Stecker Machine is proud to be a leader in the incredible CNC machining industry, and we occasionally — and humbly — toot our own horn. However, today’s topic is a tough one: selecting just three CNC machined parts to talk about.
With nearly 50 years of custom CNC machining success to consider, this is tougher than choosing a favorite child. They’re all precious (in their own ways, of course).
While we truly put our souls into every project, some seem more memorable than others. Maybe it’s the challenge that was overcome or the tight timeline that was achieved, or simply because the part is so impressive.
Previously, we shared our Photo Gallery webpage; a collection of CNC machined parts and projects of which we’re especially proud. We keep adding to that page, but we have yet to recognize three special projects.
Full disclosure: this blog post may create some passionate discussions within our shop. Different CNC operators at Stecker may disagree with this list, instead choosing projects close to their own hearts. After all, our own children are cuter and smarter than anyone else’s, right?
So, in no particular order, let’s dive into three really cool CNC machined parts made by Stecker Machine!
1. Electric Vehicle Gearbox Case and Cover
Arcimoto was ready to ramp up production of its Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV), an electric vehicle with a gearbox case and cover that required a high level of machining in order to achieve high-volume production.
Tier 1 supplier Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry (WAF) created the drawings and reached out to Stecker (a partner for decades) for the 3-component machining of sand cast aluminum A356 T6. These are complex pieces with tight tolerances and an even tighter timeframe — 4 months — which Stecker met to produce the first 50 sets.
Not only is this project impressive because it’s for an electric vehicle, it also allowed the teams to work together to vastly improve quality, creating a more consistent and capable gearbox case and cover.
2. Automobile Engine Supercharger
Powerful engines are cool. A Hemi engine capable of up to 2,000 horsepower is beyond cool, requiring the most powerful supercharger available for a Hemi. However, CNC machining this part is no picnic.
The number one challenge is the ability to hold very tight diameters and positional tolerances. The print requirements required Stecker’s engineers to work with tooling suppliers to design specialty cut tooling.
And, like any project, costs had to be kept in check, so added operations needed to be minimized. That meant more upfront work to uncover ways to relieve stress in the castings to prevent these extra steps.
3. Valve Body Manifold
This one looks great, but there’s more to its story. The development of these valve bodies was an evolution; from bar stock to sand cast prototype to high-pressure die casting. That process was a trusted collaboration with the customer, which makes this project especially memorable.
There were several goals to achieve: tight tolerances (a trend with these cool CNC machined parts), the ability to pass the toughest leak tests, and meeting very stringent porosity requirements.
One final impressive thing about this part is that Stecker managed the foundry and the sub-tier supplier relationships. That’s a level of service, not every CNC machine shop can properly execute.