Shaping (sometimes called slotting) is a machining process whereby a work piece is held on the machine table, which is then advanced into the path of a reciprocating ram, upon which is mounted a single-point cutting tool. Shapers are typically used to cut internal shapes and forms, such as keyways, slots, squares, hexagons, and straight-sided splines. Slotting can also be used to cut external shapes and forms as well.
Shaping (Slotting) FAQs:
- When is shaping an appropriate machining process for my parts?
- Will there be tooling charges?
- How does shaping compare in accuracy to other machining operations?
- How does slotting compare in price to other machining operations?
When is shaping an appropriate machining process for my parts?
In some cases broaching is not the best choice to cut internal shapes and forms. For example, if a standard broaching tool is not available, and there are only a few parts to be cut, shaping is a perfect solution. If a part is too large to be accommodated by either a broaching machine or a Wire EDM machine, a vertical shaper might be the only alternative to cut an internal form. V W Broaching has one of the largest slotters available – capable of cutting a full 36” in length, and virtually unlimited in the size of part that can be handled. Breakdown parts and prototype parts are logical choices for our vertical shapers.
Will there be tooling charges?
In most cases we have standard cutters available to use for our customers’ jobs, at no additional charge. In some cases there will be an additional cutter grinding charge if a standard cutter is not available. This charge is nominal, and is usually less than $150.
How does shaping compare in accuracy to other machining operations?
That depends. When a part is relatively small in size, and relatively soft in composition, shaping accuracy will match that achieved by broaching, or other traditional machining processes. In the case of parts that are extremely long, or of particularly hard material, slotting will require more liberal tolerances, because of deflection of the shaping cutting tool. Our engineers at V W Broaching will be able to indicate tolerances when a drawing is submitted for quotation. Contact us for a quote, today!
How does slotting compare in price to other machining operations?
Vertical shaping is a very cost-effective method of cutting internal shapes and forms, relative to higher tech (and slower) methods, such as Wire EDM. One could expect pricing similar to traditional non-production machining operations, such as grinding or milling.
Contact V W Broaching today to learn more about our specialty broaching capabilities!