CNC machining is immensely in use these days. It is the shortened version of Computer Numerical Control. But what exactly is it used for? Its main use lies in the manufacturing sector. This is especially true in the case of plastic and metal parts. With the advent of technology, we need to take help from the computer on a regular basis. For situations where the machine tools in the manufacturing unit are controlled by computers, CNC machining comes into action. This brings us to the question of what are the different tools that can be controlled by the computer. The tools include:

  • Mills
  • Routers
  • Grinders

Is CNC machining any different from PC Controlled Machining?

It is true that from the outsides, these two look the same. But CNC machining comes with a difference. The difference lies in the computer network’s specific software and its requirements and the control consoles.

How does CNC Machining work?

Under this type of machining, there are two major aspects involved: the computer and the machines. Each of the two devices is configured based on the other’s functions.

  • For starters, a unique computer is scripted out for a particular machine or tool. Thereafter, the tools are worked upon by G code.
  • This is the CNC machining language. This takes control over the feed rate, coordination, location and speed. This language can take control over both the position and the speed of the tool at the same time.
  • First of all, a CAD drawing is made for the functioning of the tool followed by a computer code. The program is then made to work when the operator at the manufacturing unit performs a test run on the program. This test run or the trial run is called ‘cutting air’ which determines the effectiveness of the machine.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CNC Machining

Now that we know what CNC machining actually refers to, we can take a look at the pros and cons of the type of machining.

What are the Advantages of CNC Machining?

  • CNC machining has the ability to work 24 hours a day, for 365 days in a year at a stretch. The only time one would need to turn off the system would be for occasional maintenance.
  • Once a design is programmed on CNC machining, it can replicate the same in thousands of products.
  • This type of machining is suitable for used by all types of people, even the ones who are less skilled.
  • Most of the time, CNC machining does not even require any supervision. It can be left to work on itself.
  • This form of machining is very easy to be updated. All one has to do is update the software.
  • The training required for operating CNC machining is also very simple. It can be conducted over virtual software where the operator can practice it on the computer screen.
  • CNC machining saves time and money since the software can help the operator stimulate his or her own manufacturing idea.
  • This type of machining comes with precision and perfection. This allows the operators to manufacture complex shapes which would be otherwise difficult to achieve manually.

There are Certain Disadvantages:

  • The cost of CNC machining proves to be a big hurdle for the likes of manufacturing units. However, these prices are slowly and steadily going down.
  • Since CNC machining requires fewer workers as compared to the manual tools, using this form of technology can lead to unemployment in the manufacturing sectors.
  • The newer students and technicians no more acquire the knowledge of operating manual machines since work has become easier with CNC machining.

 The cost of CNC machining depends on the complexity of work performed by the machines, and the applications also vary from one industry to another.