CASE


06

2023

-

04

CNC Machining


CNC machining encompasses a range of shaping processes and is used to manufacture precise and high-quality models, products and artwork.It is used to shape metal, plastic, wood, stone, composite and other materials into large undulating shapes and technical products with intricate details.

CNC Machining

CNC machining encompasses a range of shaping processes and is used to manufacture precise and high-quality models, products and artwork.It is used to shape metal, plastic, wood, stone, composite and other materials into large undulating shapes and technical products with intricate details.

Related processes include:

CNC Lathe Turning CNC Milling

CNC Routing

Alternative and competing processes include:

CNC Turret Punching

EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining)

Laser Cutting

Rapid Prototyping

Reaction Injection Molding

Vacuum Casting

Veneer Laminating

What is CNC Machining?

 

Among the many different types of CNC machinery CNC miling machines and CNC routers are essentially the same. CNC lathes, on the other hand, operate differently because the workpiece is spun rather than the tool. The woodworking and metalworking industries will probably use different names for similar tools and operations -the names and practices can be traced back to when these materials were hand worked using material-specific tools and equipment.

CNC machinery has x- and y-axis tracks (horizontal) and a z-axis track (vertical).

Many different tools are used in the cutting process,including cutters (side or face), slot drills (cutting action along the shaft as well as the tip for slotting and profiling),conical, profile, dovetail and flute drills, and ball nose cutters (with a dome head, which is ideal for 3D curved surfaces and hollowing out). By contrast, CNC lathes use single-point cutters because the workpiece is spinning.

QUALITY CNC machining produces high-quality parts with close tolerances. Cutting traces can be reduced or eliminated by,for example, grinding, sanding and polishing (page 170) the part.

TYPICAL APPLICATIONS CNC machining is a cost-effective method for producing models, prototypes, patterns and tools for other processes such as lost wax casting (page 30) and reaction injection molding (page 14), film props and theatre sets.

COST AND SPEED Tooling costs are minimal and are limited to jigs and other clamping equipment. Cycle time is rapid once the machines are set up.

MATERIALS Almost any material can be CNC machined,

including plastic, metal, wood, glass, ceramic and composites.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS This is a reductive process,so generates waste in operation. Modern CNC systems have very sophisticated dust extraction which collects all the waste for recycling or incinerating for heat and energy use. Dust that is generated can be hazardous, especially because certain material dusts become volatile when combined.

 

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