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What You Need to Know About Large CNC Machining

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    Large CNC machining is a subdivision of CNC machining directed towards making products of large diameter. Being a CNC machining process, it has many advantages such as high precision and accuracy. This is a reason it is well applicable in different industrial sectors. However, large CNC machining is not that straightforward. There is a need to understand the when, how and other things surrounding the manufacturing process.

    Large CNC machining

    In this article, you will get to know a lot about large CNC machining (also known as large diameter machining). You will get to know its applications when you should effectively use large diameter machining. Read on!!!

    Scenarios for Large Part CNC Machining

    Large part machining is a type of CNC machining directed towards making large machine parts. Like a regular CNC machining process, it is subtractive. Therefore, different machine tools are directed by a computer to remove parts of a very large workpiece. The unique thing about Large diameter machining is that it is not a straightforward process. Therefore, there is a need to understand some scenarios that play a huge role in the process. Before then, we will introduce its applications

    Applications of Large CNC Machining

    Many industries require CNC machining in making parts used in their products, tools, or machines. However, due to size, there is a limited number of industries using the process. Below are common industries that use the manufacturing process.

    • Automotive

    The automotive industry uses small-scale CNC machining for making their prototype vehicles. However, in real-time production, they favor large CNC machining in making parts used in their engine, shaft and other vehicle components. 

    • Aviation

    The aviation industry relies on large CNC machining because of high precision and accuracy. It is the better method because it offers on-demand replacement and upgraded parts of their machines.

    • Energy and Power Generation:

    In order to efficiently generate energy, there is a need for parts of large size. Manufacturing these parts requires properties excluded to CNC machining. Large CNC machining is the idea for the process because of the size of the products. Examples of such products are power generation engines and turbine casings.

    • Mining

    Equipment use in mining is strong and large. This is because of the stress associated with mining. Therefore, large diameter machining is the right process for making parts such as gear racks, ranging arms and gearboxes.

    • Oil and Gas

    Large CNC machining is crucial in drilling stations to make the large part of their equipment. Examples of such parts are the connecting rods, mud/fracking pumps, and gearboxes.

    Large Part CNC Machining Considerations

    large part cnc machining considerations

    Large CNC machining is not a straightforward manufacturing process. The reason for this is the difference in size, and that leaves many things into consideration.


    Making high-quality large parts of any products comes with understanding the conditions that can affect the design. Below are some conditions to note in making such parts:

    • Temperature

    Temperature is an important thing to note with large part machining. Generally, CNC machining generates heat. For example, one way it can generate heat is by friction. When temperature changes, it will lead to a change in workpiece dimensions.

    • Stress and Distortion

    By working on large parts using large CNC machining, there is a high chance of introducing stress into the process. As a result of stress, the manufacturing process can lead to workpiece distortion.

    • Work Zone

    Machines use in large parts machining must have a larger work zone and higher reach.

    The above conditions are critical to note. Therefore, you must note how to go about them before beginning the process. We discussed this under the setup option below.


    Preparing for large part machining comes with understanding the pieces of equipment required. It is also necessary to create a space that can accommodate large and heavy parts and machines. You can prepare for the process by doing the following:

    • Eliminate the Chances of Collisions

    Because of the size increase, there is a high chance of collision when machining large parts. Therefore, it is important to prepare against it by eliminating such tendency.

    A way of eliminating collision is by optimizing the CAD file. Optimization is first by checking the relations between the design and the enclosure’s interior. If there is a possibility of a collision, the CAD file is further optimized.

    • Support the Weight

    Working with a larger part means working with a larger weight. It is also important to prepare against the weight by using weight supports.

    • Use a CNC Router

    Since large parts machining means working with large parts with CNC machining, you can incorporate a CNC router in the preparation. CNC router is ideal for the process due to their big work envelopes.

