What kinds of parts need Swiss machining?

Swiss machining is a great way to make a lot of small, precise parts cost-effectively, but it’s helpful to know what goes into the costs and what parts are a good fit Swiss machining before you send your first request for quote. When we make a Swiss part, there’s an up-front investment, so the cost per piece goes down as volumes go up. Every job will be programmed into the CNC controls and tooling may need to be purchased. Some parts have special threads and other features that may require special inspection gauges. These costs are part of a one-time tooling charge. We’ve found that be breaking these investments out on a separate line, you get a more accurate reflection of costs and typically better pricing over the long-term.

When getting a quote for a prototype, plan on requesting a quote for estimated production quantities as well. You may be surprised to see how much lower the price per piece goes, and will want this to be a consideration in choosing your partner for machined parts.

Consider Swiss machining for your part if it’s:

  • Less than 1.25″ OD
  • Requires tolerances +/-.001″ or less (the parts need to be consistantly the same)
  • Has complex features
  • Relatively high length to OD ratio
  • Cannot be made on a multi-spindle screw machine (which uses form tools instead of inserts)
  • Has the potential demand over 5,000 pieces/year

Even if your part only meets 2 or 3 of these criteria, it still may be a fit. Send us your RFQ and we’ll help or visit What is Swiss Screw Machining  for additional history on this kind of machining as well as our capabilities.

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CNC Swiss Screw Machines

Swiss Screw machines with 12′ bar loaders for continuous production of small machined parts.

CNC Swiss Screw Machining has lots of tooling options for complex parts. Here are a few examples of the “live tooling” that works on a part in sub-spindle while another part is being turned in the main spindle.

Long Swiss part

Example of long part made on Swiss Screw Machine. (.25″ OD x 3.25″ Length)

Swiss Machined Part

Example of shorter part (0.5″ OD x 1.23″ Length)