Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

We’re a tech company that simplifies the production of CNC machined parts. We collect unused CNC machine time from qualified machine shops across the United States and manage the whole production process online. The result is that companies in need of machined components can get them more quickly and more efficiently than ever before.

Peace of mind, cost savings and time savings to name a few. Our software helps customers streamline procurement and operational processes, while giving insight and transparency to what has traditionally been a complicated process. We also help companies overcome capacity shortages, and we take the mystery out of pricing. Our goal is to make CNC machining production straightforward and simple.

To get started, create an account, upload at least one DFM ready part, and request an estimate. Within one business day (on average), you’ll receive a pricing estimate that includes machining, materials and delivery costs. If the price is right, sign the estimate and pay. Our matching algorithm will place your order with suppliers whose capabilities and available machine time meet your needs. MakeTime manages production, delivery, and payments, and we insure every order for quality.

Lexington, Kentucky. Go Cats!

No. We don’t have any CNC machines, instead we have the largest CNC machining supplier network in the world. It stretches nationwide and makes it possible for us to provide customers in need of CNC machined parts immediate access to thousands of available machines and machine hours in shops that we have already vetted.

We’ve developed a matching algorithm that places jobs with suppliers in our nationwide network based on shop preferences, capabilities, proximity, work history, available machines and a handful of other important criteria.

We have a rigorous qualification process for all our suppliers. First, suppliers must pass a background check and meet business credit history requirements. Upon approval, we conduct a supplier qualification audit based on the criteria defined in our proprietary Quality Confidence Factor Equation, which focuses on quality standards, ability to execute and commitment to digital manufacturing.

Sometimes a supplier doesn’t meet these initial requirements. When that happens, we may grant probationary status based on a review of additional criteria. Probationary suppliers are limited to certain types of jobs and must successfully complete a series of test jobs before graduating to qualified status.

Not currently. If there is a design for manufacturability (DFM) problem with your part files, our sales team will contact you about what can be done to fix it.

MakeTime supports CNC machining, including:

  • Mills (both horizontal and vertical machining centers)

  • Lathes

  • Swiss lathes

  • Laser cutters

  • Plasma cutters

  • Water jet cutters

  • EDM cutters

We also support over a dozen material types, including:

  • Aluminum

  • Brass

  • Bronze

  • Cast iron

  • Copper

  • Steel

  • Tool steel

  • Alloy steel

  • Stainless steel

  • Titanium

  • Plastics

  • Zinc

If your order requires rare or irregular materials, include them in the space provided for your production notes. Secondary processes available upon request.

Absolutely. Monetizing idle machine time is great for customers with in-house machining capabilities. To activate supplier capabilities on your account, email us at

No. MakeTime is the single point of contact for purchasers and suppliers. Our platform makes sure production stays on schedule, and should any issues arise, we will make sure to resolve them. Every customer is assigned a dedicated MakeTime account manager who can be reached via phone or email, 9am to 5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

If you have circumstances or requirements requiring traceability, you can speak directly with our sales team by emailing or calling 1-844-625-3846.

We take intellectual property (IP) very seriously. Every file you upload to the MakeTime platform is kept completely confidential and secure. Once an order is placed, only the supplier that actually produces your parts has access to the part file. All our suppliers undergo a qualification process and are under contract to protect your IP. If you need an NDA, we will oblige. Just email us at with your request.

Nothing. There are no subscription or signup fees. You pay only for the parts you order, the materials they’re made out of and the logistical costs of getting them to you.

If you schedule an order delivery for a holiday, we'll do everything in our power to get it to you early, but it may end up arriving the day after. Production runs scheduled to take place over the end of the year holidays may not be able to be filled within our fastest, two week time range. If you contact us over a holiday, you may not receive a reply until the following business day. In short: Holidays happen. MakeTime observes the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

We primarily work with SMB, mid-market and enterprise customers looking to strengthen or reshore their supply chains without increasing capital or operational expenditures. However, we also work with entrepreneurs and the occasional artist or inventor in need of on-demand CNC machining.

Our suppliers are located throughout the United States of America.


