the cost of the material, the price, the strength, and the weight. Both Aluminum and Titanium have other important properties, such as excellent corrosion and heat resistance, and they can

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vacuum casting

Ultimate Guide to vacuum casting

Vacuum casting is the process used to manufacture high-quality plastic parts that are comparable to injection molded parts. Vacuum casting technology has been developed for more than half a century, and it is a processing technology with high cost performance and very low cost and time cost for low-volume manufacturing parts. An-Prototype has more than

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sheet metal enclosures

The ultimate guide to sheet metal enclosures

Sheet metal enclosures offer many manufacturing advantages, including faster turnaround times and lower manufacturing costs. With proper design techniques, these enclosures can be optimized both functionally and aesthetically. In this article, we will explore tips and best practices for designing sheet metal enclosures. By following these guidelines, you can make informed decisions and achieve high-quality

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CNC Machining Tips

CNC Machining Tips For Keeping it Affordable

Whether you plan to manufacture low-volume prototypes or you’re ready for large-scale manufacturing, when choosing CNC machining services, you want to reduce costs in order to increase profits. AN-Prototype is a company specializing in CNC machining and maintains close cooperation with the world’s top 500 companies. In more than ten years of CNC machining experience,

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CNC Milling Services

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Milling Services

CNC milling services is a machining process that uses computer control and rotating multi-point cutting tools to progressively remove material from a workpiece and produce a custom-designed part or product. The process is suitable for machining a variety of materials, such as metals, plastics, wood, and producing a variety of custom-designed parts and products.What is

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EDM Machining

The Ultimate Guide to EDM Machining

EDM Machining is an electrical discharge reduction manufacturing process and a non-contact processing method that uses thermal energy rather than mechanical force to remove material from the workpiece. EDM is only suitable for conductive materials such as titanium, steel, aluminum, nickel and brass. The processing cost, processing time and debugging equipment cost of EDM are

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CNC Rapid Prototyping

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Rapid Prototyping

CNC Rapid prototyping is a important step in the product development process. From the time the product concept is hatched to the time it is confirmed to be mass-produced, a lot of testing needs to be done, including appearance testing, functional testing, structural testing, etc. When uncertain factors need to be verified, prototypes (appearance prototypes,

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China Injection Molding Services

The Ultimate Guide to China Injection Molding Services

Injection molding is one of the most popular processes for manufacturing plastic products. It is a fast, versatile, cost-effective, and precise way to create high-quality plastic parts. Injection molding is compatible with various materials to manufacture complex three-dimensional shaped parts, and is widely used in toys, medical, automotive, agriculture, industry, aerospace and other fields. China’s

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CNC Machining Costs

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Costs

Even as today’s 3D printing technology becomes more sophisticated, CNC machining is still irreplaceable. CNC machining of metal or plastic parts is an efficient and economical method. If your next project uses CNC machining parts, then CNC machining costs will be a topic of greater concern to you. Calculating the cost of CNC machining is

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The Ultimate Guide to SLS and SLA

SLA and SLS are the two most popular processes in 3D printing services. Both use lasers to quickly create custom parts. Many companies or design enthusiasts have trouble deciding between the two processes, or even know the difference between them. Both SLA and SLS have unique advantages, but they differ in terms of printing materials,

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The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Stainless Steel

Precision CNC machining stainless steel parts are the choice of industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical and military due to their ideal mechanical properties. Stainless steel has excellent machinability and excellent uniformity, as well as good processability and weldability, making it ideal for a variety of CNC machining projects. Stainless steel is also highly ductile

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Sheet Metal Fabrication

The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Metal Fabrication

Metal-based products are widely used in almost all applications. Every industry depends on metal for some or the other thing, and the different forms of metal have different processes through which it can be shaped and manufactured. Sheet metal fabrication is also a popular method for manufacturing metal-based products. As the name suggests, the sheet

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Sheet Metal Bending

The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Metal Bending

Many such components around us in different industrial applications are manufactured using metals. Metal components are manufactured after passing through several processes; among them, sheet metal bending is also one of the most prominent methods.The process of manufacturing components through sheet metal bending is observed in various industries, and it is equipped with many types.

