Materials used for CNC milling generally fall into three broad categories: plastics, soft metals, and hard metals. Some examples of materials include aluminum, bronze, copper, ceramic, plywood, steel, stone, wood, and zinc.



Both soft metals and hard metals are used in CNC milling. Soft metals like aluminum and bronze are great for CNC milling because they chip easily and are resistant to corrosion. They are commonly used in the production of aircraft parts, construction materials, medical components, gears, shafts, etc. Hard metals such as steel and stainless steel are popular alternatives to aluminum in CNC machining. Due to their strength and temperature resistance, they are relatively easy to use.


Plastic is another common material used in CNC milling. They are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and can be molded into complex shapes. They are commonly used in industries such as automotive, medical and consumer products.


Ceramics are used in CNC milling because of their hardness, heat resistance and electrical insulation properties. They are commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive and medical.

Timber and Plywood

Wood and plywood are easy to cut and shape, so they can be used for CNC milling. They are often used in industries such as furniture manufacturing and construction.


Glass is used in CNC milling because of its transparency, heat resistance, and electrical insulation. Commonly used in electronics, automotive, medical and other industries.

Composite materials

Composite materials are used in CNC milling because of their strength, lightweight, and corrosion resistance. They are commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive and marine.

Choose the right material for your project

Several factors should be considered when selecting materials for milling applications. These include the machinability of the material, the desired properties of the final product (such as strength, weight and corrosion resistance), throughput and material cost.

For example, if high throughput is required, a material that is easy to process and relatively cheap would be ideal. On the other hand, if the end product needs to have high strength and corrosion resistance, hard metal or composite materials may be the best choice.

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