When a specialized shape, component, part, fixture or fitting is required, there are really two basic options to consider. The first is to choose stock aluminum extrusions and machine the part, and the second is to consider a custom extrusion.
Both of these options have pros and cons to consider. By taking a closer look at the specific part or piece you need, the amount of machining required, and the time and cost factors, you can determine if stock aluminum extrusions or custom extrusions are the best option based on a set of standard comparisons.
When it comes to comparing the price of stock aluminum extrusions and custom extrusions there are more than a few things to consider. The first is obviously the cost of creating the custom die to your specifications versus having the parts machined in a CNC shop. With top custom extrusion suppliers, an existing die may already be available, but even with custom development the cost can be relatively low.
However, there are other costs to consider. Transporting stock aluminum extrusions to the machining shop instead of ordering the custom extrusions right from the supplier will add more to the total shipping cost as well as the actual cost of the part.
Ordering stock aluminum extrusions that will be further machined and processed may lead to an increased waste factor. However, if there is no need for significant machining or if the machining is very simple the waste may be minimal.
Typically a top CNC shop or on the job production has minimal waste once the prototype has been developed and the system is set correctly. When ordering custom extrusions you are limited to what to do with any order overages you may have, while stock aluminum extrusions can be used for other projects requiring either flat, round or square bar.
With both stock aluminum extrusions and custom extrusion precision sawing can be completed at the distributors to save time when the parts and pieces are delivered. Eliminating cutting or sawing on-site will help in minimizing waste as well for both options.
There may be additional time required to plan for machining of stock aluminum extrusions, but when projects are coordinated effectively and efficiently this can all be accounted for and built into the timeline, ensuring materials are delivered when needed.
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