Exploring the Various Types of Fasteners for CNC Machining--cncmass.com(rapid plastic prototyping Hilary)

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CNC machining is a widely used manufacturing process that leverages computer numerical control (CNC) systems to create precise, intricate parts and components. In conjunction with this advanced technique, fasteners play a vital role in holding these elements together and ensuring their structural integrity. This article aims to delve into the world of CNC machining and explore the different types of fasteners commonly employed in this process.

1. Bolts and Screws:
Bolts and screws are ubiquitous fasteners used extensively in CNC machining. These threaded cylindrical rods differ primarily in their design and use cases. Bolts typically require a nut or other securing mechanisms on the opposite side, while screws can secure materials without such additional hardware. Both come in various lengths, diameters, and head styles, providing versatility in application.

2. Nuts and Washers:
Nuts are hexagonal-shaped metal pieces designed to thread onto bolts, offering a means to tighten or loosen them. The combination of nuts and bolts ensures sturdy connections in CNC machined assemblies. Additionally, washers provide uniform load distribution, prevent damage to surfaces, and enhance stability by eliminating friction.

3. Rivets:
Rivets serve as reliable permanent fasteners in CNC machining processes, bonding materials together by forming a tight joint between two or more components. They consist of a cylindrical shaft with a head at one end and require special tools to install properly. Riveting is particularly valuable when welding or using adhesives is impractical.

4. Pins:
Pins are slender cylindrical pieces used for aligning, interlocking, and securing machine components during CNC machining. Dowel pins, for example, ensure accurate positioning of parts, preventing misalignment that might impede functionality. Clevis pins have a drilled hole through one end, allowing for easy removal and repositioning.

5. Clips and Retaining Rings:
Clips and retaining rings are critical fasteners that hold components in place, preventing unintended disassembly. Snap rings, commonly used as external or internal retention devices, secure cylindrical objects onto shafts or inside bores. Spring clips provide flexibility and quick-release capabilities when precise adjustments or maintenance are necessary.

6. Anchors:
In CNC machining applications where a secure fastening is required to concrete or masonry surfaces, anchors become crucial. They grip tight against the base material to anchor bolts, screws, or other fasteners securely. Using anchors helps in ensuring stability, particularly in heavy-duty machinery or structural installations.

7. Threaded Inserts:
Threaded inserts act as reinforcements for weaker materials such as wood, plastic, or softer metals. They provide durable threads into which screws, bolts, or other threaded fasteners can be securely tightened. By distributing forces more evenly, threaded inserts enhance the overall strength and longevity of machined structures.


CNC machining relies on a diverse range of fasteners to ensure precise assembly, durability, and functionality of created parts and components. This article has explored several types, including bolts, nuts, washers, rivets, pins, clips, retaining rings, anchors, and threaded inserts. Understanding these various fasteners' roles and advantages allows CNC machinists and manufacturers to choose the right ones for their specific applications, contributing to the success of their projects. By embracing the intricacies of fastener selection, they can achieve robust, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing results in their CNC machining endeavors. CNC Milling