A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine is a manufacturing tool that has been developed to replace a manufacturing process. Programmable CNC machines have replaced many of the functions of conventional machines, significantly reducing human error, and enabling the production of identical products over and over again.
CNC machines work with programmed motion control along a number of axes. They can be linear – movement occurs along a straight line – or circular – using a rotary motion.
The number of axes a machine has determines its machining capabilities. Despite its name, a 2.5 axis CNC machine actually has 3 axes, but only two can move together. Drilling, most milling, and other simple operations require a 2.5 axis CNC machine.
A Popular Choice
A 3 axis CNC machine is the most common machine sold today. It has three linear axes, all of which move simultaneously. It is used in more complex operations, such as the machining of the contoured surfaces required in aerospace applications and molds. It is the ideal machine for the efficient production of low volume parts, including valve bodies, and work that requires heavy milling.
A four or five axis machine has three linear and one or two rotary axes.
Three Axes, Many Benefits
3 Axis CNC machine cycles are developed for accuracy, speed and efficient memory usage. Both simple and complex parts can be cut quickly and accurately. Machining time can be reduced by up to 40% by using an adaptive roughing strategy – using the full depth of the tool and safely running your machine at full speed – instead of conventional roughing.
Additional benefits include:
* Generation of high-speed toolpaths without sharp corners.
* Generation of toolpaths with flat, hog nose, ball, tapered flat, tapered hog nose or tapered ball tools.
* Simultaneous generation of multiple toolpaths while the user continues working in other areas.
* Can be programmed to either stay within, or avoid, a defined area.
* Reduction of travel distance between retract and re-entry moves.
* Can have separate X, Y and Z stock allowances.
* Finishing operations include constant stepover, parallel slice cut, Z-level and curve project, among others.
* Support of leftover, or rest, machining. This is used to reduce air cutting by restricting toolpaths to areas that have not been previously machined.
Experts for Over 80 Years
Kaufman Manufacturing offers a multi-axis and multi-path motion controller that works with both analog and digital drives. Visit us at http://www.kaufmanmfg.com to find out more.
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