How to Remove Chrome from Wheels: A Comprehensive Guide(3d print wall thickness Kerwin)

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Chrome wheels are widely popular among car enthusiasts due to their shiny and reflective surface. However, over time, the chrome plating may deteriorate or become damaged, making it necessary to remove the coating. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to remove chrome from wheels using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining process.

What is CNC machining?

CNC machining is a manufacturing process that utilizes computer-controlled machines to produce precise and intricate parts. It allows for high automation and accuracy, making it an ideal choice for removing chrome from wheels. By employing CNC techniques, one can efficiently strip away the chrome layer without causing any damage to the underlying material.

Why Remove Chrome from Wheels?

There are several reasons why you might want to remove chrome from your wheels. Some of these include:

1. Damage: Over time, chrome plating can get scratched, chipped, or corrode, diminishing the overall appearance of the wheels. Removing the damaged chrome layer can restore the wheels' original shine.

2. Customization: Many car enthusiasts prefer to personalize their vehicles by applying different finishes to their wheels. By removing chrome, you open up new possibilities for customization, such as painting, powder coating, or polishing.

3. Maintenance: Chrome wheels require regular maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. The removal of chrome allows for easier cleaning and maintenance of the wheels without worrying about damaging the delicate chrome layer.

How to Remove Chrome from Wheels Using CNC:

Now, let's dive into the step-by-step process of removing chrome from wheels using CNC machining:

Step 1: Safety Precautions

Before starting the chrome removal process, ensure you have the following safety equipment:
- Eye protection
- Gloves
- Respirator mask

Step 2: Preparation

1. Elevate the Car: Use jack stands or a hydraulic lift to raise the car so that you have easy access to all of the wheels.

2. Remove the Tires: To effectively remove chrome from your wheels, it is necessary to separate them from the tires. Carefully unscrew the lug nuts and gently pull off the tires.

Step 3: Sandblasting

1. Choose a Suitable Sandblaster: Select a sandblasting machine suitable for removing chrome plating. This will typically involve using fine-grit abrasive material like aluminum oxide or garnet.

2. Blast the Wheels: Ensure the wheel surface is free of any debris or dirt before commencing sandblasting. Gradually move the nozzle around each wheel, applying even pressure to strip away the chrome layer. Be cautious not to stay in one spot for too long, as this can damage the underlying metal.

3. Clean the Surface: After sandblasting, thoroughly clean the wheels with water and soap to remove any remaining chrome particles. Dry the wheels completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: CNC Machining Process

1. Set Up the CNC Machine: If you don't own a CNC machine, consider outsourcing this part of the process to a professional machining shop. Preferably, find a facility equipped with five-axis CNC milling machines for optimal accuracy and efficiency.

2. Create a CAD Model: Utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a 3D model of the wheel without the chrome layer. This model will guide the CNC machine during the removal process.

3. CNC Milling: Program the CNC machine with the CAD model and ensure precise cutting paths for removing the chrome plating. The machine will automatically follow these instructions, accurately removing the chrome layer while leaving behind the desired finish.

4. Inspection: Once the CNC machining process is complete, inspect the wheels to ensure that the chrome has been entirely removed, leaving the base material intact.

Step 5: Post-Treatment

1. Smooth Any Imperfections: After the Chrome removal, there might be minor imperfections or rough spots on the wheel's surface. Use sandpaper or a polishing compound to smooth these areas.

2. Finish Options: Now that the chrome has been removed, you have various options for finishing the wheels according to your preference. You can either polish them to a mirror-like shine, apply a new coating such as paint or powder coat, or leave them in their natural state.

3. Reinstall Tires: Once the desired finish has been achieved, carefully reinstall the tires onto the wheels following the manufacturer's instructions.


Removing chrome from wheels using CNC machining is an effective way to restore damaged chrome surfaces or customize your vehicle with alternative finishes. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can safely remove the chrome layer and achieve the desired appearance for your car's wheels. Remember to prioritize safety precautions and seek professional assistance if needed. Whether it's for repair or customization purposes, removing chrome from wheels through CNC machining ensures precise results without compromising the quality of your wheels. CNC Milling CNC Machining