What Is the Difference Between Die Casting and CNC Machining?

There are different types of methods for creating metal parts, however, two of the most popular ones are die casting and CNC machining. But how do you know which is the right process? The following reasons can help you in deciding which one to choose and how these two methods can work together.

How Does Die Casting Work?

Die casting uses different types of metal materials such as copper, aluminum, or zinc. This alloy of metals will be melted and added into a steel mold or die which contains the shape of the part that you want to create. After you have completely filled the die with metal, you need to cool it down. The metal will harden and turn into the shape that you desire. When done you can remove it from its mold and make any necessary assembly.

How Does CNC Machining Works?

CNC or Computer Numerical Control machining uses automation on most of its processes making it more efficient. This is just like sculpting a metal. The CNC robot will be programmed to cut the metal until the desired shape is produced.

Which One Should You Use?

You need to consider that die casting and machining can work together in order to develop the effectiveness of your production. Machining can be used on a die casting part to provide it with tighter tolerance. At the same time, you could also create significant features that cannot be done in die casting. Machining can even be used for creating the die or mold that will be used in die casting.

CNC machining is more appropriate for low volume parts because it does not require any tooling cost. However, for high volume parts that require constant reliability and consistency, the best option is die casting.

Nevertheless, if the part consists of several surface details, then die casting is the preferred choice. Surface details can be created directly into the die. So, when it comes out from the die, all the surface details are already added. This is a great option rather than machining them later on.

Metal Waste

Metal Waste
Another important thing to consider is the waste. When it comes to the die casting process, there is minimal waste since you are using almost all of the metals for the part. While in machining you will be left with lots of scrap metal. The good news is these metals can be recycled. However, it will require a certain recycling mechanism.

Quantity and Cost of Metal Components

If you require a high volume of consistent parts to be massively produced then die casting in aluminum or any other alloy is the best option. It is also more affordable. On the other hand, if you only require a small number of complex parts, then it is more effective to use CNC machining.

When deciding whether to machine or die-cast, you need to think about the cost, especially now that there are more advancements in technology. This means that there are only a few differences between these two processes. Due to the development of engineering, tight tolerance does not require a lot of machining operations anymore. As a result, the manufacturing costs for these metal parts are reduced. However, this reduction from production costs should not mean that the quality of the metal component will be sacrificed.

There are a variety of parts that can be processed through die casting. For instance, a two-piece design can be created by die-casting rather than going through three machining steps. Lessening the number of machining steps by choosing die-casting can help in reducing the manufacturing costs.

Surface Details of Metal Components

Surface Details of Metal Components

Most metal components will require some detailing on its surface. In most cases, this can help in providing grip. This is evident on razors, hand tools as well as weight training equipment. These details on the surface can also be used as a decoration. For instance, company logos or some important information.

Most often, these details can be machined separately through engraving or knurling. Nevertheless, die casting the metal surface can help in reducing the production time and cost. At the same time, it can also remove a whole step in the production process.

SEI Casting can maintain the quality of your metal component while reducing the cost. We are one of the leading aluminum die casters. We produce easy and complex parts made of Aluminum and Zinc. We use state-of-the-art technology on our metal castings. Whether you require a small or large quantity, please feel free to contact us at 408-374-1031. You can talk to one of our experts about your metal project.