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Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

The numerous things around us used for different applications are made using multiple methods and materials. The objects that involve metal tend to pass through different methods for producing the different application based products. One of the methods of manufacturing metal-based products is sheet metal laser cutting. If you are willing to know more about

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CNC Machining Medical Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Medical Parts

AN-Prototype, an ISO 9001:2015 certified and ISO 13485:2016 certified rapid manufacturing company, is an expert in CNC machined medical parts manufacturing. Manufacturing of medical parts requires tighter tolerances and unique materials. AN-Prototype’s top-of-the-line CNC machining equipment, knowledgeable machinists, and strict quality control have made us well-known in the field of precision medical machining. Injection molding,

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Surface Grinding

The Ultimate Guide to Surface Grinding

Precision surface grinding is a subtractive manufacturing process that uses high-precision grinders to create parts with smooth surface textures. Precision grinders utilize a rotating grinding wheel coated with rough particles to flatten or smooth surfaces by removing chips from non-metallic or metallic materials. Along the way, the process precisely grinds the surface to give the

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CNC drilling

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Drilling

CNC drilling is the process of machining a circular hole in a stationary workpiece using a rotating cutting tool or drill. The holes machined are sized with CNC drill bits, usually to accommodate screws or bolts for assembly purposes. Therefore, CNC drilling processes are common in parts that require component assembly. Apart from this, CNC

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Titanium and aluminum

The Ultimate Guide to Titanium and Aluminum

In today’s highly competitive market, every industry is looking for innovative ways to bring products to market within a short period of time. As a result, a designer or machinist can choose to machine metal cost-effectively and maximize profits. On the basis of considering meeting the design requirements, it is particularly important to reduce the

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Aluminum 5052 vs 6061, which one is right for your CNC project?

Aluminum alloy is an engineering material made by injecting small amounts of other different metals into pure aluminum. The properties of different aluminum alloys vary with different alloying elements to meet specific production requirements. Aluminum is typically the metal material of choice for most rapid fabricators and is one of the most popular of all

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Stainless steel vs titanium, which one is right for your CNC project?

CNC machining is the most common manufacturing process in the manufacturing industry and is highly compatible with a variety of metal materials. Among metal materials, stainless steel and titanium are the two most commonly used materials when CNC machining custom parts or prototypes. These two metal materials with a similar appearance are very versatile. All

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3D Printing in Medical Prototyping

The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing in Medical Prototyping

3D printing offers multiple solutions for the development of medical devices as the field is evolving with time. 3D printing has helped the healthcare industry bring important medical tools and devices to the market at relatively less cost and time. In this guide below, you will learn how 3D printing has helped the medical industry

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ISO 2768 Tolerances

The Ultimate Guide to ISO 2768 Tolerances

Rapid manufacturers design and manufacture large quantities of metal or plastic parts every day. All manufactured parts vary in size and physical appearance, and prototype parts, especially, may be unique in the world. However, it can be very challenging to manufacture these plastic or metal parts without deviating from the original design intent. Ensure reasonable

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Aluminum Anodizing

Talk about surface treatments of CNC machining parts

Purpose and function of surface treatment of machined parts:The purpose of surface treatment of CNC machining parts is to achieve corrosion resistance, wear resistance, beauty and improve service life.AN-Prototype has many years of rich experience in a series of services from parts processing to surface treatment to assembly. In addition to CNC technology, it also

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CNC Machining Parts

Research on Complex Surface Error Based on CNC Machining

Complex surfaces are widely used in various industries, such as the automotive industry and the aerospace industry. Due to the rapid improvement of science and technology, in the face of more complex surface accuracy and complex part shapes, the quality requirements are more stringent, which requires more innovation and improvement in the current CNC machining

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Vacuum Casting

The Ultimate Guide to Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting (polyurethane casting) is the perfect solution for rapid prototyping and low-cost low-volume manufacturing of plastic parts. The master mold is cheap to make and so finely crafted that the resulting plastic parts require little to no post-production. Each master mold can produce about 25-30 copies, which can be quickly produced in a short

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The surface roughness and surface treatment of CNC machined part

CNC machining can create parts with tight tolerance requirements and detailed parts of various metals or plastics, and is one of the best processing methods for custom parts and prototype production. During CNC machining, raw material is selectively and precisely removed to produce a near net shape part. This kind of machining process is usually

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Vacuum Casting Materials

The Ultimate Guide to Vacuum Casting Materials

Vacuum casting (polyurethane casting​​) is one of the low-cost processes used to manufacture rigid or rubber-like plastic parts. Urethane casting is suitable for prototypes and certain end-use parts that don’t require expensive hard molds, instead silicone molds are used to make a limited number of copies of the master model. The process of polyurethane casting

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material for injection molding

How to choose the suitable material for injection molding

According to incomplete statistics, there are 45 polymer series in the material library, up to 85000 kinds of plastics, which can be roughly divided into two categories: thermosetting plastics and thermoplastics. Injection molding is one of the most commonly used methods for manufacturing large quantities of parts. Choosing a suitable material seems to be a

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CNC Machining

The Ultimate Guide to 3, 4, and 5 Axis CNC Machining

CNC machining is an essential part of modern manufacturing, revolutionizing the way parts are manufactured across many industries. This technology greatly improves the efficiency and accuracy of machined parts, enabling more complex and precise designs. There are different types of CNC machines with different axis configurations, which are used for specific purposes according to the

