Finding a Custom Machine Shop Offering 3D Surface Milling

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Finding a Custom Machine Shop Offering 3D Surface Milling - Monday, February 1, 2016

3D surface milling is a state-of-the-art custom machine shop technology that, when combined with the proper technical expertise, can create almost any free-form shape. The options with 3D surface milling are nearly endless—from the type of material to the final designs.

custom machine shop in Lafayette

Here at Digital Machining Systems custom machine shop we apply intelligent machining to clients in a wide range of industries.

Who Needs 3D Surface Milling

Our customers depend on our 3D surface milling technology to create the precise components that they need. These verticals include aerospace, electronics, medical, microwave, and other high-end industries, like those that involve molding tools and engineered tools and components.

Many of our 3D milling clients come to our custom machine shop because other shops simply don't have the tools or expertise to offer the precision and difficulty that their components require.

What Is 3D Surface Milling?

3D surface milling can create virtually any design on any surface—even the most complex assignments. By using computerized technology aided by CAD designs and software we can create free-form shapes and complex geometries based on multiple-axis milling tools.

The features of this custom machine shop technology include:


  • High precision due to computer assistance and automation
  • Automated workflows—once the CAD design is uploaded the machine can operate independently, which allows us to turn around jobs in shorter timeframes
  • Boundary control and collision checking from the digital toolpath simulations
  • Results you can see before we machine the material, thanks to computer software
  • Built-in gouge protection
  • Optimization of the overall cutting process
  • It avoids costly prove-outs
  • Steep and shallow machining options
  • Batch processing
  • The ability to calculate multiple simultaneous processes
  • High levels of machining efficiency


Like any type of technology it isn't all 100% positive. There are some downsides and limitations, which can help our clients know if our 3D surface milling services are right for their project—or if a different type of milling service would better suit their needs. Limitations include:


  • It can be more costly than other types of custom machine shop milling, due to the expertise and work involved in working with CAD drawings. Costs have come down significantly since the invention of this technology, but it can still be more expensive than simpler milling processes (although many simpler processes can't design the 3D parts required).
  • Not many shops specialize in 3D milling, which means these services can be difficult to find locally. Luckily, here in Lafayette we have these abilities, however surrounding areas and areas further away will need to transport their parts over larger distances, or have them shipped (although with quick forms, shipping parts can be delivered within a reasonable timeframe).
  • Special training is required to operate the computerized software (aka don't try this at home folks).


The Digital Way

Here at Digital Machining Systems we always look for the top technologies and techniques that will improve the quality and breadth of our custom machine shop work—which is why we specialize in CNC milling and 3D surface milling. The ability to create free-form and complex geometries across a wide variety of surfaces encourages our clients' engineers to let their creativity run wild—and no longer be constrained by having to turn their designs into real-world components.

Whether you're in the aerospace, oil & gas, pipeline, automotive, manufacturing, or other component and engineering-heavy industry, we can help get you the creative and difficult-to-machine parts that you need...on time, and on budget.

If you suspect that specific components in your design pipeline might require 3D surface milling—or are unsure—just contact us for a quote. One of our professionals can look over your project and make suggestions on the most efficient way to get it done.


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