Amazing companies choose PROTOTEK for high-quality parts done fast!
CNC Prototyping Services – Working with PROTOTEK
Deep capabilities in sheet metal and machining – design, prototyping, manufacturing, finishing, and even complex assemblies.
What do we do?
- Sheet Metal Parts & Assemblies in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- CNC Milled and Turned Parts in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- Complex Parts
- Same Day or Emergency Jobs – Call us Now!
About our fast, flexible personalized service:
- ISO-9001:2015 Certified, ITAR Registered
- Quotes within 24 Hours – Call us if you need it faster!
- Estimates with or without CAD Models
- We Want Complex Jobs – We Quote Parts Others Reject
Because every job is unique, and many require special considerations for materials, finishing, custom work, and/or urgent delivery – our CNC prototyping services quotes are turned around by seasoned estimators who confirm all aspects of your job. No automated quoting that works on cookie-cutter algorithms here to limit your project or your imagination. We figure out the best way to run your job first – and that’s why we deliver so many jobs that other shops turn away.
Our CNC prototyping capabilities start below but they don’t stop there. Want to talk to someone about a job, upload a file for quote or call us now.
NO CAD MODEL, NO PROBLEM
QUOTES WITHIN 24HRS
PARTS & ASSEMBLIES – ONE STOP SHOP
NO ORDER TOO SMALL
EXPEDITED PARTS IN 1-3 DAYS
PROTOTEK AS SEEN ON MANUFACTURING MARVELS®
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Laser Cutting - Punching
- Material Graining
- Drilling - Countersinking - Tapping
- Forming - Bending
- Hardware Insertion
- Mechanical Assembly
- TIG, MIG, Spot Welding & Weld Grinding
- Welded Assemblies & Frames
- Up to 5-Axis Milling
- Horizontal & Vertical Milling
- 9-Axis Mill-Turn
- CNC Routing
- Surface Grinding
- Lapping & Polishing
- Welding / Post-Weld Machining
- Heli-Coils / Hardware Inserts
Cutting & Engraving
- Wire EDM Cutting
- Waterjet Cutting
- CO2 Laser
- Quality Engineering Assistance
- CMM Inspection Services
- First Article and AQL Inspections
- Compliance and Document Control
Plastic & Composite Fabrication
- Plastic Thermoforming - Bending
- Cryogenic Deflashing & Deburring
- Plastic Welding
- Thermal, Adhesive, & Mechanical Bonding
- Vapor Polishing
- Radiological Film-Cutting Services
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Tooling and Fixture Fabrication
- Electro-Mechanical Services
- Welded, Mechanical, & Small Parts Assembly
- Wire Harnessing
- Laser Cutting – Polymers & Metals
- Insert Installation
- Powder Coating
- Chemical Agent Resistant Coating
- Silk Screening
- Laser Engraving
- Chem Film
- Black Oxide
- Bead Blasting
What is CNC Prototyping
To understand the concept of CNC prototyping, you must first understand the elements involved:
The term CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It uses a computer to automate the control of machining tools. CNC machining is the process of using a set of computer instructions to guide and control the milling tool’s movement or cutting. It includes various sub-units such as lathe machines, CNC metal bending machines, and CNC milling machines. A CNC machine follows a coded, programmed instruction to process a piece of material to fit requirements without the need for a manual operator to control the machining operation.
Rapid prototyping is the fabrication method or techniques used to create a scalable model or pre-production model of a part. It is used to either provide a visual representation of a design or test out a plan’s features.
In the end, CNC prototyping is leveraging CNC machines, technology and processes to produce a part intended to act as a prototype for further part development or mass production.
Services Involved with CNC prototyping
Laser Cutting: Laser cutting is the use of a laser beam to cut and remove material from a billet.
Drilling: CNC drilling produces round holes in material, typically for screws and bolts.
Tapping: Tapping requires cutting a thread inside a hole, which needs to be prepared with a tap drill and chamfered at the end.
Forming: This is the process that involves manipulating a workpiece into desired shapes without crimping the material.
