CNC machining adopts the latest computer numerical control, this is actually what CNC stands for, technology. Therefore, the milling machine used is automated and controlled by a computer to process a piece of material to make a part. The absence of molds reduces costs and time, while it allows to obtain the same parts made with the correct materials as well. You can do this yourself, but it is also possible to outsource the production to an online CNC service. This makes it the preferred method for unit products, for example for visual and functional testing. In this case, it will be used to create prototypes, but you can also produce high volume batches with the help of CNC machining. Below you can learn more about this technology.
Explanation of CNC machining
In computer numerical control machining, the processing function is determined by the computer program that controls the movement of the tool on the block to be processed. You have to define the rotation axis of the tool in the milling process and the rotation axis of the part in the turning process. The machine used is a three-axis or five-axis milling machine, which is fully automatic and computer controlled. The 3D file input to the computer indicates the path of the cutter, which then cuts the required part of the block. This is why this technique is one of the so-called subtractive methods, which is fast and cheap when you are planning on producing one to ten parts. However, due to the small economies of scale, this technology is not recommended for medium and large series. It is suitable for the production of up to 10 parts for visual and functional testing because these parts are the same and made of suitable materials. Many finishes are also possible.
History of the technology CNC machining
CNC machining uses machining technology developed in the 18th century. In fact, the first so-called metal frame rotary machine was invented all the way back in 1751. It was the first in a series of machines designed to create more precise mechanical operations than manual techniques. This essentially marked the beginning of industrialization. However, it was not until the Cold War that the development of automation was resolved. At the time, the US Navy commissioned Parsons Works to increase the productivity of its helicopter blade production line. John T. Parsons then motorized the machine shaft to make these blades. He collaborated with IBM to study the possibility of controlling these machines through computers. This is the starting point of the CNC machining method. In 1952, Richard Kegg and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the first CNC milling machine, which was called the Cincinnati Milacron Hydrotel. Five years later, in 1958, he applied for a patent for the motor control device used to position machine tools. This is the commercial birth of the CNC machining technology, which is nowadays still used. In fact, some experts predict that it will become even more popular in the next few years.