Nontraditional machining processes are those that don't use cutting or shearing to remove or separate materials. Examples include ultrasonic machining, electrochemical machining, water jet operations and thermal machining. These methods are alternatives to traditional machines, such as saws and lathes, when removing material from an item.
Nontraditional machining processes are usually used on a much smaller scale than traditional machining because they tend to use more energy and work more slowly. However, they are often essential for working with hard alloys and in other areas of engineering where traditional machining methods are impractical or uneconomical. Nontraditional machining methods fall into four categories: mechanical, electrical, thermal and chemical.