Machining Exotic Materials Doesn’t Intimidate Us

Exotic materials

One of our biggest points of pride at Ricaurte Precision is our expertise in manufacturing exotic materials. 

Not every precision machine shop is capable of machining materials like magnesium, graphite, and carbon fiber while maintaining high standards of quality and fair prices. But we’re committed to providing solutions to our customers who require these materials for their parts.

We’ve learned the right skills, acquired the right tools, and trained the right people to work confidently with exotic materials. 

How We Became Experts in Machining Exotic Materials

Carbon Fiber Stock

Working with standard materials like steel or aluminum isn’t always easy, but the precision machining process is at least relatively straightforward. In contrast, exotic materials (e.g., carbon fiber, graphite, magnesium) have properties that pose significant difficulties during precision machining. Even our precision machine shop struggled to machine these materials in the past. 

However, customer demand ultimately challenged us to rise to the occasion. As we developed deeper partnerships with our customers, they continued bringing us new work—including parts requiring exotic materials. We knew they faced difficulty finding shops that could machine these materials. So, what did we do? We decided to talk to their engineers and assist them with research and development so we could work with them on their exotic materials projects. 

Eventually, we discovered the right tools and machining techniques to mitigate the dangers and difficulties of precision machining exotic materials. These days, we have a massive tooling library of over 10,000 tools at our disposal, allowing us to take on jobs that many shops would likely no-quote. 

Considerations for Precision Machining Exotic Materials

Over the years, we’ve increased our understanding of exotic materials and their precision machining needs exponentially. 

Here are some fast facts about the niche materials that we see most often in our shop:

Machined Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber—a polymer known for its strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant properties— has a high risk of chipping and cracking during precision machining, as the material can become damaged and weakened with an improper machining approach. Factors such as selecting the right tools and calculating proper feeds and speeds can help mitigate these risks considerably. 

It’s also essential to have a reliable materials source for carbon fiber—one that produces high-quality carbon fiber consistently—to further reduce the risk of cracking and chipping and prevent other issues such as delamination and finishing inconsistencies. 

At Ricaurte Precision, we take all these factors into consideration when machining carbon fiber. As a result, we can confidently machine carbon fiber parts that meet tight tolerance specifications and have excellent finishes. 

We even have strict protocols in place to care for our machines that run carbon fiber parts, including filtration systems and daily cleaning regimens. 


Machined Magnesium

Magnesium isn’t as challenging to machine as some other exotic materials, but it requires significant care due to its exceptional flammability. Machinists must use sharp tools and calculate

the right speeds to prevent friction that could potentially cause a fire. 

Any shop willing to machine magnesium must have the appropriate equipment and properly trained machinists to work on this material safely. 

At Ricaurte Precision, we’ve honed our process and implemented all the necessary safety precautions. We carry magnesium in stock and will happily machine it should our customers in the aerospace, defense, or automotive industry need it for an application. 


While graphite isn’t particularly hard or dangerous like other exotic materials, graphite machining has its own unique challenges. The process is slow going—not because we need to lower the feeds and speeds, but because we need to clean the machines thoroughly after cutting graphite.

Graphite emits dust that’s invisible to the human eye but can find its way into every crack or opening in a machine enclosure. This dust is electrically conductive and can be dangerous to breathe in, so it’s important to remove it. 

Despite the extra care required for graphite machining, we love working with our customers in the medical industry when they need graphite parts. This material is desirable for its radiopacity, making it ideal for parts exposed to x-ray technology. 

At Ricaurte Precision, we’re proud to be your solution for machining exotic materials. Whether your part requires a material mentioned here, or something else entirely, we’re happy to discuss your needs and see how we can use our expertise to solve your unique machining challenges. Request a quote to get started!