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What does this mean? I see it everywhere when guys are talking parts...don't have a clue as to what it means
 

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Hi,
I believe it means that it is machined from one piece block and not from a casting.
  JEMMS
 

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Billet is a block of aluminum which is machined in a CNC machine. Lots of nice goodies are made with billet alum.
 
 

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Rocketman,
Fastcat02 and JEMMS are correct.  I am in the machining business and I will tell you that the word "billet" is used (somtimes in my opinion) to get a higher price for the goods.  Now I am not saying that billet is bad, quite the opposite, things machined from a solid chunk of aluminum are very nice.  However certain parts that are not billet can be very good products as well.  Manufacturing products from other processes (castings,fabrication, ETC..) perform just as well.  Sorry I'll get off the soap box now.

Maxwell
 

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I am a custom machinist. I make anything. I have a college degree in machine tooling and CNC.

The only thing that Billet and CNC have in common is that many companies do make their billet parts on CNC machines, but making something in a cnc machine does not make it billet.

The term Billet comes from the process of making the raw material. Billet material comes in many shapes, it is extruded hot and usually cold rolled during the process.

The advantage of this process is that this process causes the molecules of the material to align, it created a "grain" kind of like grain in wood. Because of this billet material is ALOT stronger than cast. Cast has a very random grain to it and also can have soft spots hidden inside the material. Cast can be hot forged. Forged cast parts are almost as strong as billet. Billet can not be forged.

Summary: A billet part is a part that is machined to shape from a larger piece of stock material, usually refered to aluminum but can be ANY stock material.
 
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