MakeTime is an online contract manufacturer that fills idle machine time. We’ve replaced the RFQ process with real job offers that match your capacity and capabilities, essentially automating your front office at no added cost to you. MakeTime will put work on your machines and coordinate all logistics. All you have to do is order materials, machine parts, and get paid.

Consider us a no-cost extension of your sales team.  When you sign up with us, you can boost revenue by monetizing your idle machine time, and eliminate soft costs associated with the traditional RFQ process. You won’t have to bid jobs, your machines will be idle less often, and your machinists will have more work.

We have a rigorous qualification process for all our suppliers. First, suppliers must pass a background check and meet business credit history requirements. Upon approval, we conduct a supplier qualification audit based on the criteria defined in our proprietary Quality Confidence Factor Equation, which focuses on quality standards, ability to execute and commitment to digital manufacturing.

Sometimes a supplier doesn’t meet these initial requirements. When that happens, we may grant probationary status based on a review of additional criteria. Probationary suppliers are limited to certain types of jobs and must successfully complete a series of test jobs before graduating to qualified status.

To begin the qualification process, sign up for an account here.

MakeTime pays suppliers upon customer acceptance of the delivered parts — usually within one business day. We can either cut you a check or deposit funds directly into your bank account. It's up to you.

When you sign up, only basic information about you and your company is required. However, to properly match your shop to the kinds of job offers you’re likely to want and succeed at, we need a lot more than that. So we ask you about capabilities, job preferences, quality control and relevant experience. We also ask you to list all your available machine hours and keep them updated. Once you sign up, you can enter this more detailed information in the Supplier Details section.

No. However, some customers require or request them. In order to increase the number of jobs for which you are eligible, log any certifications you do have in your Supplier Details.

All you need to start a job is a CNC machine and a MakeTime account. Every job offer from MakeTime includes detailed part files: a 2D drawing in .pdf format with top, side and bottom views, tolerances, dimensions, material call outs and finishing specifications, as well as a 3D model in .step or .sldprt formats. All part files are checked for manufacturability before we pass them on to you.

No. That being said, we only sends job offers that match your capabilities and the available hours you’ve listed. However, you always have a choice to either accept or reject an offer. If you do reject a job offer, please tell us why so we can match you more efficiently to jobs in the future.

Not if you have a valid reason for rejecting a job offer and you communicate that reason to the MakeTime team. In the event that you reject two or more jobs that fit your competencies and available hours without reason, however, future job offers will be fewer and farther between.


Every order starts when a customer uploads part files in 2D and 3D formats. The 2D file must include top, side and bottom views with clear dimensions, tolerances, material call outs and finishing specifications. You must also include part quantity, your in-hands date and shipping address. Then, request an estimate. If the price you receive is to your liking, sign and submit payment. We'll immediately start matching your order to a prequalified supplier on our network.

How quickly you need your parts affects pricing. Because of this reality, we encourage our customers to plan ahead, and only choose faster shipping times when it’s truly necessary. Our adjustable delivery dates and pricing work like this:

  • Production speeds automatically default to our “standard” lead time. “Standard” is four weeks. This speed of delivery also accompanies our baseline pricing.

  • “Rush” orders are delivered within three weeks of an order being placed. The estimate price for “rush” orders is higher than it is for “standard” orders.

  • “Expedited” orders are delivered in two weeks or less. This delivery option is our fastest, and it is also our most expensive.

  • “Flexible” dates are for customers who don’t need their parts for five weeks or more. These estimates reflect a 4% discount off our standard pricing.

  • “Custom dates” allow customers to enter a specific date for parts delivery. Depending on when that date falls on the calendar in relation to when you request an estimate, your price will reflect our expedited, rush, standard or flexible pricing.

With our data science team, leading universities and other industry experts, we’ve developed a proprietary pricing algorithm that makes use of nationwide historical pricing data as well as up-to-the-minute market rates for machine time, materials and logistics.

Yes. Once you place an order, you’ll be able to track it on our platform from the moment it’s matched to a supplier all the way through to the delivery of your finished parts.

MakeTime does. Because of our partnerships with industry leaders in material services and logistics, we can offer end-to-end order management that is cost competitive. Pricing includes all services.