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CNC Machining Tolerances

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Tolerances

CNC Machining tolerances refer to how close the actual dimensions of a part are to the intended or design dimensions. In other words, tolerance is a measure of how much variation in dimension is acceptable. With CNC machining, parts can be cut to tolerances as tight as ±0.001 inch, and sometimes even better.CNC machining is

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CNC Machining Medical Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Medical Parts

CNC machining is fast becoming the leading method for manufacturing medical parts. The medical industry requires precise and high-quality components. CNC machining makes it possible to create these parts with a high degree of accuracy, consistency, and speed. However, this technology is sophisticated, and understanding how it works is essential. The technology is versatile enough

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CNC Machining Ceramic

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Ceramic

CNC machining ceramics is a complex process that requires a comprehensive understanding of the ceramic material properties, cutting tool technology, and cutting parameter optimization. Machining ceramics offer several advantages over traditional metal machining processes, such as high strength and hardness, low coefficient of friction, and biocompatibility. Using computer-controlled automation methods such as CNC, manufacturers can

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CNC Material Materials

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Materials

CNC machining requires expertise in materials science to ensure the best results. CNC machining is an advanced manufacturing process that involves the use of computerized tools to produce complex and precise parts. When it comes to CNC machining, the selection of the right materials is crucial to the success of the project. Without the right

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CNC Machining Motorcycle Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Motorcycle Parts

CNC machining motorcycle parts requires skill, knowledge, and attention to detail, but the results can be truly impressive. By understanding the basics of CNC machining, the materials used in motorcycle parts, advanced techniques, design considerations, and tips for success, you can achieve great results in your work. Whether you are designing parts for a client

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Marine Aluminum Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Marine Aluminum Parts

When it comes to designing and creating CNC parts for boats or any marine applications, the material used plays a significant role in the effectiveness and durability of the components. Marine grade aluminum has become a popular choice for designers, and with good reason. This versatile material not only offers strength and resistance against corrosion,

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Anodizing Titanium

The Ultimate Guide to Anodizing Titanium

Anodizing titanium is a complex process, but with the right knowledge and equipment, it can offer significant benefits for a wide range of applications. By understanding the science behind anodizing, choosing the right method, and following best practices, you can achieve great results and enhance the properties of titanium even further. So why not give

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Hard Coasting Anodized Aluminum

The Ultimate Guide to Hard Coating Anodized Aluminum

Aluminum is a popular choice in many industries due to its lightweight, strength, and corrosion resistance. However, the surface of aluminum can be subject to wear and tear, and its properties can degrade over time. That’s why many designers opt for hard coat anodizing as a way to enhance the performance and longevity of their

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CNC Machining Aerospace Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Aerospace Parts

CNC machining has revolutionized the way aerospace parts are produced and assembled. With its precision and accuracy, CNC machining has become an essential tool in aerospace manufacturing. From creating intricate engine parts to crafting fuselage components, CNC machining is widely used in the aerospace industry. However, CNC machining aerospace parts is not a simple process

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Micro CNC Machining

The Ultimate Guide to Micro CNC Machining

In the world of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining, the quest for practicality and precision has led to the emergence of micro CNC machining. Unlike traditional machining, micro CNC machining refers to the production of parts with intricate and small features with precision and accuracy. This process has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by offering an

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Automotive Prototyping

The Ultimate Guide to Automotive Prototyping

Automotive prototyping is becoming increasingly popular among automakers and car enthusiasts. With the rise of technology and the demand for more advanced features, prototyping is necessary to ensure that cars are designed and developed to meet consumer needs and expectations. Automotive prototyping is an essential process in the development of cars and other vehicles. It

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CNC Machining Parts

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Parts

CNC machining parts is one of the most popular methods of manufacturing custom parts because the process is highly versatile, repeatable, and reliable—plus, it’s compatible with a wide variety of metal or plastic materials, from wood and plastic to foam , metals, and even ceramics. These CNC machined parts are common across various industries due

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CNC Prototyping

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Prototyping

CNC prototyping is an important part of new product development as it helps evaluate whether a design will look and function as expected. CNC prototyping technology has been developed for more than 70 years, and has long been the mainstay of modern production and is indispensable in every industry. CNC prototyping enables the manufacture of

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CNC Machining PTFE

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining PTFE/Teflon

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fluorinated synthetic polymer thermoplastic, most commonly known by the brand name Teflon. It is one of the engineering plastics used very widely in industrial applications. Due to PTFE’s chemical inertness, high melting point, and low coefficient of friction, rapid manufacturers often use PTFE to create custom parts in applications ranging from

