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Should You Choose Die-Casting or CNC Machining?
2021-06-30 14:35:47

Two of the most popular industrial processes used to manufacture metal parts are die casting and CNC machining. It is even possible to combine these two processes to obtain the best results. However, there are several important factors to consider when choosing one process over the other. Read on to learn when to use die casting and when to use CNC machining.


What is the difference between die casting and CNC machining?

Die casting involves melting metal and injecting it into a steel mold (die). CNC machining, or computer numerical control machining, automates the process by using robots to carve the part from the metal. Both processes are often used to make metal parts and accessories for objects we use every day, such as automotive and computer parts.

CNC Machining Die Forged Eccentric Wheel

CNC Machining Die Forged Eccentric Wheel

Should you choose die-casting or CNC machining?

Machine casting tends to be more expensive than die casting, but it depends on the type of part and the level of production. Typically, CNC machining is used to create molds and/or to add more complex features after the part is die-cast.

If you want to compare the different processes used to form a part, here are a few key determining factors.


Volume

If you are only producing a small number of parts, CNC machining has an advantage because it does not require tooling costs. On the other hand, when it comes to high volume production, die casting is a better choice for consistent quality and quantity. Die casting is best for durable mass production, while CNC machining is best for small production runs of particularly complex or oddly shaped parts.


Speed

Die casting is much faster than CNC machining and is easily repeatable. Even if machining is required after casting, it still takes much less time than machining a detailed part from a solid block of metal. This faster production cycle time makes die casting more reliable for producing large quantities. This means that CNC machining can shorten the lead time for producing small batches as soon as you have a digital model ready. It can also be faster when testing prototypes.


Accuracy

Die casting can form complex geometries with precision, but sometimes results in surface defects such as burrs or flying edges that require machining to clean up. CNC machining can produce finished parts with extremely high precision and tolerances, especially if they are small, highly customized parts. However, die casting is still an excellent choice for creating identical parts when surface details can be engraved into the master mold.


Waste

There is very little scrap metal left after die casting, which makes it more affordable. CNC machining leaves more scrap when cutting layers of metal blocks. If you are concerned about reducing waste, but prefer to use CNC machining, it is important to have a recycling system in place to reuse scrap metal.


Maximize your return

It's wise to be careful with your initial investment in a project, especially if you're on a tight budget. If you're not sure which method is best for you, it's best to discuss it with an expert. Bansheng is a leader in die casting throughout Europe and also offers in-house CNC machining.

Contact us today by email or phone to discuss your needs and find the most cost effective die casting and CNC machining services.


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