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CNC Machining is a process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. Tools that can be controlled in this manner include lathes, mills, routers and grinders. The CNC in CNC Machining stands for Computer Numerical Control.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) refers to - manipulating traditional machines by the use of computer systems. Since computers are used to control machines, it means that all major operations of production can be automated to increase speed and quality of manufacturing.
Almost any material can be used in a CNC machine. It really depends on the application. Common materials include metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, steel, and titanium, as well as wood, foam, fiberglass, and plastics such as polypropylene.
Creating a part on a CNC mill is a three phase process. The part is drawn in a CAD(Computer Aided Design) drawing program such as AutoCAD. Then a CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) program is used to convert the CAD drawing to G-Code. Finally, the G-code controls the CNC mill as it makes the part.
5 Common Applications of a CNC Drilling Machine:
- Metal Fabrication
- Wood Manufacturing
- Computer Parts and Components Manufacturing
- Electrical Industry
- Plastics Manufacturing
Milling is the most common form of machining, a material removal process, which can create a variety of features on a part by cutting away the unwanted material. The milling process requires a milling machine, work piece, fixture, and cutter.
Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) is an electro-thermal non-traditional machining process, where electrical energy is used to generate electrical spark and material removal mainly occurs due to thermal energy of the spark. EDM can be used to machine difficult geometries in small batches or even on job-shop basis.
Virtually any conductive material can be cut using Wire EDM. This would include all metals, including steel, aluminum, brass, titanium, and alloys and super alloys of all types.
When using standard 0.010" O brass wire you can expect a consistent, reliable wire EDM cutting speed of approximately 18 to 20 inch/hour.
There are basically five different types of CNC machines:
- CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
- CNC Laser Cutting Machine
- CNC Milling Machine
- CNC Router Machine
- CNC Lathe Machine