    • Prepare Loading Equipment

    Loading equipment might not be one of the core tools needed for the large part machining process. However, they are important because they can help load and unload large and heavy parts difficult to carry.


    large part machining

    To effectively use large part machining, you must consider a proper setup and know the necessary tools for the process. The reason for this is the large part that the manufacturing process targets.


    There are many setups tweaks you can introduce into large part machining. Each one depends heavily on the part size. Below are a few setup tricks for a more straightforward operation.

    • Open Up the Machine

    Opening up the machine will allow you to work on large parts without an increase in temperature. You can also incorporate a cooling period between operations to reduce the temperature and ensure the part’s integrity.

    • Breakup the Operation into Segments

    While setting up the operation, if possible, break the parts into a small set to make the job easier. You can also incorporate this into the designing process.

    • Slid and Spin Big Parts

    Large parts tend to be hard to work with. For rectangular parts, you need to use an impromptu rig. The rig will allow you to work on different parts of the workpiece by sliding the parts on the impromptu rig. For circular parts, spin them to work on each side. 


    tools used in large part machining

    Tools used in large diameter machining are slightly different from standard CNC machining tools. While they work in the same scope as normal CNC machining, there is a need to acclimatize such tools to large diameter machining. Because of that, you will have standard large diameter machining tools such as large turnings, large cnc mills, large boring machines etc. However, there are other tools to enhance the operation further. Below are common ones used in the process. 

    • Layout and Moving Equipment

    As listed in the preparation process, you must incorporate loading tools. Example of such tools are forklifts, hoist, overhead cranes and rigging hardware. Using the tools depends on the size of the material you are using.   

    • Shapers

    Shapers are large CNC machining tools used in making flat surfaces, grooves, and angular surfaces. They utilize a cutting tool that oscillates for the cutting process. It cuts with a forward stroke while the return stroke brings the workpiece towards the shaper.

    • Planers

    Planers perform the same operation as Shapers differently. The workpiece is placed on a table below the planer. The planer is stationary, and as it is cutting, the workpiece is automatically fed bad into it. Planers are ideal for large diameter machining since they work better on longer workpieces or in better words large part machining

    • Grinding Machine

    A grinding machine is used in removing small metal parts by bringing the part into contact with a rotating high-speed abrasive wheel. A grinder is a very important tool in large diameter machining. However, the grinder must have a large surface area.

    • Power Saws

    Power saws are used in cutting shapes on metal parts. They are frequently used in large part machining for internal/external contour and angular cuts.

    Other materials include welding materials, lubricants, thermal control systems, and testing and inspection tools.  

    Make Rapid Direct Your First Choice for Large CNC Machining

    Making large parts using CNC machining comes with understanding many things. For example,  you need to worry about factors such as size, workspace, designs, preparation, etc., explained above.  The beautiful thing is that all this worry can be eliminated when you choose us at Rapid Direct. With us, these factors are simply requirements you check out.

    We have a maximum build envelope of 2000mm x 1500mm x 300 mm in size and. This makes us the right place to think of for your large CNC machining services.

    No matter how large your design is, you can use our instant quotation and get your quotations within minutes. Besides, we provide you with Design for Manufacturing analysis, which shows whether your design is feasible.

    We also have (ISO 9001:2015) certification, which shows how much we deliver to satisfy our customers’ wants. You also get to enjoy these benefits at a low cost and save 30% on average.
    Most importantly, we have qualified Engineers of reputable knowledge capable of answering your questions and giving you suggestions.


    Making large parts using CNC machining might be a little technical. However, this article demystified the manufacturing process. After going through it, you will understand the process and the little things you need for a smoother operation. In between, we hope you learned a few things about large CNC machining and will trust us at Rapid Direct with your project.


    What Tools Do I need for Large Part Machining?

    The tools you need depends on the operations you need to perform. Top tools you might need are turning machines, power saws, planers, shapers, drilling machine, etc.

    What Is the Difference Between Small Scale Cnc Machining and Large CNC Machining?

    The major differences between both are in their steps and requirements. Small CNC machining has a little requirement and straightforward steps that its counterpart.


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