Computer Numerical Control (CNC) refers to the way that engineers and operators can order a manufacturing tool or machine to work through the aid of computer programming. These machines use the g-code language which tells the machine exactly how to cut, shape, grind, mold or melt a source material put into the machine, such as plastic, wood or metal and turn out the finished product exactly as it is wanted. There are several types of CNC machines in the market today, thanks largely to their versatility in terms of applications.
CNC machines are programmed and computer-controlled devices that perform myriad tasks in industries without human assistance. They follow steps sequentially that render them reliable, accurate and precise. This kind of machining has wide applications universally, in manufacturing industries, such as mining, automobiles and metal fabrication.
There are five basic types of CNC machines. They are listed below. Take a look.
#1. CNC Lathe Machines: These machines are fast replacing older type of lathes such as multi-spindles because they are easy to use and set, and are extremely precise. They are manual lathes in automated avatar and can change tools automatically. They are highly capable of producing 3D moulds and shapes of plastic, metal and wood objects. After a typical part is designed, its tool paths are programmed by CAD/CAM and the resulting file is uploaded to the machine. After it is set, and the machine goes through a trial run, it turns out parts occasionally supervised by an operator.
#2. CNC Plasma Cutting Machine: This machine is similar to CNC routers, except that it does not need a powerful setup, which a CNC router does. The CNC plasma machine uses plasma to cut metal moulds and 2D shapes. However, their organization isn’t as powerful as CNC routers as they use a plasma torch instead of the heavy spinning tool that CNC routers use to function. CNC plasma cutters are similar to their plasma counterparts, despite this, the force that moves a laser cutter is not at all as destructive as a plasma torch.
#3. CNC Router Machine: These highly automated machines are used to cut highly complex shapes and prototypes of sheets of plastic, metal and wood. Usually, 3-axis router machines are used, but you can find up to 6-axis CNC routers that are used to do highly technical and complicated tasks.
#4. CNC Milling Machines: CNC Milling machines are the most universally used of all CNC machines. This is a particular kind of CNC machining very much akin to drilling and cutting. This machine can achieve many functions that normal drilling and cutting machines would do. CNC milling uses a Like drilling, milling uses a rotational cylindrical cutting tool. These machines are programmed to move tools like cutters in a pre-set manner to cut metal pieces into desired shapes, sizes, depth and angle of cut. CNC milling machines are classified into various kinds depending on the number of axes they have.
#5. Electrical Discharge CNC Machines: These machines cut metals into different shapes with the help of electricity. They remove all unnecessary metal by forming electrical glints that help burn the sheet of metal. You can find several other kinds of electrical discharge CNC machines too.
Using CNC machines for your specific industrial needs will give you the advantages of accuracy, ease of operation, fast production and international competitiveness. If you are planning to buy a CNC machine, you should check this article on what look for when buying it.