A Guide To CNC Fixtures Design

CNC Fixtures

As a CNC machinist, you know that the right CNC fixtures design can make your project. A good fixture design can ensure accuracy, efficiency, and repeatability in your machining process. But where do you start?

In this guide, we will provide an overview of CNC fixture design and offer tips on how to create effective fixtures for your machining projects. We’ll discuss the different types of fixtures and their uses, as well as best practices for designing and testing your fixtures. Whether you’re a seasoned machinist looking to brush up on your skills or a beginner just starting out, this guide has something for everyone. So let’s dive into the world of CNC fixture design and take your machining projects to the next level!

What Is a CNC Fixture?

What is a fixture? A fixture is defined as an object that holds another object securely in place so that it can be machined or worked on more easily. Fixtures come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one common goal – to help make the machining process more accurate and efficient.

CNC fixtures play a very important role in the machining process. In fact, they can be said to be the heart of any successful CNC operation. Without them, it would be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve accurate and consistent results. In addition to their importance in terms of accuracy and consistency, CNC fixtures also play a crucial role in helping businesses reduce costs and save time.

The Different Types Of CNC Fixtures And Their Uses

CNC fixtures come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own unique purpose and function. Here is a list of some common types of CNC fixtures:

Drill Jigs

A drill jig is a specialized tool used to guide a drill bit into the correct position on a workpiece. Drill jigs are often used in conjunction with CNC (computer numerically controlled) machining processes, as they help ensure that the drill bit is positioned correctly prior to drilling.

Drill jigs typically consist of a baseplate, which is attached to the workpiece, and a drill guide, which is used to guide the drill bit. The drill guide is usually adjustable so that it can be positioned correctly for each drilling operation.

drilling jigs

Tapping Fixtures

Tapping fixtures in CNC refer to a device that is used to hold and support a workpiece during the process of tapping, which is the process of cutting internal threads in a hole. In many cases, tapping fixtures can be used with multiple types of machines, but it is always important to check the compatibility before using them.

Milling Fixtures

Milling fixtures are specialized tools used to create accurate and consistent parts with a CNC milling machine. A milling fixture holds the workpiece in place while it is being machined, and must be very precise in order to produce high-quality parts. Without a milling fixture, it would be difficult to produce accurate and repeatable parts with a CNC mill.

Milling fixtures are typically made from hardened steel or aluminum and can be custom-designed to fit the specific requirements of the workpiece.

milling fixtures

Lathe Fixtures

Lathe fixtures in CNC are used to fix and secure the workpiece during lathe machining operations. And the lathe tools will turn the workpiece.

The most common type of CNC turning fixture is the three-jaw chuck, which is used to grip and hold the workpiece securely while it is machined. Other types of lathe fixtures include tool holders, collets, and chucks. Lathe fixtures must be designed and manufactured carefully in order to ensure that they can securely hold the workpiece during CNC turning operations.

turning fixture

Welding Fixtures

Welding fixtures in CNC are used to create a consistent and repeatable welding process on parts that need to be welded together. Having a jig or fixture to hold the parts in place, ensures that the welder can weld the two pieces together in the same spot each time, creating a stronger and more reliable weld. This type of fixture can be used on both manual and CNC welding machines. 

There are many different types of welding fixtures that can be used, depending on the application. For example, there are fixtures that can be used for spot welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, and plasma cutting. Each type of welding has its own specific fixture that is designed to work with that particular process.

welding fixture

Modular Fixture

A modular Fixture is a type of adjustable and flexible fixture that aids in CNC machining. It is a type of device that can be customized according to the specific needs of the product being manufactured. The main feature of this fixture is that it is flexible and can be adapted to fit any machine or workpiece. It is made of various modules that can be easily attached and detached as required, making it very easy to change the fixture’s configuration.

The modular fixture can be adjusted to different sizes and shapes, making it versatile and useful for various uses. It is commonly used in CNC machining to hold objects in place, exert pressure on items, or guide the position of the object. It is an efficient and cost-effective solution for various machining processes, particularly when working with complex and intricate parts. In summary, a modular fixture is an essential tool for CNC machining, which provides adaptability, flexibility, accuracy, and precision machining. 

Workholding Fixtures

Workholding fixtures are devices used to secure a workpiece to a machine tool during the manufacturing process. They provide a stable and repeatable way to hold the part in place, allowing for precise machining operations. Workholding fixtures come in a variety of types, including vises, clamps, chucks, and collets. 

