What Does A Machining Shop Do?
What Does A Machining Shop Do?

What Does A Machining Shop Do?

A machining shop is a facility equipped with tools to create precision metal parts. These machine tools may include lathes, mills, grinders, and other specialized equipment. The machining shop is typically staffed by skilled machinists operating the machine tools to produce metal parts to precise specifications. Most machine shops may be standalone businesses or part of a larger manufacturing facility.

Also sometimes called CNC machine shops they may produce metal parts for a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and military. These parts may include gears, shafts, bolts, and other components used in producing a wide range of products. The machining shop may also be responsible for repairing and maintaining the machine tools used to produce these parts.

The machining process generally involves using various cutting tools to shape and finish metal parts. The job often requires a high level of precision and attention to detail. Machining shops are a vital part of the manufacturing industry and play a crucial role in producing a wide range of products.

What Types of Projects Does A Machine Shop Work On?

Machining shops typically work for various customers, including manufacturers, engineers, and designers. They may also work for government agencies and research institutions.

Manufacturers often hire machining shops to produce parts and components for their products. These parts may be made to the manufacturer’s specifications or designed by the machining shop. Engineers and designers may also hire machining shops to produce prototypes or one-off parts for testing or special projects.

In addition to working for specific customers, machining shop services may also include producing parts for sale to a wider market. These parts may be standard components used in various applications, or they may be customized to meet the specific needs of a particular customer.

What Metals Are Normally Machined?

Most metals can be machined, including brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. Stainless steel is used mainly for precision machining since it offers a couple of advantages in terms of resistance to corrosion and strength. Also, the use of computer numerical control (CNC) machines helps produce high-precision parts.

Aluminum is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to work with. Another commonly machined material is brass, which is a relatively low-cost material.

Titanium is also commonly machined into various parts, mainly because it is corrosion-resistant but more expensive than other materials. However, titanium is harder to work with.

Copper is a highly versatile and strong material. It is also an excellent electrical conductor.

In addition to these materials, there are many other materials that can be machined, including glass, rubber, and wood. The choice of material depends on the finished product’s intended use and the material’s properties.

How Does Machining Work?

Machining is a manufacturing process in which a workpiece is shaped by removing material using various machining tools and techniques. There are many different machining processes, each suitable for different materials and applications. Some common machining processes include:


As the term suggests, the process involves rotating the workpiece against a sharp cutting tool. Generally, a lathe or a lathe machine, as it is called, is used in turning.

Milling machine

Milling employs a cutting tool that rotates against a stationary workpiece. The item is brought close to the cutting edges. It is considered a highly versatile tool and a technique employed by many machining shops.


Machinists will use drilling to drill a new hole or refine the existing hole. Usually, drill presses will be used for the job. But at other times drilling tools will be attached to a lathe or a mill to create multiple holes.


It is a highly popular machining technique and a reliable way to finish large existing holes. The technique results in an accurately polished hole that can be replicated across different workpieces.


It is a process of using a rotary cutting tool to smooth out the existing hole. The process removes material to even out the walls of an existing hole.

Other tools used are a grinding machine, a manual milling machine, etc.

Machining Techniques

Generally, machining techniques can be broken down into two main types, i.e., subtractive and addictive. As the term suggests, a machinist may use these techniques to either add or take away from the part in question to get the desired results.

Subtractive Machining

Subtractive machining is a manufacturing process in which material is removed from a workpiece to create the desired shape or finish. This is achieved by using various tools and techniques, such as cutting, grinding, and milling, to remove material from the surface of the workpiece.

Subtractive machining is often used to create precise and complex shapes that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve using additive manufacturing techniques.

Additive Machining

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a process of creating a physical object by building it up layer by layer from a digital file. This process contrasts traditional manufacturing techniques, which involve removing material from a solid block or sheet of material to create the desired shape. That’s why not all machine shops or machining centers, may use this technique.

In additive manufacturing, a digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The model is then used to control the additive manufacturing machine, which creates the object by depositing layers of material, such as plastic, metal, or ceramic, in a predetermined pattern.

Additive manufacturing has many potential advantages over traditional manufacturing techniques, including producing complex shapes and geometries, low material waste, and creating customized products on demand. However, it is only suitable for some applications and may not be as cost-effective as traditional manufacturing techniques for certain types of products.

Cast Technologies is proud to be one of the top machining shops in the United States. In addition to machining and CNC machining, Cast Technologies offers casting and finishing services. Contact them today for a project estimate.