Get Multiple CNC Machining Quotes From UK Suppliers

Save time by uploading your drawings to receive multiple quotations from UK-based suppliers, with various approvals who are capable of producing anything from low volume prototypes to high volume CNC machined steel, aluminium or plastic components.

What Is CNC Machining?

CNC Machining Defined: CNC Machining, or Computer Numerical Control Machining, is a highly precise and automated manufacturing process. At Qimtek, it's all about connecting buyers and designers who require CNC machining services with skilled UK-based suppliers. These suppliers operate CNC machines like lathes, mills, and routers, expertly guided by computer software. This process transforms raw materials into finished components and parts with exceptional precision, and Qimtek serves as the bridge between those who seek these services and those who can provide them.

Process and Advantages:  The process starts with a digital design, often crafted using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. These digital designs are then translated into CNC programs, which serve as the instructions for a CNC machine. The main advantages of CNC machining, such as high precision and repeatability, are essential in ensuring that the parts meet the rigorous standards demanded by Qimtek's clients. On Qimtek's platform, buyers can upload their drawings, CAD files and specifications, initiating the process of finding the right supplier.

Industries and Applications: In the vast and diverse world of manufacturing, CNC machining plays a pivotal role across multiple industries including, but not limited to, aerospace, automotive, medical, electronics, and defense. These industries demand components and parts with exacting specifications and consistent quality. With the help of Qimtek's platform, buyers in these sectors can find the right CNC machining suppliers to meet their specific needs, ensuring the highest standards are met in their projects.

Machining Quotes: Qimtek is committed to facilitating manufacturing partnerships for both the buyers and suppliers. When buyers use Qimtek, they have direct access to suppliers from the very beginning of the process. The Qimtek Manufacturing Network comprises over 200 subcontract engineering suppliers across the UK, each equipped with diverse skill sets, including CNC machining. When buyers request a quote, it's promptly dispatched to the appropriate suppliers who will respond directly by phone, email or through the platform, providing competitive quotes along with lead times. With Qimtek, forging productive connections and obtaining quotes has never been more straightforward.



Materials Suitable for CNC Machining

CNC machining is a versatile manufacturing process compatible with a wide range of materials. Each material has unique properties and is chosen based on the specific requirements of the project, such as strength, weight, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal. Here's an overview of some commonly machined materials:


  • Aluminum: Known for its lightweight and corrosion resistance. Ideal for aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics.
  • Stainless Steel: Offers high strength and corrosion resistance. Widely used in medical devices, food processing, and marine applications.
  • Brass: Easy to machine and offers good corrosion resistance. Commonly used in plumbing, electrical components, and decorative items.
  • Titanium: Has a high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent corrosion resistance. Predominantly used in aerospace, medical implants, and automotive components.
  • Copper: Known for its electrical conductivity. Often used in electrical components and heat exchangers.


  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): A common thermoplastic with good mechanical properties, used in consumer goods, automotive parts, and prototyping.
  • Polycarbonate: Known for its strength and transparency. Used in automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics.
  • Polyoxymethylene (POM): Also known as Delrin, known for its stiffness, low friction, and stability. Used in gears, bearings, and medical devices.
  • Nylon: Has high strength and wear resistance. Used in mechanical components like gears and bearings.


  • Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP): Offers high strength and low weight. Used in aerospace, automotive, and sporting goods.
  • Fiberglass: Widely used in a variety of applications due to its strength and lightweight properties.


  • Wood: Used for specific applications where a natural look is desired. Common in custom furniture and decorative pieces. 
  • Foam: Used for prototyping and modeling due to its ease of machining and low cost.

Each material offers different benefits and challenges in CNC machining. The choice of material will depend on the part's intended use, required properties, and budget constraints. Understanding the characteristics of these materials is crucial for choosing the right one for a specific application. Qimtek's network of CNC machinists has the expertise to work with these diverse materials, ensuring that your project requirements are met with the most suitable material choice.



CNC Machining Finishes

These are example of different finishes that have been applied to machined components produced by Qimtek supplier members

Machined components can be finished in various ways to enhance their appearance, improve their resistance to corrosion, and alter their surface properties. Here are some common types of finishes applied to machined components:

  1. Anodizing: This electrochemical process forms a protective oxide layer on the surface of metal parts, particularly aluminum. It increases corrosion resistance and can add a decorative finish with various colors.
  2. Powder Coating: A dry powder applied electrostatically and then cured under heat, creating a hard finish. Powder coating is more durable than conventional paint and is available in a wide range of colors and textures.
  3. Electroplating: Involves coating the part with a thin layer of metal such as chrome, nickel, or gold. Electroplating improves corrosion resistance, increases strength, and enhances aesthetic appeal.
  4. Painting: Traditional painting can be used for both protective and decorative purposes. It provides a vast range of color options and can be applied to almost any material.
  5. Passivation: Often used for stainless steel, passivation involves treating the surface with an acid solution to remove free iron from the surface, thereby enhancing corrosion resistance.
  6. Black Oxide: This is a conversion coating for ferrous metals, stainless steel, copper and copper based alloys, zinc, powdered metals, and silver solder. It is used to add mild corrosion resistance and for appearance.
  7. Bead Blasting: This process involves blasting the surface of a material with glass beads at a high pressure without damaging the surface. It gives a uniform, matte or satin surface finish, removing the tool marks.
  8. Polishing: Polishing is used to create a smooth surface, often with a mirror-like finish. It’s commonly used in parts that require a high level of aesthetic appeal.
  9. Heat Treatments: Various heat treatments like tempering, annealing, or case hardening can alter the mechanical properties of a part, such as its hardness or toughness.
  10. Chemical Film Coating (Alodine/Chromate Conversion Coating): Commonly used for aluminum parts, this coating improves corrosion resistance and can serve as a primer for paint.



