When you send your contract manufacturing partner the print for your CNC machined part, don’t forget to include detailed notes about cosmetic surfaces.
Prints typically contain sufficient information to ensure that parts are machined to exact dimensional specifications. But all too often, cosmetic surface requirements are nowhere to be found.
At Reata Engineering, we assume the highest cosmetic standards for each surface of a part unless directed otherwise. It’s just part of our unwavering commitment to quality. But if only some of your part’s surfaces are cosmetic, you can save time and money by clarifying this information on your print.
Clarify Cosmetic Surfaces to Save Time and Money on Your Part
Proactive communication about cosmetic surfaces directly affects the cost and lead time of your contract manufacturing project. Here’s how:
- Cost. The more cosmetic surfaces there are on a part, the more you’ll pay for tooling. You’ll also pay for the additional labor it takes to successfully achieve numerous cosmetic surfaces. Save money on your project by clarifying which surfaces are cosmetic and which ones aren’t.
- Lead time. When we treat every surface like it’s cosmetic, we end up scrapping any part that isn’t 100% intact, which adds time to your project. If you tell us up front that only 3 out of 8 surfaces are cosmetic, we can focus our attention on these critical surfaces and spend less time on the non-cosmetic areas.
How Reata Defines Cosmetic Surfaces
What constitutes a cosmetic surface in CNC machining? Great question.
If a part surface is noted as cosmetic in the print, we’ll ensure that it’s 100% intact. By 100% intact, we mean that the surface will have NONE of these defects:
- Tool marks
- Rack marks (on plating)
Unless you specify otherwise in your print, we’ll manufacture each surface of your part to be 100% cosmetically intact.
If you do decide to clarify cosmetic surfaces in your print (and we hope you do!), you can also provide as many details as you would like about your specific cosmetic expectations. For example, some of our customers will note that a surface is cosmetic, but that up to 2 scratches is considered acceptable.
We hope you find this DFM tip helpful as you’re planning your next project. If you need contract manufacturing services, feel free to submit a quote—and don’t forget to clarify your cosmetic surfaces!