CNC machining is an automated machine tool that is controlled by a computer. Using rotating tools with multiple cutting edges and very little operator intervention, they can carry out different operations on a piece. Precision CNC machining has been used in multiple roughing or chip removal operations, turning, milling, and drilling. They are even reaching the complementation of all of them in a single machine.
Features of CNC machining
There are two types of CNC machines: vertical and horizontal. The difference lies in the position of the spindle motor. The size will also depend on the style of the part to be manufactured. It can be 3, 4, and 5 axes—the greater the number of axes, the faster the production of more complex parts.
All machine tools can be adapted from their conventional processes to a manufacturing process using CNC commands. So is CNC machining convenient? Yes, it is. Maintaining a constant control and reading of operational states makes it a safe manufacturing process. With much more precision and quality in the various surface finishes obtained. The introduction of information technology, together with automation in machining manufacturing processes, has consolidated the CNC as a significant advance in the metal-mechanical industry.
Applications and advantages of CNC machining
As already mentioned some benefits to CNC machining, but there are more. The introduction of programs in the machining processes has allowed the formation of parts with high complexity in their design that escapes the possibility of being machined in conventional machine tools. This advance has developed components for various industries, such as aerospace, naval, rail, and aeronautics. CNC plasma cutting machines have been applied in routers that allow cutting materials in various shapes and sizes.
It also offers a considerable improvement in precision, reducing errors and improving productivity. And by dramatically reducing human intervention, the risk of workplace accidents is lower. It is worth noting the cost savings since it reduces metal waste. Besides, it has automatic chip removal, offering cleaning, reuse, and recycling. On the other hand, CNC machinery can perform complex jobs by configuring the machine and integrating the programs.
The CNC machining process begins with the creation of a 3D solid part or 2D vector CAD design. The design program enables designers and fabricators to create a model or representation of their parts and the necessary technical specifications, such as dimensions and geometries, to produce the part.
The designs for parts CNC machined are restricted by machine tools and CNC capabilities (or disability). A typical example might be designing right-angle corners on interior machining. For starters, most tools have radii on their tips. In addition, if the design does not take into account machining, there may be operations that, due to the machine’s functionalities, maybe impossible to machine.
The CNC machining of parts is carried out with the help of computers capable of controlling the machinery. The advent of CNC machining has made it possible to automate this process, thanks to computer programs’ ease of control with minimal human intervention.
Its applications extend, among other things, to assembly, inspection, and sheet metal work. It can be applied in all fields, and CNC or numerically controlled machining is mainly used in metal or aluminium machining processes such as drilling and milling.
Thanks to its automation capabilities, manufacturing proceeds at an accelerated rate and generates more accurate results.