Some of the key features of these fixtures include their ability to grip the part securely without deformation or damage, their ability to be quickly and easily adjusted, and their ability to handle a wide range of materials and shapes.

Common uses for CNC Workholding fixtures in CNC machining include milling, drilling, turning, and grinding operations. They are essential tools for achieving high precision, productivity, and quality in manufacturing processes. 

Special Fixtures

Special fixtures are CNC fixtures that are specifically designed for irregularly shaped workpieces. These fixtures are ideal for holding parts securely and accurately during machining. Often, traditional fixtures are not able to hold these irregular workpieces, resulting in poor accuracy and potential damage to the part. 

However, with special fixtures, the workpiece can be held in a custom-designed fixture that perfectly matches its unique shape. This ensures that the machining process is precise and efficient, while also minimizing the risk of damage to the part.

Special fixtures can be used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and medical manufacturing. Overall, they are an essential tool for ensuring high-quality machining of irregular or complex parts. 

How To Select The Right CNC Fixtures For CNC Machining Center?

Selecting the right CNC fixtures is crucial for achieving accurate and efficient machining operations.

The first step in selecting the right machining fixture is to determine the type of workpiece being machined and the required machining operations. This will help you select a fixture that provides secure clamping and proper alignment for the workpiece.

Other factors to consider include the material of both the fixture and workpiece, as well as any special requirements such as high-speed machining or precision milling.

Then, it’s important to also consider the size and weight of the workpiece, as this will affect the type of clamping mechanism needed.

When choosing a supplier for your CNC fixtures, look for a company with experience in designing and manufacturing fixtures for your specific industry or application. They should provide support in selecting and customizing fixtures to meet your unique needs.

CNC fixtures design

Tips For Using And Maintaining Your CNC Fixture

Make sure your CNC machine is properly set up and calibrated before using your new fixture. Otherwise, you may end up with inaccurate results.

Read the instructions that come with your CNC fixture carefully. Familiarize yourself with all of the controls and how they work before attempting to use the fixture.

Take your time when using the CNC fixture. This is not a race. Rushing through the process will only increase the likelihood of making mistakes.

Use sharp cutting tools when working with your CNC fixture. Dull tools can cause problems and may even damage the fixture itself.

Be sure to clean the CNC fixture after each use. This will help to keep it in good condition and prevent any build-up of debris that could potentially cause problems.

Follow these simple tips and you should have no trouble getting the most out of your CNC fixture. With a little practice, you’ll be able to produce accurate and precise results every time you use it.

Meanwhile, It’s also important to keep your CNC fixture in good working order. Here are some tips on how to maintain your CNC fixture:

– Keep the fixture clean and free of debris.

– Check the fixtures bolts and clamps regularly to make sure they are tight.

– Lubricate the moving parts of the fixture with a light lubricant.

– Keep the work area around the fixture clean and clutter-free.

Get Your Custom CNC Fixtures at CNCFIRST

If you’re looking for high-quality, custom CNC fixtures, look no further than CNCFIRST. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing the best CNC machining services available.

We understand that every project is unique, and we work closely with our clients to ensure that their custom CNC fixtures meet their exact specifications.

With state-of-the-art equipment and a commitment to quality, we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with the final product. Contact us today to learn more about our custom CNC machining services and how we can help bring your project to life.


1. How Are CNC Fixtures Used?

CNC fixtures are used to hold and position workpieces during machining operations. They are often used in conjunction with computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools.

2. What Are The Benefits Of Using CNC Fixtures?

There are several benefits to using CNC fixtures, including:

-Improved accuracy and repeatability: CNC fixtures can be used to hold workpieces in a precise position during machining operations. This results in improved accuracy and repeatability compared to manual methods.

-Increased productivity: CNC fixtures can improve productivity by reducing setup time and allowing for faster cycle times.

-Reduced operator fatigue: CNC fixtures can reduce operator fatigue by eliminating the need for manual workpiece positioning.

3. How Are CNC Fixtures Designed?

CNC fixtures are typically designed using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The fixtures are then manufactured using a variety of methods, including machining, welding, and casting.


In conclusion, CNC fixtures are an important part of any manufacturing process. By understanding the different types of fixtures and their uses, you can ensure that your fixtures are set up properly and functioning correctly. Additionally, following some simple tips for using and maintaining your fixture will help to keep it in good condition and improve its performance. If you have any questions about CNC fixtures, be sure to check out our FAQ section below.