Approvals for machinists

Image of some approvals that a machine shop can hold including ISO9001 and AS9100

In the UK, machine shops often seek to obtain various approvals and certifications to demonstrate their commitment to quality, safety, and industry-specific standards. Here are some of the main approvals commonly held by UK machine shops:

1. ISO 9001: Quality Management System
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard for quality management systems (QMS). It ensures that companies consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. Holding this certification indicates a commitment to continuous improvement, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

2. AS9100: Aerospace Standard: 
AS9100 is a widely adopted quality management standard for the aerospace industry. It includes all ISO 9001 requirements with additional aerospace-specific quality and safety measures. This certification is crucial for machine shops serving the aerospace sector, as it demonstrates compliance with stringent industry standards.

3. ISO 13485: Medical Devices Quality Management
This certification is specific to the design, production, and sale of medical devices. ISO 13485 ensures that a machine shop complies with the necessary regulatory requirements and maintains high standards of quality management in the manufacturing of medical devices.

ISO/TS 16949: Automotive Quality Management
Now replaced by IATF 16949, this standard is tailored for the automotive industry. It focuses on defect prevention, supply chain management, and continual improvement within automotive production and service part organizations. It is essential for machine shops involved in automotive manufacturing.

5. ISO 14001: Environmental Management System
 ISO 14001 focuses on environmental management systems. It helps businesses improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste. This certification is key for machine shops looking to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability.

UK machine shops, with certifications demonstrate a strong commitment to quality, safety, and industry-specific standards. Choosing Qimtek grants access to a network of these certified suppliers, ensuring your manufacturing needs are met with the highest standards of excellence and compliance. This makes Qimtek an ideal partner for sourcing machining needs across various sectors, from aerospace to automotive, where quality and precision are paramount.



Types Of Machining Service Contracts

the choice of service contract is crucial for aligning with your specific production needs and operational strategies. From KANBAN to Lights Out manufacturing, each contract type offers unique benefits. 

KANBAN: Within the machining realm, serves as a lean manufacturing tool that orchestrates inventory and production in sync with demand. Under a KANBAN contract, suppliers craft and deliver parts precisely when needed, curbing inventory costs and heightening operational efficiency. Ideal for buyers seeking to optimise their machining component supply while ensuring a consistent flow of parts.

Just-In-Time: JIT strategies, within machining, harmonise raw-material orders from suppliers with production schedules, focusing on augmenting efficiency and curbing wastage by obtaining materials only as they're required in the machining process. Ideal for buyers aiming to trim inventory expenses and enhance cash flow in their machining operations.

Prototype to Production: These contracts within machining span the full spectrum of manufacturing, encompassing the journey from initial prototyping to large-scale production. Suppliers operating under such contracts lend their expertise to prototype development before seamlessly transitioning to high-volume production. Ideal for buyers involved in product development, especially startups, where adaptability in the initial phase and operational efficiency in scaling up are paramount.

Lights Out Manufacturing: 'Lights out' manufacturing contracts in machining implement fully automated processes that necessitate minimal to zero human involvement, often running continuously during unmanned hours. This approach augments production efficiency and cuts labor costs. These are ideal for buyers who are seeking peak efficiency and uninterrupted production cycles in their machining requirements.

Fixed-Price Contracts: These machining contracts establish a set price for the production of machined parts, irrespective of the actual costs incurred throughout the machining process. This ensures cost predictability and budget control. Ideal for buyers looking for financial certainty and fiscal management in their machining projects.

Time and Materials Contracts: In the machining domain, time and materials contracts entail compensation based on the actual time expended and materials consumed. This arrangement offers the flexibility to adapt the project's scope, which proves valuable in machining endeavors where specifications are prone to change. Ideal for buyers who are involved in machining projects characterizsed by fluid or evolving scope requirements.

Each contract type, from KANBAN to Lights Out manufacturing, has unique benefits tailored to different production needs and strategies. Choosing the right one depends on factors like production volume and project nature. Through Qimtek, you can easily find suppliers offering these specific services, ensuring a perfect match for your manufacturing requirements. Qimtek simplifies the process, connecting you with the ideal contract type for your project’s needs efficiently and effectively.



Machinists Near Me

Local Expertise: Understanding the need for local solutions, Qimtek also offers a specialised service that connects clients with CNC machinists in their vicinity. This service is ideal for those searching for 'CNC Machinists Near Me' or 'CNC Machining Near Me'.

