The technology behind the computer numerical control (CNC) machines was designed to enable users to shape material using pre-programmed routines. CNC machines can be used to create parts easily and at a high level of precision. Consequently, many industries rely on components created with CNC machines.
CNC machining processes involve many usual materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and other metal types.
But what exactly can you make using this kind of tool and the process? Keep on reading to find out.
CNC machine types
It’s worth knowing the types of this technology. The type you select will be of major importance once you determine what you need to make.
- Lathes. These are common in glass working, metal spinning, woodturning, and thermal spraying (some use cases even cover firearms manufacturing and aerospace components).
- Mills. These are CNC machine centers (milling machines) and they can be used for woodworking, and metal engravings to create wooden and metal sculptures or parts.
- Router. A router can engrave wood, metal, or plastic and the user doesn’t manipulate the router, they only put the details into the computer.
- Plasma. CNC plasma technology is used to cut metal and wood.
- Laser. This kind of laser cutter works like CNC plasma cutters but the laser is used to cut the wood or metal.
- 3D printer. These printers rely on CNC tech and work similarly to CNC lasers, but they utilize an extruder to slowly deposit plastic in a consistent motion until the product is finished.
- Pick and place. These are made of several nozzles that pick up electrical components for electronic equipment.
What can you make with CNC machines?
There are all sorts of things you can create using CNC machining. Even if you need some milling parts like mold components, medical parts, or plastic and metal valves, you can use this process to make them or simply order them from a manufacturer.
Here are the most common uses of CNC milling.
Sophisticated CNC software and machinery can be used to make parts for a wide range of vehicles. It can be used by engine builders for a variety of components, including cylinder heads and engine blocks. CNC machines are used to make parts for vehicles like cars, trains, aerospace vehicles, and marine vessels.
Basically, CNC machines can be used to create public transportation parts, vehicle parts, marine and boat parts, and a variety of other vehicle components.
Machines in the electronics industry
Electronics and gadgets that we use on a daily basis are mainly built using CNC technology. Since they require high levels of precision during production, manufacturers turned to CNC machines to achieve that.
So, in the electronics industry, CNC machines are used to manufacture electronic components such as sensitive metal parts that make electronics work, housing and enclosures that protect electronic components, and appliance parts (heavy-duty parts).
CNC machines in the construction industry
A CNC machine can be used to shape and form heavy-duty parts for construction that have to last for long periods of time. This sophisticated type of machinery follows computer specifications and inputs to create architectural elements (doors, windows, etc.), pipes and railing, and building models. The accuracy of a well-executed CNC process facilitates high-quality outcomes in construction and architecture.
CNC machining benefits
The price of creating a high-quality stainless-steel mold tool is typically the most important financial investment in the plastic injection molding process.
Since almost all plastic parts are manufactured through those molds, it’s critical to ensure the mold’s reliability and accuracy upfront to avoid inaccuracies and faults over time.
That is why using this kind of technology to create molds has many benefits:
- The operator is never exposed to safety risks since the system is 100% automated.
- Producing parts requires just a few steps, resulting in high efficiency.
- The process is more precise than manual machining, and it can be repeated indefinitely.
- Allows for the creation of complex shapes with a high level of precision.
- Utilizes modern CAD software to generate outputs and multiple functions that cannot be replicated manually.
Clothing, mining, and food and beverage are some of the other industries that use CNC machines. They drill holes in the clothing, cut the fabric, and sew it together. There are so many things these machines can do that it’s impossible to list them all.
Think about the product you want to make and its type. See if it can be done with a CNC machine and if the material is appropriate for that kind of machinery. If the answer is yes, then you’ll make your production process much easier by using a CNC machining process.