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Is there any internet based place that will do custom precision CNC milling of metal? Answered

My friend has an Airsoft pistol that he spent tons of money on, full of custom parts. The upgraded system is so powerful, though, that it breaks plastic cylinders. He was wondering if there is any online based company that would make him a clone of the cylinder, with exact precision, except out of aluminum or titanium. Any ideas?

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Aluminum would be best in terms of machinability and price along with weight and strength, Ti would cost alot more and in some cases is harder to machine. From what you've said, I would go with Aluminium, turn the cylinder on a lathe, mill the mounting pieces, and TIG/MIG weld them on, and do any fininish machineing on the mill or not at all. That being said, I'd have to see what you wanted to make, but from the sounds of it, that may be the best route to take. I still think that most of the part could be turned on a lathe and finish machined on a mill with no welds, just depends on what you have availible for the job. Of course what it really all boils down to is the budget you have for the project. If you have enough, get it CNC'd with whatever material you want, just adjust the project to your budget.

It is a small part, only about the size of my thumb, so the billet and part from aluminum would probably be pretty small.

If it's that small, CNC would be the way to go IMO

Do you have a photo of the part? Milling it may not be the best way to start, or it likely will need a combination of milling and turning.

I will contact my friend and try to get him to link me to a picture.

Have you talked to Steveastrouk?

He has a whole workshop full of the tools for this kind of job.

I will contact him, thanks for the tip.

I would check out emachineshop.com, you download their CAD software and it lets you build, price, and order. That being said, depending on what you want, it can be expensive. But worth a look for sure.

Oh and if nothing else, go to Harbor Freight or place like it and get a digital caliper, take good measurments of the part you want to make. Make a good drawing of it. Since you say it's a cylinder, I think a lathe would be a better/cheaper option then CNC. Check around for a local machine shop, in this world of the high tech, sometimes the old school way is still the best option.

Well, it's not a true cylinder, there are some mounting pieces on the sides, so it isn't fully cylindrical, that's just the name of the gun part.