A comprehensive knowledge of CNC tools is critical to low cost machining. We typically use indexable, modular carbide tips mounted in balanced, shrink fit holders, but complement this with our own tool design service allowing us to bespoke tooling when required.

Cost effective holding is complex as it requires multi dimensional planning whilst considering all tooling, machine and programming options. The process is critical to the costing equation as an inability to access just one area can easily double cycle times. Numachine’s in-house fixturing designers and 3D fixturing printer are critical to this need for rapid, efficient holding solutions.


Intelligent fixturing and holding makes a huge difference to the cost of CNC machining a component, but the huge technical improvements, particularly with 3D printing, are frequently overlooked. The options are so varied that it is frequently imagination that is the only barrier to serious cost savings.


There are a huge range of holding options available, from the old-fashioned clamp blocks and cut profiles all the way up to one-operation solutions like five axis clamping, tombstones and Chic jaws. It is the cost / time equation that is always the driving force so the simplest solution frequently wins over modernity and complexity.

Holding selection is a science that requires experience and lateral thinking in order to find the solutions that reduce operational demands, minimise airtime, and expedite the most productive machine loading.

Numachine designs its own bespoke profiles and form tools as speed and cost are always critcal issues but, also because the design process enhances the knowledge of CNC design and improves our Design for Machining service.


Numachine specialises in machining castings and understands the different, more extensive range of holding options required over standard machining. With pneumatic, hydraulic and quick release options all available, there is always a solution – but it takes time, experience and creativity to find it.

Numachine relies on operative in-cycle probing which, in conjunction with traditional jig spots and datums, allows for continual location affirmation on all castings and extrusions. This enables us to achieve far greater levels of consistency across all castings, and much faster operating times and lower costs.

Numachine has long used the traditional 3 2 1 holding philosophy, in which the components we create rest on three points (usually datums) but the advent of 3D printing is increasingly driving the use of profiled, adjustable inserts as they overcome component deformation, are faster to load, and reduce chatter and vibration.


It’s advisable to create 3D printed fixtures, for CMM measurement, with snap in and out holding for better consistency. This encourages consistent checking of dimensional accuracy, even if the CNC machines are equipped with live probing.

POKE YOKE is the heart of reliable and repeatable assembly. Numachine creates 3D printed fixtures and jigs to ensure lower costs to clients, rapid turnaround times, and dependable consistency for all.

Pressure Test Fixturing is another area that demands accurate quick tooling and is one where, again, the advent of 3D printing is making things faster, cheaper and more efficient.


Cycle times and costs can be significantly reduced through fixturing that enables multiple different components to be set up and machined in one single cycle.


Cultivating a comprehensive understanding of the latest tool technology is the simplest way to shorten machining times and reduce costs, without compromising on quality or surface finish. Where the perfect tools are not available, form tools can be designed for virtually any application, frequently enabling what involved multiple operations to become one.



These are usually the most cost-effective solution due to their single steel shaft with cheaper carbide inserts that can also be used for multiple size applications. Inserts are typically used for stainless and aluminium, but increasingly for some specialist materials as well.


These tools represent huge step forward, as their almost perfect balance means runouts of only 0.003mm from true are possible, increasing achievable tolerances and tool lifespans.. Collets are still used for sizes over 25mm.


Boasting one single back end, modular tools can hold many tooling options, allowing for a seamless switch from roughing to finishing without re-setting of the tool. The use of these tools is also helpful in reducing cycle times.


Both Internal and External in tool cooling is available, which increases tooling life, cutting speed and chip removal.


These bespoke tools incorporate multiple functions, which can reduce cycle times massively, whilst improving quality and reliability. It is Numachine’s ability to design extraordinary form tools in a cost effective way that puts us ahead of other CNC machinists in the industry.


We employ Angled Heads despite 5 axis machining as they give us increased versatility when looking for original solutions. Angled heads are also used for specialty components, that do not require full 5 axis work, where speed is important.


Numachine operates from its HQ in Hereford and an operational centre in Coventry.