Precision Machining Guide

What is Precision Machining?

Precision machining refers to the process that manufactures machines, parts, and tools that meet tight tolerance and high-precision requirements. It guarantees the functionality of these parts under very tight specifications in the modern manufacturing sector. This process produces both large and small components and machine tools that create objects in our everyday life. If these objects are made up of many small parts, we need precision machining to ensure that these small parts fit together precisely and function as intended.

Another way you can look at precision machining is that it capitalizes on the highest function of a tool, program, or equipment that pushes the limits of design capability and material science. When machining is performed under these conditions, the tightest tolerances can be yielded by these manufacturing parameters. That said, precision machining didn't just appear out of the blue. It also followed an ongoing evolution and advancement of technologies, which helped push the limits of machining processes. A defining example would be the incorporation of computer-controlled design that improved performance significantly and consistently, which is also why it is closely associated with the term "CNC machining".

How does it Work?

Precision machining is a process by which excessive raw materials are removed from an object while holding close tolerance finishes to create finished products. In other words, it is a subtractive process where custom software, engineered tools, and process steps are incorporated to work on these raw materials. Materials that can be machined include plastic, ceramic, metal, or composites, all of which can be used to produce fine-toned products. 

Precision machining usually works according to instructions provided by computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. These programs and the relative blueprints allow objects to be machined with tight tolerance. While many designs are ultimately engineered and computer-aided designs, they usually begin with hand-drawn sketches in the preliminary phases.


Experts in this field usually work with a variety of materials including bronze, glass, graphite, plastics, steel, and other metals. And the types of tools that are used with precision machining are usually dependent on the size of the production and the materials involved. 

This is why precision machinists must be experienced and adept in the machining process inside-out. They need to be able to assess the requirements of the project and determine what kind of materials and tools need to be utilized. In fact, they may even end up using any combination of grinders, lathes, drilling machines, milling machines, saws, and even high-end robotics to get the work done.

Requirements for Precision Machinist

And just a little bit about what kind of qualities a well-versed precision machinist should possess. A precision machinist needs to have excellent communication skills. He or she needs to be able to work with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills are a must since these skills ensure that the projects can always yield successful results. They should stay competent in the following aspects of the machining process, including CAD and CAM software, technical drawings, computer-aided machining, product specification, materials science, and metalworking theories.


To elaborate better on when you'd use precision machining, you typically need it when you need to remove raw materials from a product to create a finished product. You can use it to create an unimaginably wide range of products, items, and parts for any number of different objects of various sizes. 

One thing all of these objects intended for precision machining have in common is that they all require tight tolerances variation from part to part, meaning errors in the production of the pieces have to be kept at the very minimum. This is why this process features repeatability and a well-controlled production process.

Furthermore, precision machining allows parts and products to be designed to maintain extremely high tolerances and a high level of durability for the robust finishes of the products. What you need to realize is that not only is it required to produce parts precisely, but making sure that these parts can be produced with the highest level of consistency is also just as crucial.

Another application of precision engineering is when you need to repair or restore tools or components. This shouldn't be unfamiliar for those who take part in the manufacturing field because most machines, tools, and components all required calibration, grooving, or welding to restore them to their primitive state after using them for some time.

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