In the case of many modern machines and pieces of technology, the smaller the device is, the more intricate the inner workings are. If you are trying to create a prototype of a new piece of equipment, you will likely need to work with a machine shop. In order to be able to determine what sort of product a machine shop can churn out, consider what type of tools they use.  

The Design Phase

During the design phase, you should be able to transform your vision for the piece in question into a diagram that the shop can use to design the piece. In most cases, you will not be working with a pen-and-ink drawing. Instead, a technician at the shop will use a computer program to create a design. This will allow greater precision than you can get with a hand-drawn image.  

The Milling Phase

During the milling phase, the shop will create your vision from either a sheet of metal or block of metal, depending on what your vision is. Shops will use various tools including drill presses, riveters, lathes, bending machine etc. Most shops today will use either a combination of skilled workers and computer-driven machinery or simply computer driven machinery. For the most precise work, computer-driven machinery is the only way to go. 

Should You Insist on Computers?

The more complicated and intricate your design is, the more you should lean toward computers. Human error can create tiny inconsistencies in the parts that are churned out, which can cause serious problems for mass produced or delicate pieces of machinery. Computers are so precise that they can churn out the same quality over and over, no matter how intricate the piece may be. On the other hand, if you are looking for a prototype of a tool, the quality likely will not be as much of a concern, so whether the machine shop you work with has computer-driven tools will not be as much of a concern. You may even save a little bit of money by contacting a shop that does not use computers, since computer-driven tools are much more expensive than their hand-operated counterparts. 

The quality of work churned out by a machine shop can very greatly from shop to shop depending on the type of tools and programs used at the shop. You don't always have to contact a shop that is using state-of-the-art machinery. Instead, think about the needs of your job, and then choose a shop to meet those needs. Contact a local outlet, such as Certified Products Co, for further assistance.