CNC Machining Operations: A Vital Process in Manufacturing03 February 2020
Over recent years, CNC machining has become a vital process in numerous manufacturing facilities in this country and globally. The reason for this is that it is controllable through computer software which produces precision results with each piece that this type of machining creates. In fact, CNC is the abbreviation for “computer numerical control,” and this is a subtractive process that removes a specific portion of material from the work piece or blank to produce a customised part. Industries that find this process useful include those dealing with transport, recycling, mining, medical, food, automation, packaging, and automotive along with a variety of general industries. In the following, we will explain CNC machining in further detail.
A Brief Explanation of the CNC Machining Process
The process for CNC machining uses computerised controls to manipulate and operate the appropriate cutting tools and machines to shape metal, foam, plastic, composite or other stock material into custom parts. Regardless of the goal of the CNC machining, the results come about with the same basic steps, and these steps include:
- The creation of a computer-aided design or CAD model, and it is either a 2D or 3D design that is made with the help of CAD software or a company that specialises in CAD. This model includes all the necessary technical specifications for the dimensions and shape of the part. After the CAD model is complete, it must be exported to a file format that is compatible with the CNC machine.
- Converting the CAD file to the CNC program or software allows the machine to control the tooling in the proper way to create the intended customised part. CNC machines use M-code, G-code and other specially designed programming languages to perform their functions.
- Setting up the CNC machine appropriately involves not only programming it, such as the above procedures, but it also involves attaching the work piece to vices, spindles, or other work-holding devices on the machine to ensure that the stock materials do not shift during the creation process.
- Operating the CNC machine to produce the project’s part is the last step in this machining process. All that is left to do is to turn on the machine to create the programmed design precisely and accurately.
There Are Different Types of CNC Machines
To receive the ideal results, the right CNC machine must be utilised. The most common types of these machines are drilling, milling, and turning ones, but others do exist to fulfil specialised needs.
While companies can invest in their own CNC machine for their purposes, they also can outsource their projects to save money. With the latter method, they do not need to invest a large amount of operating capital upfront, which can be an important factor for companies that have limited budgets.
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