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What is CNC Material?

To obtain high-quality CNC parts, it is necessary to master the relevant knowledge of CNC materials. What is CNC material? The most straightforward explanation is materials that can be used for CNC machining.


CNC materials not only need to have certain cutting performance but also need to meet the needs of the project.

For example, we want to use CNC machining technology to manufacture a metal knob. The following characteristics are required:

  • Rust is not allowed.
  • Without magnetic force.
  • It can be used for CNC machining.
  • Easy to perform surface treatment.

Metal materials that can be used to manufacture stainless knobs and can be cut by CNC usually include stainless steel, aluminum, brass, etc. But for metals that are easy to surface treat, there seems to be no better choice besides aluminum.

Aluminum alloy knobs not only prevent rusting, but are also easily cut by CNC machines, and most importantly, they are easy to perform surface treatment. Here are the aluminum alloy knobs we manufacture for Savannah customers:

CNC knurling turning aluminum knob
cnc aluminum turn signal knob

Aluminum alloy is a general term for alloys based on aluminum. The main alloying elements include copper, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and manganese, while the secondary alloying elements include nickel, iron, titanium, chromium, lithium, etc. Aluminum alloy has low density, but relatively high strength, approaching or surpassing high-quality steel, has good plasticity, and can be processed into various profiles with excellent conductivity, thermal conductivity, and corrosion resistance. It is widely used in industry, and its usage is only second to that of steel. It is an excellent CNC material.

Although metal CNC materials are more common in machining plants, we can occasionally see the presence of plastic CNC materials. The principle of CNC machining plastic parts is basically the same as CNC machining metal parts, both based on selecting the correct plastic material.

Common plastic CNC materials include PEEK, acrylic, nylon, rubber, ABS, etc.

These plastics can be cut by CNC machine tools, but they have different physical and chemical properties.


So, what is CNC material? You can understand it as metal or plastic that can be used for CNC machine tool cutting. But please don’t be limited to this. The reason why CNC machining is so popular is not only because of tight tolerances and good surface finish, but also because of a wide range of material choices.