Last Updated on December 20, 2022 by Leizi
When it comes to prototyping, you most likely think of CNC machining and 3D printing. 3D printing has been gaining popularity in various fields because it can prototype simple and complex designs in a short period. But in terms of precision, CNC machining gets exclusive advantages. This article aims to explain the process and advantages of CNC machining to give you an in-depth understanding towards CNC machining.
What is CNC machining?
CNC machining works by using the computer to automatically control the operations of the cutters. Common machining steps include milling and turning. To complete the entire machining process mainly includes 3 steps: programming, manual adjustment, and machining. Programmers use special software to program the path the tool will take before feeding the automation program into the system. Experienced operators will debug tools and fixtures, and perform real-time operation and monitoring during the machining process of CNC machining machines.
What are the advantages of CNC machining?
High precision. As mentioned above, one of the biggest advantages of CNC machining is high precision. Before the CNC machining starts, the engineer will input the programmed automation program into the CNC machining machine system. This virtually eliminates human error and greatly improves machining accuracy. Whether it is small-batch prototyping or 10,000-quantity mass production, CNC machining ensures the accuracy and repeatability of production and processing.
Less labor cost. Generally speaking, multi-axis CNC machining machines have a high degree of automation. Throughout the entire machining process, only skilled operators are required to simultaneously run and control the CNC machine to machine the part. This greatly reduces labor costs. This is different from traditional machining where each operator is responsible for a different part of the machining.
Safe processing environment. During CNC machining, all operators do not need to directly operate the machine, but act as a supervisor. During milling, sharp tools work on the metal of the part inside the lathe without causing any harm.
More flexible. CNC machining centers can perform a variety of machining operations including milling and turning, and are equipped with sensors for more parameters. If there is any data abnormality during processing, such as the temperature is too high. Experienced operators only need to operate on the console.
High efficiency and low maintenance. CNC machines can process parts 24/7 and can create various types of parts for various industries in a short time. Generally speaking, these CNC machines only stop when they need to be repaired.
Multifunctional. For designers, CNC machining enables the creation of virtually any prototype component with complex geometries, further speeding up product development cycles.