Benefits of Local Sourcing: Working with local machinists can lead to quicker turnarounds, easier communication, and potential cost savings on logistics. It also supports local businesses and communities.

Seamless Integration: Just as with broader sourcing, clients can upload their designs onto our platform, specifying a preference for local suppliers. We then match these requests with suitable local CNC machinists who can meet the specific project requirements.

What is CNC Turning?

This is a typical CNC turned component that Qimtek machining supplier - this one being produced by Asgard Precision CNC Machinists

CNC turned parts produced by Asgard Engineering Ltd

Definition and Process: CNC Turning involves rotating the workpiece while a stationary cutting tool removes material. This process is highly efficient for manufacturing symmetrical cylindrical or spherical parts.

Capabilities: Turning centers can perform various operations like boring, threading, and grooving. They are essential for producing parts with precise diameters and round shapes.

Applications: It's commonly used for parts like shafts, knobs, pulleys, and flywheels. Industries such as automotive, electronics, and manufacturing rely heavily on CNC turning for component production.



What is CNC Milling?

This is an image of a CNC Milled component typically produced by a Qimtek Supplier

Definition and Process: CNC Milling involves the use of computer-controlled machine tools to selectively remove material from a workpiece. This process is ideal for creating complex shapes, slots, holes, and notches.

Capabilities: Milling machines can operate along multiple axes (typically 3-axis or 5-axis), allowing for intricate designs and geometries. They are versatile in handling a range of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites.

Applications: From creating prototypes and custom tooling to full-scale production of complex parts, CNC milling is widely used in industries like aerospace, automotive, and medical devices.



What is Multi-Axis Machining?

This is a typical machined component that Qimtek machining supplier can produce on a multi-axis machining center - this one being produced by TML Precision Engineering

CNC Machined part produced by TML Precision Engineering Ltd

Definition and Process: Multi-axis machining involves CNC machines that operate on more than the standard three axes (X, Y, Z). This includes 4-axis, 5-axis, and even more complex machines that can manipulate the workpiece or the tool on additional axes simultaneously.

Capabilities: These machines allow for the creation of highly complex geometries that are impossible to achieve with traditional 3-axis machines. Multi-axis machining reduces the need for multiple setups, increasing efficiency and accuracy.

Applications: Ideal for advanced aerospace components, automotive parts, intricate moulds, and any application where complex, 3D shapes are required.



What is CNC Sliding Head Turning?

This is a typical machined component that Qimtek machining supplier can produced using sliding head machining - this one being produced by Asgard Precision CNC Machinists

CNC turned parts produced by Asgard Engineering Ltd

Definition and Process: Sliding head turning, also known as Swiss turning, involves feeding bar stock through a sliding headstock which moves over a stationary cutting tool. This allows for intricate and precise machining of slender and long components.

Capabilities: This technique is known for its precision and ability to produce very small, intricate parts. It's especially useful for high-volume production of complex pieces with tight tolerances.

Applications: Commonly used in manufacturing precision components in high volumes for the medical, aerospace, and electronics industries, amongst others where accuracy and price are paramount.



What is EDM / Spark Erosion?

This component is a typical part produced by EDM or Spark Erosion - Something lots of our supplier members offer

Definition and Process: Electrical Distrcharge Machining (EDM) involves using electrical sparks to shape a workpiece by eroding material. This method is especially useful for hard metals or complex shapes that are difficult to machine with traditional methods.

Capabilities: CNC EDM is excellent for intricate or delicate operations, allowing for the creation of complex shapes and fine details without exerting mechanical force on the material.

Applications: Common in the production of mold and die components, aerospace parts, and in tool making.



What Is Tool Making?

This is an image of an injection moulding tool that has been produce using CNC Machining. Qimtek has lots of tool makers that can help produce your tooling

Definition and Process: Tool making in CNC machining refers to the creation of specific cutting and shaping tools using CNC machines. It involves the precise manufacturing of dies, injection moulding tooling, platsic moulding tooling, cutting tools and jigs, and fixtures.

Capabilities: CNC tool making is known for its ability to produce tools with exact specifications and complex shapes, often from hard materials that withstand repetitive use.

Applications: Widely used in various manufacturing processes, from automotive to medical device production, where custom tools are required for specific manufacturing tasks.



What Is Gear Cutting?

This is an image if gear that was produce by CNC machining, something that lots of our supplier members offer.

Definition and Process: Gear cutting is a specialised process in CNC machining used to create precise gears. It involves various techniques like hobbing, milling, or broaching, utilizing computer control for accuracy and consistency.

Capabilities: CNC gear cutting machines can produce gears with complex geometries and various sizes, ensuring high precision and proper meshing.

Applications: Essential in automotive, aerospace, and industrial machinery sectors where gears are critical components for transmitting power and motion.



Are you a UK-based machine shop?

Join Qimtek's Supplier Membership to unlock new opportunities for your business. Our platform is designed to connect you with qualified CNC machining leads, helping you secure new clients and grow your operations. By tapping into our network, you'll gain access to a steady stream of inquiries specifically tailored to your capabilities. Don’t miss out on the chance to expand your client base—explore live projects and discover more about our Supplier Membership today to start transforming your business prospects