What is the CNC machining&How does a CNC machine work?

CNC machining plays a vital role in the evolving world of modern manufacturing. But what is CNC, exactly? How does it play a role in the manufacturing industry, and What is the CNC machining&How does a CNC machine work?


Ongoing CNC machining parts

What is the CNC?


CNC stands for Computerized Numerical Control. It is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and code controls the movement of production equipment. CNC machining controls a range of complex machinery, such as grinders, lathes, and turning mills, all of which are used to cut, shape, and create different parts and prototypes. On the day to day, CNC machinists combine elements of mechanical design, technical drawings, mathematics, and computer programming skills to produce a variety of metal and plastic parts. CNC operators can take a sheet of metal and turn it into a critical airplane or automobile part.

Operations that were impossible years ago are now easy thanks to CNC machining. Just as there are many different parts that CNC machines can make, there are also various types of CNC machines used to accomplish this. Each machine differs in construction, the way they operate and the types of product they can make.

What is the CNC Machine?


Computer Numerical Control machines are automated machines, which are operated by computers executing pre-programmed sequences of controlled commands. CNC machines are essentially the opposite of “old-school” devices that are manually controlled by hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated by cams alone. Today’s modern CNC machines understand and function using CNC machining language – called G-code – which tells them precise measurements for production, like feed rate, speed, location, and coordination.

Today’s design and mechanical parts for CNC systems are highly automated – unlike the old, dangerous, factory machines you’d think of back in the day. The parts’ mechanical dimensions are defined using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Therefore, it is important to have knowledgeable CNC machinists and programmers in the industry to operate this high-tech machinery.

In CNC programming, the code generator within the numerical system will often assume mechanisms are flawless, despite the possibility of errors, which is greater whenever a CNC machine is directed to cut in more than one direction simultaneously. The placement of a tool in a numerical control system is outlined by a series of inputs known as the part program.

How does a CNC machine tool work?

CNC machine tools are as versatile and dynamic as the multitude of items they create. However, most CNC machinery works within two frameworks: An open-loop or closed-loop system.

In open-loop CNC systems, the operator will develop the computer numerical control for the task at hand and generate the g-code or work file using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The computer then relays the proper steps to the controller and its connected servo motors.

These motors manipulate cutting tools, like lathes or grinders, along at least two axes (X and Y), although high-end CNC machines can increase versatility and accuracy by moving CNC mills and other accessories around several additional axes.

Closed-loop CNC systems provide feedback data to the monitor to address inconsistencies while CNC machines move around the material. This motor-monitor communication allows closed-loop systems to alter the velocity, position and feed rate of turning machines and other CNC machine tools in real time.

The exact movements that this code controls depends on the type of CNC machine that is being used. Let’s take a look at some of the most common CNC machines in use today, and how they work:

The Main Types of CNC Machines:


CNC Milling Machine


Front view of CNC milling machine

One of the most common types of CNC machines, a CNC mill utilizes computer controls to cut various materials.
CNC mills are capable of running on programs comprised of number- and letter-based prompts that guide pieces across various distances. The programming employed for a mill machine could be based on either G-code or some unique language developed by a manufacturing team. Basic mills consist of a three-axis system (X, Y and Z), though most newer mills can accommodate three additional axes.

A CNC mill can have a wide array of functions, such as face milling, shoulder milling, tapping, drilling and turning. Most CNC mills come in three to six-axis configurations.

CNC Lathes


In lathe machines, pieces are cut in a circular direction with indexable tools. With CNC technology, the cuts employed by lathes are carried out with precision and high velocity. CNC lathes are used to produce complex designs that wouldn’t be possible on manually run versions of the machine. Overall, the control functions of CNC-run mills and lathes are similar. As with CNC mills, lathes can be directed by G-code or unique proprietary code. However, most CNC lathes consist of two axes — X and Z.

CNC lathe machine for machining parts

These CNC machines are quite effective in the precision they offer compared to manual lathes. They often have fewer axes than CNC milling machines, and are therefore smaller in size and more compact.

CNC Plasma Cutters


In a plasma cutter, a plasma torch cuts the material. The process is foremost applied to metal materials but can also be employed on other surfaces. In order to produce the speed and heat necessary to cut metal, plasma is generated through a combination of compressed-air gas and electrical arcs.

The process of plasma cutting involves the cutting of a material using a plasma torch. This method is most commonly used to cut heavy materials, such as steel and other forms of metal,With a CNC plasma cutter, gas is blown at a very high speed from a nozzle. While this is being done, an electrical arc forms through the gas coming out of the nozzle to the surface that is being cut.
This converts some of the gas into plasma, and these plasma temperatures range from 10,000-50,000 degrees. The plasma is hot enough to melt whatever material is being cut, and it blows away any molten metal from the site of the cut.

In terms of shape and size, CNC plasma cutters are very similar to CNC routers. These machines only work with two-dimensional shapes.

Wire Electric Discharge Machines


Factoty information

Wire Electric-discharge machining (W-EDM) — alternately referred to as die sinking and spark machining — is a process that molds workpieces into particular shapes with electrical sparks. With EDM, current discharges occur between two electrodes, and this removes sections of a given workpiece,In this process, the material is removed from a specific work piece by a series of recurring electrical discharges between two electrodes.

These electrodes are separated by a dielectric fluid, which often receives an electric voltage. In this machine, the material is placed in between two electrodes and the machine then calculates to see the amount of electrical discharge each electrode needs to produce

CNC machining technology is becoming more and more common and is playing an increasingly important role in industrial development. In the future, CNC machining will replace manual skills and continue to promote the progress of the industrial age.

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