In today’s Manufacturing 101 post, we will be discussing the manufacturing process of producing bone screws using inserts. Bone screws are an essential component used in orthopedic surgeries for fixing bone fractures or in reconstructive procedures. In recent years, the use of inserts in bone screw manufacturing has gained popularity due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Here’s why:

  • Material Selection: The first step in making bone screws is selecting the appropriate material. The material used must be biocompatible, strong, and lightweight. Common materials include titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt-chromium.
  • Screw Forming: The second step is to form the screw using an insert. A carbide insert is a pre-manufactured cutting tool that is placed within a CNC machine. The insert, in conjunction with a cartridge and headstock, is used to cut the thread into the metal rod as it rotates. The thread form will depend on the intended application of the bone screw.
  • Heat Treatment: After the screw is formed, it undergoes heat treatment to improve its mechanical properties. Heat treatment involves heating the screw to a specific temperature and then cooling it down in a controlled manner. This process helps to strengthen the screw and make it more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Surface Treatment: Once the screw has been heat-treated, it undergoes surface treatment. This involves cleaning the screw, removing any burrs or imperfections, and polishing it to improve its surface finish. The surface treatment is crucial as it can affect the screw’s performance, especially in terms of wear resistance and biocompatibility.
  • Inspection: The final step in the bone screw manufacturing process is inspection. The screw undergoes various tests to ensure that it meets the required specifications. These tests include dimensional inspection, torque testing, and fatigue testing. The screw is also visually inspected for any defects or imperfections.


The use of carbide inserts in the manufacturing process of bone screws has greatly increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The selection of the right material, the forming of the screw using an insert, heat treatment, surface treatment, and inspection are all critical steps in ensuring the quality and performance of the bone screw. By following these steps, manufacturers can produce bone screws that are strong, biocompatible, and reliable for use in orthopedic surgeries. 

GWS has a wide array of inserts perfect for your bone screw application. See how we saved this medical bone screw manufacturer over $200,000 with this Case Study. Contact one of our tooling experts at to find your perfect cutting tool today!