What Is CNC Machining Working Principles, Capabilities & More

CNC is the digital name of fabrication; it uses the subtraction mechanism for curving and fabricating materials. It can work on a wide range of materials; from soft materials to tough steel, you can do anything with it. CNC has been playing a greater role in the development of the manufacturing process. In this article, you will learn about CNC machine, how it works, and its capabilities.    

History of CNC machine

CNC stands for computer numerical control. You can predict its nature from its name. CNC is a type of machine that works on getting directions from codes and codes inputted through a computer. Due to this reason, it is known as computer numerical control.

CNC machines that you see now were not in this form in the 1930s. The process of building CNC machine actually started in the 40s. The first one was NC machine, NC stand for numerical control. This type of machine was based on existing tools with modifications. Instructions code were given through a punched tap. The instruction code was manually punched into the data cards. 

The first CNC machine was built when computers from MIT became capable of producing punch code. When the first machine was completed, it produced a card in 15 minutes compared to manual production of 8 hours. After that, a lot of research and development was conducted in this field, and the first programming language for CNC machining became available. Then the transition from NC to CNC was completed.

What exactly the CNC machining is?

The full name of CNC machine is computer numerical control. This type of machine automates fabricating tasks. It takes instruction through codes, the code inputted by a machinist. These codes are known as G codes and M codes. 

When it comes to traditional terms, CNC machines can do things like milling, grinding, routing, drilling, and so on. There are different types of CNC machines. Each type handles each kind of work.

Besides traditional use of CNC, it used to automate different types of fabrication, which includes;

  • Laser cutting 
  • Plasma cutting 
  • Milling 
  • Routing 
  • Flame cutting
  • Waterjet cutting 

How does CNC machine work?

As you already know that CNC machines are the automated computerized machine. That’s why they don’t take instruction from humans directly. You need to feed them information through the computer. CNC machine takes instruction in the form of digital codes and files. For designing and fabrication, tools need to work.

Physical tools may be given to you, but there is no benefit if the computer can’t recognize physical tools. For this reason, the machinist keeps tools digital files in the digital machines’ library. It helps the machine to recognize tools easily. 

To produce a particular design, you must provide instruction to the machines. You can design instruction on CAD software. After that, you can use CAM software for preparing the design. Then CAM software converts the 3D model into CNC language for instruction. 

When fabricating instruction is ready, it is time to give parameters and dimensions for the workpiece. This instruction includes voltage, RPMs, cutting speed, fan speed, etc. 

The final step is called nesting, which ensures the orientation and placement of the workpiece. The fabrication process ends with the orientation and placement of the workpiece.

What CNC machining can do?

When it comes to the capability of CNC machines, it is enormous. As we know, CNC machine has a lot of tools at its disposal, and each tool specialized in their own task. Thus the capability is limitless.  

Three-axis CNC machines feature 3 axes of linear movement. It can meet most of the basics need. On the other hand, five axes CNC machine can spin their head; even they can change the machine bed. Therefore, the capability of five axes machine is limitless. 

As five-axis CNC machines’ capacity improved a lot, they have become costly too. This type of machine is used where accuracy and speed are necessary. On the other hand, the prototype industry still using the manual machine as it is cheap. 

CNC machines are required where accuracy is the first priority, and no error is allowed. Let’s take a look into some industry that uses CNC machines;

  • Defense
  • Electronics
  • Semiconductor
  • Aeronautics 
  • Robotics 
  • RMG
  • Automobile manufacturing etc

It may be expensive from an individual perspective, but in terms of industrial application, CNC machine is affordable. The best thing is its speed. It can produce a huge number of products in a very short time compared to the manual process. That’s why CNC made its position in the manufacturing industry.

CNC machining services

CNC machining services had become popular in the large-scale industry a long ago. As far as small industry or individual level is concerned, it also becomes very popular. Even you can outsource your CNC machining services from other countries. CNC machining service in China is well known. You can get CNC machining services from china at an affordable cost. 

Final words     

CNC machines are a great aid for the modern manufacturing industry. Regardless of their cost, they have become the lifeblood of the manufacturing industry. I hope this information will help to educate yourself about the CNC machine.