Precision CNC machining has been one of the standout developments in manufacturing over the past few decades, helping to revolutionize the way that components and products are designed and created.
CNC, which stands for computer numerical control, refers to machines that utilize a pre-programmed code, in order to follow a sequence of tasks and steps in an automated manufacturing process.
This has a number of benefits over the previous method of manufacturing, which requires a human operator. Precision CNC machining can boast a number of advantages over this method, as it is cost-effective and faster, while also reducing the amount of waste material, providing higher reliability and offering much greater efficiency.
So, what are the different areas of precision CNC machining?
CNC Milling Machines
One of the most widely used areas of CNC is the milling machine, which utilizes cutters and other tools to drill and turn materials. Using pre-programmed code to ensure that the pieces are the exact dimensions and measurements required, CNC milling has largely taken over from human-operated machines in leading manufacturing companies.
For more involved and complex tasks, CNC routers utilize multiple axes in order to cut and create different components. Often found with a 3 axis design, it is also possible to find machines that have up to 6 axes, for especially involved tasks.
CNC routers are another common area of precision CNC machining, while they also operate with no human input outside of the computer code provided, making them incredibly reliable and efficient.
CNC Lathe Machines
Lathe machines are also very prominent in the manufacturing industry, as it allows an automated version of the lathe to work unattended and with the ability to switch tools automatically. This greatly increases the speed of the task, while also improving the accuracy and ease of the operation.
CNC Plasma Cutters
A similar concept to using a CNC router, plasma cutters differ in that they use heat and magnetic fields in order to melt the material before cutting. This process allows the easy removal of any excess metal, ensuring a clean and highly accurate outcome.
Additional Precision CNC Machining
While this covers the most common areas of precision CNC machining, there are also a number of additional and ever-growing machine processes that are becoming automated through the use of CNC, helping to create a faster, reliable and more efficient manufacturing industry.