First, you'll sign the estimate you received in your MakeTime account using a digital signature tool. You will then be prompted to pay on our platform using ACH direct deposit or — for orders up to $10,000 — a credit card. Upon payment, your order is placed. You can then download a .pdf of your order and a payment receipt from the website.

MakeTime offers a free, personalized Parts Library where you can upload and manage files. Sort, catalogue, archive, clone, create new assemblies, request estimates, place new orders, group collections of parts — there are a lot of options. There is no limit on the size or the number of files you can maintain either. Please note: There can be no further revision to part files associated with an order. However, if you believe your order contains an error, contact us immediately at or 1-844-625-3846.

MakeTime is working toward many CAD integrations. Currently, our platform is integrated with Autodesk 360. You can use the Smart Sync feature to import all your A360 Drive files into MakeTime, or you can submit a design file to MakeTime directly from inside the Fusion 360 design software. This walkthrough video explains how it works.

We use best practices in data collection, storage and processing, and we maintain strong security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information or any other data stored on our site. All data exchanges between the MakeTime site and users occur over a secured communication channel that is EV SSL certified and protected with digital signatures.

For more information please see MakeTime’s Privacy Policy.

MakeTime insures every order that crosses our platform, which means we truly offer a 100% quality guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied, your parts will be remade or reworked at no additional cost to you. We take careful measures upfront to ensure both parties understand the scope of work. When issues do arise, we solve them promptly. Solutions may include placing the job with a different supplier or having the same supplier rework the parts. All disputes are handled on a case by case basis.

MakeTime is not only an opportunity to save time and money, it’s a way to increase your peace of mind. We help streamline your CNC part procurement and manage your production process. Typically companies that use us reduce their operational procurement activities by 69%, which ends up creating cost savings between 40-60%.

Target pricing is mainly for large volume production runs, which are priced differently than other types of orders. Your target price gives MakeTime insight into your past cost and gives us the opportunity to meet it or beat it.

3, 4 and 5 axis mills, standard and multi-axis lathes, swiss lathes, routers, laser, water jet, plasma cutters, bending and punching.

Yes, upon request. We can offer anodization, assembly, bending, oxide, brushing, chemical film, cleaning, electro polishing, engraving, grinding, heat treating, lapping, laser marking, media blasting, painting, passivating, plating, polishing, powder coating, tumbling and welding. If you have any questions about requesting secondary processes, email or contact us through chat.

All of our suppliers must abide to MakeTime’s strict terms and conditions. Moreover, if MakeTime enters into an NDA with a purchaser, our suppliers — per language in our T&C’s — are also subject to the terms laid out in the NDA. Every PDF file we send is fully redacted, and CAD models are encrypted both at rest and in transit (SSL).

We have a multitier qualification system. Everybody goes through basic vetting — including interviews — to gather information on credit, work experience and current certifications. Beyond that, the rigidity of qualification is related to the types of parts suppliers say they can provide.

Yes, we do have suppliers that have those certifications. Before the matching process, in your production notes, let us know that you require ISO, ASI or ITAR certifications and we will only offer jobs to qualifying suppliers.

MakeTime will have you sign an MNDA and work with you to determine the best way to move forward.

No, MakeTime operates a blind marketplace. If there is an instance where you would like to speak with a supplier directly, we will address that on a case by case basis.

Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Cast Iron, Copper, Plastics, Steel, Tool Steel, Alloy Steel, Stainless Steel and Zinc. Other materials available upon request.  If you have any questions about materials, email or contact us through chat.

For small runs, every feature and tolerance is checked either by the supplier or in-house at MakeTime. For production runs, we will adhere to your specific requirements, i.e. FAI, PPAP, etc.

No, the only time you pay is when you order parts.

MakeTime uses big data and proprietary software to estimate a competitive price for all of the parts in our system.

MakeTime manages that on a case by case basis.  If you have any questions about a design change, email or contact us through chat.

You can relay this information to your Account Executive, and we will work with you to find the best lead time available.

We’re working on a feature that allows you to upload all of your parts even more easily and quickly using a zip file — but it has not yet been released. In the meantime, you can email those zip files to us at - or to your Account Eexcutive - and we will take care of it for you.