Countersinking: This is used to enlarge a pilot’s rim. Countersinking is employed in drilling to allow a countersunk screw to sit flush with a material’s surface.
Welding: Welding is a merging process that joins two materials together, using high heat, i.e., to melt the parts together and to allow them to cool, causing fusion.
MIG and TIG: This is a type of welding that is proportional to the substance being welded and what the metal is being used for in the final production stage.
Hardware Insertion: This involves placing additional components such as fasteners often in ready-made holes.
Mechanical Assembly: This is the process of producing or putting together the mechanical components of a product using a variety of tools and equipment.
CNC Prototyping Materials and Material Characteristics
Prototypes can be made using a variety of materials. The best option will depend on the requirements of your specific project. Materials include:
|CNC Prototyping Materials||Grade / Alloy||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||CNC Machinability (AISI Rating)||CNC Prototyping Materials||Grade / Alloy||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||CNC Machinability (AISI Rating)|
|Brass||C46400||No||55000 - 88000||14500||82||30%|
|Silicon Aluminum Bronze||C64200||No||75000-102000||50000||N/A||60%|
Processes Involved in CNC Machining
Milling: Milling is the process of using rotary cutters to remove material by advancing a cutter into a workpiece. CNC milling uses a computer numerical control algorithm for automating its activities. There are two ways to mill in CNC machining: conventional milling (cutting chip increases in thickness) and climbing milling (cutting increases in thickness).
Routing: This is the process of trimming, cutting and shaping material at high speeds.
Turning: Turning is a material removal process where machines such as lathes remove parts of a rotating workpiece with a cutting device.
Surface Grinding: Surface grinding is the finishing process that uses a rotating abrasive wheel to smooth the flat surface of any metallic or non-metallic materials, to give them have a well-defined look, or to get the desired surface for a functional purpose.
Lapping & Polishing: Lapping and polishing is a machining process that involves rubbing two surfaces together to produce the shape, dimension or finishing of your choice.
Heli Coils/Hardware Inserts: These are screw thread coils formed with precision. They are made of stainless-steel wires and have a diamond shaped cross section. Heli coils like other hardware inserts are used to screw thread bushings.
Stamping vs Cutting/Fabrication
Stamping is also called pressing. It involves placing a flat metal sheet (either blank or coil form) into a stamping press. The press contains a tool and die which help form the metal into the desired shape. Examples of stamping techniques used to shape metals including blanking, bending, punching, coining, flanging and embossing.
Cutting/fabrication involves welding or drilling objects with CNC cutters. The individual parts formed by fabrication are then connected by rivets, adhesive or through welding. This process is used to produce metal parts that are easily customized to customer needs.
Prototek doesn’t currently offer stamping but can sometimes provide an alternate sheet metal fabrication method to achieve the same outcomes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a broker or a manufacturer?
We are a full service sheet metal and machining manufacturer with four U.S. production facilities across the nation allowing us to deliver your high-quality parts FAST.
Does PROTOTEK manufacture in higher-volume quantities?
We focus on prototypes to low-volume production and can do larger runs. All our parts, from one – to 100 – to 1,000+ are always delivered with production-quality finish.
What are your payment terms?
PROTOTEK offers Net 30 payment terms for established customers with good credit.
What file formats are required or suggested for requesting a quote?
We accept .STP, .DWG, .IGS, .PDF, Parasolid files, and more.
What if I need help with my part design?
Our estimators are on hand to discuss your specific job needs. Our expert team can help you move your project smoothly through the design process and on to delivery.
If I do not have a CAD model, can you quote/fabricate my parts?
Yes, we can work directly from your drawings. Additional engineering charge (NRC) may apply depending on complexity.
How do I submit my NDA and other document requests?
Submit your NDA, Approved Vendor and other document requests to your sales rep or estimator.
How long is a quote valid?
Our quotes stand firm for 7 days from the date of issue.
How fast can I get my order?
Lead time for standard orders is 10 business days. Expediting options are available, including emergency service – down to as fast as 1-2 business days, depending on complexity of work and materials.