CNC Machining Applications in the Automotive Industry

CNC machining auto parts
Jack Lie CNC machining expert

Specialize in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, 3D Printing, Urethane Casting, and Sheet Metal Fabrication Services.

Cars or automobiles have been around since the 19th century. Their arrival altered the course of civilization by making quick personal conveyance available to huge portions of the population, spawning a new working population and ushering in a new facet of popular culture.

The industry of automobile manufacturing is presently geographically widespread. The United States of America was the dominant player in the manufacturing of automobiles in the early part of the 20th century. However, nowadays, cars are manufactured on a massive scale all over the globe. For example, China is presently the biggest maker of road vehicles in the world. In only one year, 2018, there were 81.5 million automobiles sold internationally.
The methods used to manufacture automobiles have seen tremendous development in the century and a half since the invention of the first car. Most of the assembly job was performed by hand when mass manufacture of vehicles started, around when Ford produced the legendary Model T.

However, since the 1960s, robots have become more popular. These machines can do tasks like welding and assembling in a far shorter amount of time than is feasible with just human hands.
The technique of CNC machining, carrying out activities such as drilling and boring with computers and automation, currently serves as a viable choice for the prototype and production of specific automobile components. This procedure involves carrying out tasks like drilling and boring. The milling of automotive parts is as common as it is useful, and many automotive supply chains rely on OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that provide CNC machining services.

CNC machines take a digital file and convert it into computer instructions. These instructions are then sent to a powered tool like a drill, lathe, or mill. The block of material, known as the workpiece, is transformed into a final product by use of the machine tool, which, compared to traditional machining components, can provide a much higher degree of precision.

Which Auto Parts Are Produced Using CNC Machining?

CNC machining auto parts


Several essential components of a car’s internal combustion engine may be manufactured with the help of CNC machining, which encompasses a variety of procedures such as CNC milling, CNC turning, wire EDM, and others. For instance, a massive block made of aluminum alloy may be turned into an engine block (also known as a cylinder block), which is the name given to the metal framework that makes up an engine’s cylinders and allows moving pistons to change position.

Programming the CNC machine takes a significant amount of time and calls for a high degree of ability. However, once the machine has been programmed, it is prepared to carry out its instructions without any more support. Moreover, it allows for machining numerous engine blocks in succession without a considerable increase in the required work.

Techniques of CNC machining are often used in producing cylinder heads, which are vehicle components that surround the cylinders located above the cylinder block.

CNC machined car lights


Machining aluminum is among the most effective uses of CNC technology in the automobile industry. Nevertheless, other key components may be made from materials like acrylic glass or poly methyl methacrylate, often known as PMMA.

Manufacturing companies may generate illumination for a car, such as its headlights and interior lighting, by machining PMMA.  Even though the CNC milling of these acrylic components is followed by grinding and polishing, the process is still rather quick, enabling automotive manufacturers to prototype new light fixtures for their vehicles rapidly.
PMMA is a versatile material fashioned into various items, including windows, transparent shields, aquariums, and other containers. It is often used as a shatter-resistant substitute for glass.

Other Components

Machining for the automotive industry may produce a wide variety of additional automobile parts, such as bushings, valve retainers, components for the fluid system, carburetor housings, and suspension and exhaust elements, amongst others.

As computer-aided design (CAD) makes it possible to modify part designs rapidly and fabricate custom parts, the manufacturing technology is also especially helpful for customizing vehicles and their particular auto parts. It is especially true for the process of customizing an entire vehicle.

CNC Machining in the Automotive Industry: Advantages


Speed appears to be one of the major benefits of CNC milling automotive parts over traditionally cutting them. Because a computer is responsible for machining instead of a person, there is no need to consider human limitations in the process, such as weariness. Meanwhile, when producing large quantities of a product, the speed benefits of CNC become very obvious. The computer instructions may be repeated as often as required to get the desired result.

On the other hand, conventional machining may be more efficient in some circumstances, such as when there is a need to produce just a single unit of the item. In situations like this, the amount of time required to develop the computer instructions can end up being longer than the amount of time needed to make a single component manually.

Accuracy and Precision

The accuracy and high precision that can be achieved with CNC machining is another reason car manufacturers prefer the method. Due to the digital and automated nature of the process, there is a low probability of inaccuracy occurring, and the most accurate settings for CNC machining accuracy may produce tolerances of 0.001 inches.

Because a malfunctioning engine or other vital components might have significant repercussions for the end user, the automobile industry often requires such precise tolerances, which is quite understandable given the nature of the sector. Even while prototype CNC parts may get away with having looser tolerances, precision machining of automobile components is often necessary to produce metal parts that will be utilized in the finished product.


When a manufacturer has to create a big volume of a single component, CNC machining is especially advantageous since the same task can be completed several times without causing discrepancies between the pieces. It is not unusual for there to be a desire for enormous quantities within an industry that produces and sells 81.5 million automobiles annually. This demand is often accompanied by stringent quality control throughout the production process.

Since CNC machining is less labor-intensive than the preparation step (part designing, producing G-code, and choosing materials), it is more economical when coping with greater numbers.

CNC Machining Automotive Parts Manufacturer

To satisfy customers’ diverse demands, Runsom consistently keeps ahead in the automotive and motorcycle manufacturing industry and employs comprehensive manufacturing processes such as 3-, 5-axis CNC machining techniques for an array of complex automotive parts.

Get an instant quote or reach out to us to see how Runsom Precision speeds up your automotive projects.

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