Precision CNC Machining produces extremely tight cutting tolerances and/or very fine surface finishes for finished parts. Using complex Computer Numerical Control (CNC) automation processes, machine tools operate with little margin for error.

For example, micro-engineered parts for industries such as aerospace, electronics, and telecommunications may often require cutting tolerances between 0.013 mm and 0.0005 mm or finishes less than 32 Ra.

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E-Fab provides multiple types of micro CNC miniature and micromachining services including CNC routing and CNC Drilling services. Our CNC micromachining processes create high-quality finished parts that meet or exceed exacting specifications.

To learn more about our precision CNC machining and CNC routing services, contact us now.

 

CNC Machining at E-Fab

  • CNC Drilling
    CNC drilling uses a drill press to create precise holes at a set depth. E-Fab specializes in precision small-hole drilling and micro-drilling to produce blind vias, thru-holes, and buried holes. We do this to promote conductivity between copper layers when plating thru is required. Drilling also facilitates conductive via fills and may be used to fix component positions.
  • CNC Routing
    CNC routing creates grooves, slots, or small details on a part. A cutting bed secures and supports the material while the routing tool shapes the part.

    These CNC micromachining processes are often used for smaller parts and require special attention to detail. E-Fab primarily drills and routes thin metal parts, flex circuits, and rigid-flex circuit board applications. We can also drill microwave components, Kapton, and copper-clad surfaces.
  • CNC Turning
    CNC turning—sometimes called subtraction machining— secures rounds or blocks of material in a chuck and rotates them. A cutting tool attached to a central turret removes and shapes the part to design specifications. Several different tools may be used to create holes, slots, or other details.

Materials and Capabilities

Beyond precision CNC machining and CNC drilling services, E-Fab makes the production process more cost-effective and less wasteful through the work of our in-house engineers. Our experienced engineers can assist you with material suggestions and design changes to streamline your process from conception to completion.

Many of our customers need finishing operations for their parts. We offer:

  • Thin plating in black oxide
  • Gold plating
  • Nickel plating
  • Anodized Type II or Type III
  • Powder coating
  • Custom finishes

We also can handle deburring, chamfering, and thru-hole plating. If we can’t do it in-house, we have established relationships with a reputable network of suppliers.

Some of our machining capabilities are as follows:

 

Drilling
Hole types Blind vias, thru-holes, buried holes
Hole sizesMinimum 1/3 of substrate thickness
TolerancesTypically ±0.002, depending on design
Board thicknessTypically 0.005” to 0.125”
Board size12 x 18, larger designs possible based on design
Line widthDepends on clad thickness, generally no less than 0.005”
PitchDependent on hole diameter
Material typesSee below
Routing
TypesPerimeter
CapabilitiesUp to 0.125” with high performance laminate

High-Frequency Laminates

We also source a broad range of laminate materials, which we can process to the unique specifications of our customers. Our laminate options and their typical applications include:

  • CuClad® 217/233/250

    • Airborne/ground-based RADAR systems
    • Automotive: Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC)
    • Base station antennas
    • Commercial and defense communication systems
    • Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA)
    • Lumped element filter designs
    • Radome and frequency selective surfaces (FSS)

    Note: CuClad 233 CTE value in-plane matches the aluminum used for aircraft structures.

    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • IsoClad® 917/933

    • Airborne and ground-based RADAR systems
    • Conformal antennas for defense electronics
    • Multi-helical antennas for satellite communication (radio and telephony)
    • Radome and FSS


    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • DiClad® Series
    • Airborne/ground-based RADAR systems
    • Antennas for commercial communication systems
    • Lumped element filter designs
    • Next generation communications systems


    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • RO3000®

    • Automotive radar applications
    • Cellular telecommunications systems (power amplifiers and antennas)
    • Direct broadcast satellites
    • E-band point-to-point (P2P) microwave links
    • Global positioning satellite antennas
    • Patch antenna for wireless communications
    • Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags
    • Surface mount RF components


    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • RO4000®

    • Automotive radar and sensors
    • Cellular base station antennas and power amplifiers
    • Low noise block (LNB) for direct broadcast satellites
    • Microwave P2P links
    • RFID tags


    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • RT/duroid®

    • Airborne and ground-based radar systems
    • Military radar systems
    • Millimeter wave applications
    • Missile guidance systems
    • Space satellite transceivers


    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.
  • TMM® Laminates
    TMM® thermoset microwave laminates from Rogers Corporation possess mechanical and electrical stability, copper matched coefficient of thermal expansion, low thermal coefficient of dielectric constant, and dielectric constant uniformity. These features provide ultimate reliability in micro-strip and strip-line applications. TMM laminates offer key fabrication benefits over alumina substrates since they are available in larger, copper-clad formats, which facilitates the use of standard printed circuit board (PCB) subtractive processes.
    This product information has been provided by The Rogers Corporation.

