How to Know if Swiss Machining is Right for your Part or Component

How to Know if Swiss Machining is Right for your Part or Component

How to Know if Swiss Machining is Right for your Part or Component

If you have a blueprint for the precision machined part you are responsible for sourcing and believe that CNC Swiss machining is the best production process, you should contact Limea Precision right away. Finding a supplier equipped with optimum machining capabilities is challenging when you are not a trained machinist. Many machined parts can be manufactured in various ways on many types of equipment, but if that equipment is not a good match for your specific part, you will not source the best price or parts.

As a quality CNC Swiss machining provider, we make custom-turned parts and work closely with engineers and buyers daily to create a plan for providing them with the parts and components they need to be completed. Efficiently identifying the most effective type of machining for a specific part’s complexity, quantity, and material requires a high level of expertise and experience. Many machining shops specialize in various kinds of machining, and there is really no one-size-fits-all solution where machining is concerned.

Our experts offer these general things to consider about CNC Swiss machining. The closer your requirements and part match these criteria, the higher the likelihood that Swiss turning will be the best process for the job. It is essential to consider the print and long-term and short-term quantity requirements to make the most informed decision. Things you need to know:

  • The biggest outer diameter
  • Specific quantities needed now and for the future
  • Part features
  • Part material
  • Tightest tolerances for the print
  • Finish requirements where specified

To understand things you need to know, here is how to tell if CNC Swiss machining might suit your particular application.

Check the outer diameter.

All Swiss screw machines are designed for creating relatively small components and parts, though they are available in various sizes. In most cases, the machine ‘size’ refers to the maximum OD able to be fed through the machine. While it may be possible to machine your .25″ OD part with a 1.25″ OD Swiss machine, you will likely have better cycle times and lower costs using a .393″ or smaller screw machine. Most machining companies have Swiss machines that are 32 mm (1.25″), 20 mm (.787″), and 10 mm (.393″). Having a variety of Swiss screw machines helps optimize the part's manufacturing with the best-suited machine for the job. There is nearly always an optimal machine for a job, though most parts can be made on all three machines.

Number of parts needed now and for the future

Swiss machining utilizes CNC set-up, programming, and tooling to create new parts. Most machining businesses build these factors into the price per part, while other companies separate it as a separate line item. Regardless, there are costs associated with the production of every new part. Experts estimate the cost range to vary from around $100 to $1200. The higher the number of components in a production run, the lower the price per piece is in most cases. If you have an early-stage prototype that is likely to change a lot over time, CNC Swiss machining is likely not the best option for you. However, if you are confident that your print will go into production with numbers in the thousands or millions, Swiss machining may be perfect for the job.

Part features

In most cases, the more complexity involved with a part, the better the likelihood that Swiss turning will be appropriate for production. Features including knurling, slotting, milling, and splining can typically be performed in a single program, so parts are complete directly from the machine. In addition, a CNC Swiss machining operator can give you guidance on the possibilities available for your parts.

Part material

CNC Swiss machines can work with a wide variety of materials. However, material availability is critical if lead-time matters to you. If you know nothing about the material required for a print, it is helpful to research it to see if it is commonly available in a bar. The raw material needed to create Swiss parts is typically round bars in an expanded outer diameter with a length of 12’. Contact a CNC Swiss machining company for more information on part materials.


The features should specify the tolerances required on the model or print. CNC Swiss turning is likely your best option when tolerances are particularly tight. Wider tolerances paired with high volumes and simple features may be more cost-effective with other types of machining. Again, contact a CNC Swiss machining contractor when you have questions about tolerance possibilities.

Finish requirements

Swiss screw machines offer a wide range of finish possibilities. However, the higher the finishing number, the rougher the finish will be. When a finish requirement is exceptionally high, meaning that a fine finish is unnecessary, and the volume is incredibly high, CNC Swiss machining is likely not your best option. Contact a Swiss machining specialist for more information on possibilities for specific finish requirements.

Contact Limea Precision today for more information on whether Swiss machining is the best option for your part or component.

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