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Manufacturing/Machining Companies

  1. Mar 3, 2014 #1
    Hello. I am looking to get some complex aluminum geometries manufactured. The mostly likely case is that these parts will have to be made on a CNC machine.

    Does anyone have any recommended companies IN THE UNITED STATES that is pretty reliable in terms of lead time and pricing?
    I can find a bunch of companies online, but I don't know who's good and who's not.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2014 #2


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    Hi pyroknife. I'd suggest contacting about 6 to 8 machine shops in your area and sending them your drawings for the parts and ask for quotes. Depending on where you're at, you may need to look up to a hundred miles or more away to get enough shops for quote. Give them quantities, but if you're not sure how many you need, put 2 or 3 values down from a low figure to a high figure and cover a range.

    When they get back to you, don't just look at cost, look at their responsiveness and go visit one or two of the top ones. Ask for examples of parts they've made that are similar to yours. Look at the machines they have to see if they appear to be the right kind of machines to make the parts with the precision you're looking for. Come up with a list of questions for them and consider spending an hour or so at the shop. If you have little experience with how things are manufactured, talk to them about it and see if they can make any recommendations on how to improve the design for manufacturability. But think about what you want to do and what you want to see. Might want to bring someone else along as well, just because 2 heads are better.
  4. Mar 3, 2014 #3
    Hi. Thanks for the reply. I have called up some local companies, the majority of them are booked, so I thought I'd try some non-local ones.
    I got a quote from a big company called "proto labs." They have very fast lead times and considered a pretty big company. I was just wondering if there were any others like these, big, well-reputed companies.
  5. Mar 3, 2014 #4
    In what quantity? Do you need just one batch of parts? Is the design a single piece, or multiple pieces requiring assembly? What is the general size of each piece (10 mm3, 500 mm3?)
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