The Definition of CNC Machining
CNC machining is a type of manufacturing process, it produces the machined parts,products, items by using CNC machines. CNC Stands for Computer Numerical Control or Computerized Numerical Control.
While a CNC machine is an electro-mechanical device, it contains of the computer, that acted as the control unit, directs the machine tools to perform numerous machining operations as per the program of instructions fed by the operator. CNC machine works like the Robot, once you feed it with the programs, then it follows all your instructions.
The basic CNC machining process can be broken down into 3 steps.
1. The engineers design the CAD model of the part.
2. Then transfer the CAD model file into a CNC program (G-code) and set up the machine.
3. The CNC system executes all machining operations to remove material and create the CNC machined part.
Types of CNC Machines
There are so many types of CNC machines are present in the industries to manufacture the products. Generally, there are six types of CNC machines, they are used for different purposes :
1. CNC milling machines:
In fact, they might be the most popular type of CNC machines used today. Milling machines utilize rotary cutters to shape workpieces as requested. They can be programmed to provide the required depth, angle and cutting direction.
A lathe is utilized to develop highly precise conical and spherical shaped parts. This particular machine uses turning centers wherein the cutting tool shaves off the excess material while the material is rotating on a spindle.
It is a very common piece of machinery that you will see a lot when learning about CNC.
These are machines built exclusively to be operated by CNC technology and typically have no human interface other than through the computer.
Routers are generally for producing larger dimension parts and more commonly built with the idea of cutting wood, plastics and sheet metal in mind.
Routers also are most commonly found in a 3 axis Cartesian coordinate setup (X, Y and Z). A 3 axis set up will allow cutting of profiles, pocketing and 3 dimensional relief machining.
There are also CNC routers which are 4, 5 or even 6 axis (the additional axes are rotary and used to rotate the tool around the work piece or visa versa), these machines are more suited towards cutting more complex shapes or prototype models.
4.CNC Plasma Cutters:
CNC plasma cutters are very similar to CNC routers in size and setup.
However plasma cutters don’t require as much of a powerful set up because as opposed to dragging around a spinning tool in material they fly above the table with a plasma torch.
Plasma cutters are made for cutting 2 dimensional profile shapes into sheet metal.
This type of machine utilizes a rotary wheel that abrades the material into the desired shape by repeatedly grinding it.
6.CNC Electric Discharge Machines:
Electric discharge machining, or EDM for short, includes making a particular shape inside a specific material by utilizing electrical releases or starts. The material is expelled from a particular workpiece by a progression of repeating electrical releases between two anodes. These anodes are isolated by a dielectric liquid, which regularly gets an electric voltage.