Frequently Asked Questions

What does SendItCNC do?

SendItCNC provides CNC machines in the cloud, so you can make parts on demand without your own in-house machine shop. We enable designers, product engineers and innovators to make the parts they need to bring their inspirations to life. This is ideal for rapid prototyping or small production runs where time is of the essence.

Can you show me this in action?

We’d love to. Check out the videos here on our website, or on the SendItCNC Youtube channel.

What CAD/CAM software do you support?

Presently, we support Fusion 360 .f3d and .f3z files.

What machining capabilities do you offer?

Presently we offer 3-axis milling. We plan to offer 4-axis (3+1) machining in the very near future, with dovetailed stock options.

What materials do you offer?

We offer 6061 aluminum bar stock in thicknesses from 1/2” to 4”, in various widths and cut to standard lengths.

I don’t know anything about CAM or CNC. How do I get started?

One of the things we love about Fusion 360 is the community resources. There is a lot of great learning material, from Autodesk and other contributors. Check the resources section on the website for links to some of our favorites.

How does your pricing work?

Charges include a material fee (based on the size of the piece of material), a setup charge, and a machining fee (based on the estimated machining time and the particular type of machine). It's easy to get an instant quote from our website.

When do you charge my credit card?

We only charge your credit card when your order actually ships. A transaction authorization (pending charge) is created when you place your order.

Do you plan to expand your offerings in the future?

We are working on many exciting possible future offerings. We’re looking at more material choices in a wider range of sizes, more workholding and cutter options, and more machining options like 4-axis, 5-axis, and turning. We’re also looking at softjaw cutting options, and other fixturing options.

If you have particular requirements that our current offerings don’t address, just ask! We have a wide range of tooling and setups in the shop, so we may be able to help you out with a fast response.

Do you guys think about the environment when you’re machining parts?

Absolutely! For example, it’s a top priority to properly recycle our metal cuttings (chips), and we use supplies and materials selected for minimal environmental impact.

Where possible we cool and clear chips with compressed air (including in many cases using air-through-tool). We generally use environmentally friendly Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL). This lubricates the part with Canola oil mist during machining. As particular circumstances necessitate, we may use flood or thru-spindle coolant in some cases, or other cutting oils So, there will likely be a small amount of some type of oil on your parts when you receive them, which also serves as corrosion protection.

What if my CAM Operations have errors or don’t follow the SendItCNC CAM Guidelines?

Our systems check that your CAM setup and operations work within our CAM guidelines. Often, if there are issues, automatically applied corrections make your CAM program work within the CAM Guidelines, and your part just gets run. If there’s a price increase because of necessary corrections, we’ll ask for your permission before proceeding.

What kind of machines and tooling do you use?

We use Haas CNC machines (generally CAT40) which are popular, proven, high-speed and cost effective industrial CNC machines. We use tooling from a range of industry sources, and we especially favour the excellent vises made by Orange Vise in Southern California, and the great tooling and tool holders from MariTool in Chicago.

Your cutter speeds and feeds seem conservative, and if I change them to something more aggressive, you seem to dial them back. What’s up with that?

In order to run your Virtual CNC Machine CAM programs on our machines safely (without risk of tool breakage, workpiece ejection, etc.) we use conservative parameters. The idea is, our conservative machining approach ensures that you can get your finished part sooner, since the risk of machining issues is minimized. We think this is very appropriate for prototypes, one offs, and small runs.

I could make this CAM program run faster. Why don’t you guys encourage that?

We’re happy to work with you to speed up your CAM program for larger volume runs, but when using our online “CAM-it-yourself” SendItCNC service, we ask you to resist the temptation to optimize your CAM program. The benefit of making a CAM program run really fast for a small number of prototype parts is often not worth the time it takes to optimize it, and make sure the tool loads, cutting forces and setups are all appropriate with more aggressive speeds and feeds.

I need to use a metric tap that you don’t have in any of your tool libraries. What can I do besides tap the part manually, later when I get it?

There are a wide range of cutters (and other tooling) that we have, but are not yet listed. If you need something just send us an email and we’ll let you know quickly if we can accommodate your request.

How Accurate Will My Parts Be?

Generally, you can expect parts to come out within .005 inches of their expected dimension, and often better. For example, when we run the parts from the SendItCNC Tutorials, we often measure them to be within .002 inches, or better. The results of properly CAMed finish operations within a single setup, are often within .001 to .002 inches of the nominal expected dimension. Errors tend be higher between surfaces machined in different setups. Probing can generally be expected to locate a suitable reference surface within +/- .001 inches. If you require tighter tolerances please contact us.

Are there any restrictions on what kinds of parts SendItCNC will make for me?

Yes, there are restrictions. There are parts that we are prohibited by law from making or require governmental authorization to make. Please see our Terms of Service for further details. Generally, it is required that you contact us prior to submitting any designs to us for parts where the manufacture or transportation of the item is subject to governmental regulation.

I'm trying to make a part using SendItCNC, but I could use some assistance on some of the CAD and CAM stuff. Can you help?

Of course, we offer consultation services. Frequently, you may find someone else has encountered a similar challenge to yours, and the solution is in the excellent Autodesk Fusion 360 Forums.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes, from time to time we have promotional programs. Check the web site! Also, we like to support Formula SAE teams at colleges and universities, so email us if that’s you! In the future, we expect to roll out discount/premium pricing tiers that offer premium express service, and discounts for working within timeslot availability.

I have a design but I don't want to do the CAM part. Can you CAM my design for me and make a part to my design?

Of course, we offer CAD and CAM services. Just call or email.

Suppose I make a prototype part. Can you help us when we need to ramp up production volume?

Of course, we’d love to. Just ask.