CNC (computerized numerical control) machining is a subtractive process in which various computer-controlled tools machine parts directly from 3D CAD files. These parts are then finished or painted according to the specifications of the project for which they were made.
Typical tools used in CNC machining include lathes, routers, cutters, grinders and mills. In order to perform properly, these tools are controlled by a unique software program that uses a specific G-code, or CNC machining language. This code is responsible for all the features, such as location, speed, feed rate and coordination.
The Machining Process
CNC precision machining can be used to manufacture both plastic and metal parts. The first step is to create either a 2D or 3D drawing, although 3D is becoming more standard. The G-code is created, the program is loaded and an operator then runs a test to make sure that everything works as it should. Called “cutting air,” this in an important step, as any errors that are not picked up could end up damaging the machine, or creating a faulty part.
Advantages of CNC Machining
There are many advantages to using CNC precision machining, including:
* Accuracy – the process is more precise than manual machining, and can be repeated continuously in exactly the same way.
* More Precision – Complex shapes that would never be possible manually can be easily achieved with this method.
* Saves Money – There is less wastage of material, and newer materials that are easier to machine can be used. The machines also require very little intervention and can run continuously for months or even years without a problem, provided the recommended maintenance schedule is followed.
* Fast – CNC machine can produce parts in one step that would take a manual process many steps to achieve. This means a quicker turnaround time, faster shipping time and happier customers!
* Safe – no operator is needed to work the machine, so there is no risk of any injuries.
* Efficient – most CNC machines come standard with internal quality assurance detectors. As soon as they detect any kind of error, the entire operation stops so that no material is wasted.
Kaufman Manufacturing – multi-axis CNC designs make it possible for us to offer customers a cost-effective manufacturing system for medium to high volume projects or part families. Visit http://www.kaufmanmfg.com for more information.
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