What is glass CNC machining process? Step By Step Guide 2021

November 10, 2021

6 types of machining processes and when to use each one

The types of glass CNC machining processes are designed to group together a variety of applications and part geometries. Professionals in the field need to become familiar with the various types of production that are available today.

Glass CNC machining process

The adoption of glass by the production chain of different sectors of the economy was due to its special characteristics. It can be molded and still retain its acquired shape. In addition, it is a lightweight and durable material in various types of environments such as thermal, physical and geographic.

So it’s a very versatile material. Discover the types of glass machining process today. See when to choose each type of production and which parts are made in each one. Keep watching and enjoy reading!

Popular types of glass CNC machining process

We have listed the six types of glass CNC machining process below. Get to know each of them better:

Process of glass CNC machining

The machining process includes milling machines, lathes and other machines that are usually controlled by a computer. This production starts with solid blocks, bars, rods of glass materials that are molded by removing the material using cutting tools.

The ideal for this type of production is a volume of five thousand pieces. Depending on the size, design and complexity of the part, it takes a little less than an hour to complete each product. Its installation cost is moderate and it can produce high quality glass parts in a short time.

Process of foundry glass CNC machining

In the foundry glass CNC machining process, a reactive liquid rubber or resin fills the mold which has a chemical reaction and solidifies. This is a more economical type of production compared to heavier ones. However, it manages to produce only a limited number of copies, from 25 to 100 at most castings with chemical reaction, for example.

Casting is one of the types of machining process considered to be cheap, precise and with little initial investment. Each casting requires manual work for post-processing. Therefore, the final cost per part is high compared to other automated processes.

Process of thermo forming

Thermoforming consists of heating a flat thermo glass plate, extruded in advance. This is to soften a male or female mold. Air is sucked between this plate and the mold to form the outline of the piece.

The procedure of glass CNC machining is not expensive, being used to manufacture large parts that do not have complex designs, such as kayaks, automotive air box, refrigerator drawers and others. In addition, it can be used to make disposable packages that would not have costs with the compensator.

The types of glass CNC machining process are:

Vacuum: production where the glass is heated and formed inside the mold, these machines vary in size and costs are low, being able to produce any volume of goods.

Injection: this type injects the molten thermo glass in a mold, but it needs to be manufactured with great detail, so it is more complex, being able to produce with a high volume, more than five thousand pieces.

Glass CNC machining process 2021

Rotational: also known as rotational molding, this is a hollow molding process, filled with powdered thermo glass and rotating around two axes, making it ideal for short-term production. Tanks, buoys, toys, helmets and canoe hulls are examples of products made by this type of glass CNC machining process.

Blow: technique used to manufacture hollow glass parts by inflating a heated glass tube inside a mold, it can be automated and, therefore, results in high production rates with low costs.

What do you know about extrusion?

This type of production works when glass is pushed through the matrix. Your machinery is relatively cheap compared to other equipment. Because their shapes are simple, matrices are also cheaper.

The production process glass CNC machining is continuous and, therefore, the price of manufactured parts is low. However, materials that require more complex shapes and contours cannot be produced through extrusion. This is because this procedure is limited. Typical applications include piping, straws, hoses and window frames.

What is 3D printing in glass CNC machining?

Parts in 3D printing are made using CAD models, with production carried out layer by layer until the entire item is formed. These printers do not need more tools and therefore their cost to produce a custom part is very low. This compared to other types of machining process.

However, this production is slower and more labor intensive and is not recommended for large quantity machining. That is, the volume needs to be low, on average, 1000 parts.

Is 3D printing need a mold?

These are the six forms of glass CNC machining processes. But we must emphasize that in the process of extrusion, molding, thermoforming and casting, it is mandatory to have a mold to manufacture the product. Machining requires a gross mass to remove the form and make the item. However, 3D printing does not need a mold or raw mass to manufacture a part.

How to choose the machining process for glass?

You know the main types of machining process, but how do you choose the best one? Or even the most ideal for the moment? It can be a very difficult question for someone who doesn’t have the technical knowledge. So, in order to help you, here are some tips on how to choose the glass CNC machining process:

Form: Are your part’s internal shapes more complex or do they have low tolerance requirements? The target geometry, if too complicated, can limit the production process. Or, require significant design optimization.

Cost/Volume of glass CNC machining

 What is the volume of your production? Some types of machining processes have a high initial cost for tooling and machine configurations. However, they produce more economical final parts. However, conversely, low-volume production has low start-up costs and slower machining cycles. Typically, it’s not automation and more manual labor.


 What is the production period for your glass CNC machining parts? There are processes that create the first pieces in 24 hours, if it is a low volume. On the other hand, if the volume is high, it can take a few days or months.


 What strength or tension does your product need? The cost must be balanced when choosing the ideal material for your production. There must be a balance to make the requirements functional and aesthetic.

The types of glass CNC machining processes are the most varied and you can choose according to your needs. But first, consider all the tips and have an efficient and economical production.