Choosing the Right Finish for Your CNC Machined Parts

When designing CNC Machined parts, it’s important to keep in mind the type of surface finish you want to apply to your parts.

By Marcus Morrissette · August 04, 2016

When designing CNC Machined parts, it’s important to keep in mind the type of surface finish you want to apply to your parts. An “as milled” finish can be a great option, but there are also many choices for specific cosmetic requirements.

For these different cosmetic finishes, we recommend choosing the finish that gives your part the right look and feel for the project. Here are illustrations and tips on the wide variety of options we offer to help you choose the right finish for your CNC parts. And if you don’t see the finish you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out! We have other finishes, including iridite, that are available upon request.

  As milled 63 finish

Standard, As Milled Finish

This finish is equivalent to a 125 finish where minor tool marks will be visible on the part. Increasing the surface finish requirements to a 63, 32, or 16 finish can increase the costs because feed rates may need to be reduced and/or additional post processing may be required to create the desired finish.


  bead blast finish

Bead Blast Finish

A light texture with a matte finish is created by blowing small glass beads against the part in designated areas. Additional cost may occur if the design requires significant masking of surfaces or holes that do not require the bead blasting.


  clear type 2 anodize

Anodizing, Type II

This type creates a corrosion resistant finish. Part can be anodized in different colors – clear, black, red or gold are most common – and is usually associated with aluminum. Reference Mil-A-8625A for additional information on anodizing.


  black type 3 anodize

Anodizing, Type III (hard anodizing)

This type is thicker and creates a wear resistant layer as well as the corrosion resistance seen with Type II. Reference Mil-A8625A for additional information on anodizing.


  powdercoat finish

Powder Coat Finish

This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part and then sent through an oven to bake the paint onto the part. This creates a strong, wear and corrosion resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available which can create the desired aesthetic look to the part.

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