Manufacturers use machining to precisely remove material from a solid stock workpiece, forming it into desired shapes. CNC machining is one of the most efficient automatic machining processes, and it works via computer-generated operational parameters that help it achieve precise cuts.
Modern CNC machining consists of a series of steps outlined below:
- Workers design the part in CAD software.
- Computers generate a machine-control program for the designed part, called the g-code. Depending on each machine’s capabilities, the operational parameters controlled by the g-code can include:
- Cutting toolpaths
- Automatic tool changes
- Material removal or cutting feed rate
- Machine motion speed
- Machine power
- Coolant liquid supply
- Startup and shutdown procedures
- Workers set up the CNC machining process, load the CNC machine with the required tooling, place the blank material, and load the g-code.
- The machine commences either cutting, bending, or turning the material.
Types of CNC Machines
Many types of CNC machines exist and serve a wide range of industries. Each type comes in a variety of sizes and includes unique customization and automation capabilities.
Multiple-axis CNC Machines
Multiple-axis CNC machines produce complex shapes by moving the part along the X, Y, and Z axes. The machine also moves the spindle on its own axes, allowing it to change its angle with relation to the workpiece to cut concave shapes.
CNC mills also move along the X, Y, and Z axes to produce complex shapes. They provide extremely high accuracy and offer automatic tool-changing functions. Due to their range of capabilities, variety of sizes, simplicity, and affordability, mills are one of the most commonly used types of CNC machines.
CNC lathes continuously rotate radially symmetric workpieces on a spindle while cutting them with external tools. Lathes offer extremely precise cutting at relatively high speeds, making them the production method of choice for cylindrical products.
Some CNC machines use high-pressure water jets imbued with abrasive particles to cut along the X and Y axes. These jets cut flat parts in the desired contours and dimensions from large uniform blank sheets of starting material. Water jets greatly aid in the mass production of flat parts.
Similar to water jets, plasma-cutting CNC machinery uses high-powered lasers to cut flat parts from large sheets of blank material with uniform thickness. They also move on the X and Y axes, and they can achieve high-capacity production runs for flat parts.
Benefits of CNC Machining
CNC equipment enhances your production line’s efficiency while reducing overhead costs. A few of their benefits include:
- Speed: Because of their full automation capabilities, CNC machines can quickly and effectively process large volumes of material
- Precision: CNC machines operate with materials that have low dimensional tolerances, boosting precision
- Repeatability: CNC machines’ reliance on g-code programming means that they offer high repeatability—products will retain the same characteristics no matter the production volume
- Shape complexity: CNC machinery can use several tools simultaneously or in quick succession to fabricate complex shapes
- Economies of scale: CNC machines incur few setup costs beyond initial installation, meaning that besides normal maintenance, they will not cause financial headaches down the line
Muskogee Technology: Your Source for CNC Machined Products
When sourcing CNC machined parts, you need a specialized, dependable, experienced, and well-equipped partner.
Request your quote today to discover how Muskogee Technology has the knowledge and infrastructure to support you in all of your CNC machining needs.