The CNC machining, abbreviated as Computer Numerical Control, is a subtractive manufacturing process in which the program commands the tools to work in accordance with the CAD(Computer-Aided Design). This process can be used to control an array of machines, which are a combination of tools, such as drills and lathes and routers. A complex arrangement of the machinery can accomplish the task of cutting and building a product in 3 dimensions or 2D vectors autonomously. Let us discuss it in detail.
How does it work?
Machining is the basic process of converting a block of material into a functional prototype. It is done but gradually subtracting the material using the parameters provided by the CAD. The subtraction process is done using a combination of tools. The most conventional machining practices are:
Combinations of the above-stated operations administer the dimensions of the workpiece. These machines work along two or more axes, which allows the system to produce optimum results. The most conventional tools used are:
- Drills: They spin and pierce the block until the desired shape is assumed.
- Lathes: They tend to scrape into the material and discard the excess scrap. They usually work on surface levels.
- Milling Machines: They deal with the material by spinning and penetrating the block. This set up removes the stock material by using rotatory tools.
The process of CNC
The following is the process of computer numerical control-
- The CAD model is prepared.
- The file is converted into a CNC program.
- The machine is aligned according to the requirements.
- The execution of the process begins.
What kind of materials can be used in CNC machining?
The options to choose are solely based on the applications. But the most common materials are amorphous solids and metals. The setup can also deal with wood and plastics.
CNC is largely automated, and the margin of error is very small. This allows manufacturers to concentrate on the process rather than safety. It can be used in every manufacturing company after customization. But the conventional systems are used primarily for prototyping. It ensures that the output is error-free and functional. Before this breakthrough technology was introduced, there was a huge scope for error and mishaps. After numerical control, automation does the perfect job for us.
Where can we apply CNC?
CNC can be used in various situations. A lot of the systems are built for niche purposes, but the majority of systems are used for rapid prototyping. Firms that specialize in CNC would recommend systems concerning the material at hand, keeping in the following factors:
- Heat resistance
- Tensile strength
The major distinction between CNC and CNC machining is that the machine parts can be aligned according to the requirements and vary across different systems. But it should be noted that the former remains consistent in all machining equipment.
This contrast between the process and the machine should be noted as it talks about the versatility of the process.