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Rapid CNC Prototyping Service

CNC prototyping is a manufacturing process that uses CAD software and CNC machine tools to precisely cut materials and make prototypes. These prototypes are used to test design and performance and are widely used in various industries such as automotive, aerospace and medical.

Why Choose CNC Machining for Rapid Prototyping

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Structural Integrity

CNC-machined parts exhibit higher strength and better match the mechanical and material properties of the finished product compared to 3D-printed parts. Structural integrity—defined as the strength, stiffness, and hardness of a material—is particularly crucial. In additive manufacturing, imperfect layer fusion can lead to voids, porosity, or layer displacement, compromising the final product's integrity. In contrast, CNC machining carves prototypes from a solid, uniform material, significantly reducing the risk of geometric discontinuities.

Tight Tolerance

CNC machining excels at producing parts with stringent tolerances, achieving precision up to one-thousandth of an inch. By comparison, 3D printing typically offers tolerances within a few thousandths of an inch, a notable difference. CNC machining is ideal for creating precision prototypes with complex geometries and tight tolerance requirements.

Dimensional Accuracy

Whether using plastic or metal, CNC machining provides superior dimensional accuracy over other rapid prototyping methods. It easily produces parts with intricate geometric shapes while maintaining high precision. 

Material Selection

CNC machining accommodates a wide range of materials, from soft and malleable to hard and rigid, including metal alloys, wood, and plastics. This versatile method can handle nearly all solid materials.

Product Size

CNC machining can produce large parts. For instance, the world's largest CNC machine can handle parts up to eight feet tall, showcasing its capability in manufacturing large components. This ability to produce large parts without numerous assembly steps is a significant advantage for prototyping. While there are also large-scale 3D printers, CNC machining remains the preferred choice for large parts production.


Prototype CNC machining services are ideal for mid-stage functional prototypes. Companies like Lori expedite development cycles and enable rapid prototyping by offering instant online quotes and fast delivery times.

CNC Rapid Prototyping Process

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With the rise of digital manufacturing, CNC machining has become an excellent choice for rapid prototyping, especially for precision prototypes. Here are some common CNC machining processes used in rapid prototyping:

CNC Turning

CNC turning is the opposite of milling. In this process, the material being processed rotates while the cutting tool remains stationary. The tool is applied to the rotating material to remove metal chips, resulting in high precision.

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CNC Milling

Milling removes material using a rotating grinding wheel, enhancing the precision of machining metal parts or assemblies. This process also achieves a high level of surface quality.

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CNC drilling machines automate the task of drilling precise holes, offering an economical solution for projects requiring accuracy and consistency.

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Grinding involves using a rotating cutting tool to achieve high precision and tight tolerances. CNC milling, which is a form of grinding, can handle a wide variety of materials and produces even the most complex parts quickly and accurately.

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What Materials Can Be Used For CNC Prototyping?

There are many types of materials used in CNC prototyping, and different types of materials are suitable for different needs and application scenarios. Here are some common metal and plastic materials:


Metal: Aluminum alloy, steel, stainless steel, copper, magnesium alloy, zinc alloy, titanium alloy


Plastics: ABS, PC, POM, PMMA, PA, PTFE, etc

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  Applications of Rapid CNC Machining Prototypes

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Many industries benefit from the precision and speed of CNC machining for prototyping. Some of the most common industries that use CNC for prototyping include:




Military and Defense


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