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Manufacturing - Machining

We machine all materials, and specialize in producing parts with complex geometries. Fourté is a state-of-the-art machine shop equipped with the latest in machine tool technology. We provide prototype machining and low to high volume production.

Fourté converts models directly into machined parts on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining centers. Working from the model allows us to quickly and accurately generate the necessary CNC program using Mastercam, a Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) program.

The introduction of lower-cost CNC machines radically changed the manufacturing industry. Curves are as easy to cut as straight lines, complex 3D structures are relatively easy to produce, and the number of machining steps that require human action have been dramatically reduced. With the increased automation of manufacturing processes with CNC machining, considerable improvements in consistency and quality have been achieved with no strain on the operator.


CNC Produced Examples

  • • Metal enclosures
  • • Machine tools
  • • Molds
  • • Prototypes
  • • Knives

Suitable Materials

  • • Plastics
  • • Aluminum
  • • Brass
  • • Steel
  • • Iron
  • • Soft tool steels
  • • Graphite


  • • Low to High production rates
  • • Repeatable tight tolerances
  • • Wide range of materials
  • • Quick setup
  • • Reasonable run times
  • • Low tooling cost typical

Accuracy and Repeatability of process
  • • Repeatable process
  • • Accuracy—function of tooling and fixtures used to hold the material, condition of the cutting tools and condition of the machine holding the cutting tool

CNC automation reduced the frequency of errors and provides CNC operators with time to perform additional tasks. CNC automation also allows for more flexibility in the way parts are held in the manufacturing process and reduced time required changing the machine to produce different components.

Modern CNC mills differ little in concept from the original model built at MIT in 1952. Mills typically consist of a table that moves in the Y-axis, and a tool chuck that moves in X and Z (depth). The position of the tool is driven by motors through a series of step-down gears in order to provide highly accurate movements or, in modern designs, direct-drive servomotors.

As the controller hardware evolved, the mills themselves also evolved. One change has been to enclose the entire mechanism in a large box as a safety measure, often with additional safety interlocks to ensure the operator is far enough from the working piece for safe operation. Mechanical manual controls disappeared long ago.

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