Microwave & RF Laminates

  • Taconic Advanced Dielectric Division
    Fabricated from woven lightweight fiberglass, Taconic TLY laminates feature increased dimensional stability when compared to PTFE fiber-reinforced composites. The mechanical stability of this laminate makes it an ideal choice for high-volume production. A low dissipation factor supports antennas in millimeter wave frequencies and automotive radar equipment operating at 77 GHz.

    Applications include:

    • Aerospace
    • Automotive radar
    • LNBs, LNAs, low noise converters (LNC)
    • Ka, E and W band applications
    • Power amplifiers
    • Satellite/cellular communications


    This product information has been provided by Taconic.

Dupont Pyralux: High-Performance Flex and Rigid Flex Laminates

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • FAQs
      1. What is precision CNC machining? Precision CNC machining is a subtractive process of excess, raw material from a workpiece while holding tight tolerances, to create a finished product. This process involves turning, cutting, and electrical discharge machining. At E-Fab, our CNC machining is limited to drilling and routing (cutting through workpieces).
      2. How precise is CNC machining? At E-FAB, our CNC machine's tolerances are min. ±0.001” depending on the overall size. Most CNC machining service providers can only fabricate tolerance ranges from ±0.0002” to ±0.0005”
      3. What is the difference between CNC machining and precision machining? The big difference between CNC machining and precision machining is the name. Precision machining achieves its tolerances and complex geometric cuts through the use of automated computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools.
      4. What is precision machinery? Precision machinery uses advanced, computerized machine tools to achieve demanding tolerances and execute complex geometric cuts with excellent reproducibility and precision.
      5. What is CNC routing? A computer numerical control (CNC) routing is a computer-operated cutting machine used to cut various materials such as aluminum, wood, composites, steel, glass, plastics, and foams. A design is imputed into the CNC machine and is used to ensure holes are drilled in the same position on every piece that passes through the machine.
      6. How much is a CNC routing machine? Most CNC machines range from tens of thousands of dollars, a new higher-end CNC routing machines cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000. However, mid-range to high-end machines can be purchased used around $30,000.
      7. How do you use CNC routing?
      a. Step one: The machine and its components must be plugged in and powered on. Before starting up the machines, the dust collector must be clean.
      b. Step two: Gather the tools required for the design, such as blades, flutes, and shapes.
      c. Step three: Load the base material onto the table and position it along the X-Y-Z axes.
      d. Step four: CNC routing operates on a G-code, a programming language for the machine's tools to move according to coordinates and the speeds of the tools.
      e. Step five: Press start
      8. What does CNC drilling mean?
      a. CNC drilling utilizes rotating cutting tools to produce round holes, typically made to accommodate screws or bolts, in stationary workpieces.
      9. Can a CNC machine drill holes? Yes, CNC machines have holders that adapt to different size tools such as drills, endmills, and other cutters. This computer-operated machine ensures accuracy, precision, and identical cuts if the project requires more than one cut.
      10. What is a CNC drilling machine used for? CNC drilling offers several advantages due to its high accuracy, versatility, and reproducibility. CNC drilling can be used with a wide range of materials, from plastic to wood to metal, since it can accommodate multifile drill bits.

    How E-Fab Stands Out

    E-Fab is ISO certified for quality assurance and has an established compliance program that meets ITAR requirements. We’ve invested heavily in state-of-the-art inspection equipment that gives us the capability of checking tolerances to +/- 0.001 inches. We provide first article inspection and in-depth detailed inspection data to each client.

    At E-Fab, we aren’t afraid of difficult projects, we embrace the challenge. With our skilled in-house engineers, we are often able to find solutions for vexing design and fabrication problems.

    Contact us or request a quote today to learn more about our precision CNC machining and CNC drilling services.

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