The Fundamentals of Achieving Super Thin Wall Thicknesses on Tiny Parts

tiny part on fingertip for scale. KMM uses processes like hybrid CNC grinding to manufacture components like this

Many component manufacturers deploy a CNC centerless technique when tasked with grinding tiny parts with super thin wall thicknesses. However, they can inadvertently crush them without the right grinding approach, triggering catastrophic results that drive up costs and timelines. So, the question becomes: How can super thin walls be achieved without compromising tiny parts? 

To answer this question, this post will profile two fundamental elements required to rise to this challenge: technology and proficiency. Both are part of a hybrid CNC centerless grinding process we’ve invested significant resources into perfecting, one we’d like to introduce you to in our next section. 

What is hybrid CNC centerless grinding?

Hybrid CNC centerless grinding is an ultra-precision process for manufacturing intricate and micro-sized components, also known as problem parts. This specialized method offers extremely tight motion control over the machine’s three axes of movement, uses highly advanced software to program exceedingly complex geometries, and holds diameter tolerances to +/- .00005” (1.2 microns).

A hybrid technique goes beyond conventional CNC grinding to encompass CNC OD and CNC ID methods to achieve ultra-thin wall thickness as low as .001.” It can reach OD diameter ranges of .003″ to 2.50″ and ID diameter ranges of .060″ to 2″ on many materials, including glass, M2, tungsten, titanium, and nitinol.

  • Hybrid CNC OD & CNC ID grinding technique
  • Ultra-thin wall thicknesses of .001”
  • OD diameter range: .003″ to 2.50″
  • ID diameter range: .060″ to 2″
  • Compatible with many materials

We will dedicate the rest of this post to explaining the role of technology and proficiency, the two fundamental elements that make hybrid CNC centerless grinding exceedingly successful at achieving super thin wall thicknesses on tiny parts – without crushing them. Keep reading to discover why each factor is critical to the process. 


Using the latest high-precision grinding technologies is critical to achieving super thin wall thicknesses on micro-sized parts because they’re equipped with sophisticated software, controls, functions, and customizations to handle such demanding jobs. 

Additionally, advanced machine tools in hybrid CNC centerless grinding equipment allow reconfiguration to address fine internal features, a critical aspect for achieving ultra-thin walls without crushing the parts. As a result, these state-of-the-art machines can produce astonishing wall ratios of 100:1 or greater.

Extremely thin walls are just one of the incredible capabilities of hybrid CNC centerless grinding technologies. They can also impart intricate features to the ID, including angles, radii, grooves, and tapers through interpolation or plunging them into the parts.


The proficiency of the hybrid CNC machine operators is equally important when navigating a manufacturing challenge with extremely thin walls on tiny parts. Without specialized knowledge and in-depth expertise, the best technology in the world cannot produce the desired results. 

Operators often have decades of centerless grinding experience in various mission-critical applications, including medtech and defense. As a result, they bring superior technical skills and critical thinking abilities to devise the precise strategy for maximizing the equipment’s technological capabilities, allowing them to solve challenges with super thin wall thicknesses and other manufacturing roadblocks of producing tiny parts.

For further reading on hybrid CNC centerless grinding, download our white paper on what you need to know about grinding hypotubes to an extremely thin wall. You might also be interested in this article on the antidote to the problem of manufacturing tiny defense parts to learn more about the advantages of CNC manufacturing.

Solve your super thin-wall manufacturing challenges here

As an industry-leading single-source manufacturer, we are experts in solving a range of seemingly impossible component manufacturing challenges. We’re committed to meeting the future of manufacturing today, continually investing in the latest CNC grinding and other technologies. We also recruit and retain the best and brightest machine operators, many averaging more than thirty years of industry experience. Contact us or request a quote to discover a solution-oriented approach to producing your tiny, thin-walled parts.