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anodizing aluminum

The Ultimate Guide to Anodizing Aluminum and Other Metals

Anodizing aluminum is an electrochemical process that produces a wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant aluminum oxide coating on the surface of aluminum parts. Aluminum anodizing is an electrolytic process carried out in an electrolyte such as dilute sulfuric acid. Current is passed through the part, causing negatively charged oxygen ions in the electrolyte to be attracted to positively

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cnc machining peek

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining PEEK

PEEK (polyether ether ketone) is an advanced engineering plastic with several beneficial properties. These include high temperature elasticity, abrasion resistance, biocompatibility, ultra-high vacuum resistance, excellent chemical resistance, and suitability for CNC machining. PEEK is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic that can operate continuously at temperatures up to 260°C and is highly chemical resistant. It must be noted,

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cnc machining-delrin

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining POM

Polyoxymethylene (POM), commonly known as acetal or its brand name Delrin®, is an engineering plastic. Acetal (acetal), polyoxymethylene (POM), polyacetal (polyacetal), polyoxymethylene, these are its names, and the common ones are black and white. In the description that follows, the various names of the POM will appear randomly. Although POM is opaque in nature, it

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3D Printing Nylon Parts

The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing Nylon Parts

Nylon (aka polyamide PA) is a strong engineering plastic and a widely used polymer in additive manufacturing, known for its resistance to heat, abrasion, friction and chemicals. Nylon’s semi-crystalline microstructure provides an excellent stiffness-to-flexibility ratio, and it can be combined or enhanced with other materials to improve its performance and characteristics. 3D printed nylon parts

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Polycarbonate Vs Acrylic (PMMA), Which Is Better For Your CNC Project

Many industries require transparent plastic parts, such as automotive lights, light guides, etc. Polycarbonate and acrylic are popular materials for making optical and transparent parts. However, choosing between polycarbonate and acrylic for your CNC project can be challenging because the two materials have similar properties. Therefore, understanding the unique properties of these materials is critical

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CNC Machining PC (Polycarbonate)

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining PC(Polycarbonate)

CNC machining PC (polycarbonate) is a popular manufacturing method for creating precision PC plastic parts. Polycarbonate can be CNC machined using standard cutting tools, such as end mills and drills, and appropriate machining parameters, including cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut. As with any machining process, it is important to select the correct tool and parameters to avoid material damage and achieve the desired result.

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CNC Swiss Machining

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Swiss Machining

In the 19th century, the popularity of pocket watches was all the rage, and watchmakers had no problem creating them using traditional lathes. However, as wristwatches became more popular, traditional lathes were unable to manufacture the smaller components required for wristwatches than pocket watches. Everything changed when Swiss watchmaker Jakob Schweizer came up with a

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The Ultimate Guide to Chemical Finishing of CNC Machined Parts

All the finishing of a CNC machined part adds cost and manufacturing time to the part, but the right surface finish has the potential to bring your design vision to life. Surface treatments for CNC machined metal parts typically include various mechanical processes such as grinding, polishing and sandblasting, but chemical surface treatments such as

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CNC Machining ABS

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining ABS

CNC machining ABS is one of the great options for making parts. ABS material is currently the largest and most widely used thermoplastic engineering plastic. ABS organically unifies the various properties of PS, SAN and BS, and has excellent mechanical properties of toughness, hardness and rigidity. As a leading rapid manufacturer of CNC machining ABS

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CNC Machining Steel

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Steel

This article contains everything you need to know about CNC machining steel and various considerations for getting the best results. Steel is one of the most widely used metals in the world today. Steel is an iron alloy in which additions of carbon and other elements determine the specific alloy of the steel and its

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CNC Machining Magnesium

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining Magnesium

For many years, AN-Prototype has been focusing on CNC machining magnesium parts service. We primarily manufacture rapid prototypes, custom parts and small to medium batches. We can provide 3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis and CNC turning machining. All operations are performed in-house in our state-of-the-art machine shop. Once machined, we can measure/document the part and provide a

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CNC Machining Titanium

The Ultimate CNC Machining Titanium Service

CNC machining titanium parts has become increasingly popular in the aerospace, medical, automotive and energy industries. Titanium alloys have many unique properties and are often the best choice for CNC machined parts with special applications. Titanium has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, being 40% lighter than steel and only 5% weaker. Despite its popularity, titanium is

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CNC Machining Copper

The Ultimate Guide To CNC Machining Copper

CNC machining copper is one of the most efficient processes for manufacturing copper parts for various industries. Copper has high corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, strength, and ductility, so industries such as automotive, aerospace, and medical require a large number of CNC copper parts. In terms of CNC processing, pure copper has poor machinability

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