What is CNC machining? – All you need to know

Welcome to the first post of our blog! We inaugurate this section of our site talking about CNC machining, a type of machining that allows you to automate processes and achieve perfect results in less time. Want to know more about CNC machining? All you have to do is read on.

What is CNC machining?

CNC machining is an automated process with which we can cut blocks of a material (plastic, metal, wood, etc.). With the help of computers, these machines move automatically to create the final part, almost without the need for a person to manipulate the machines.

CNC machining has allowed the creation of serial parts for many sectors, such as the automotive industry. In this way, it is possible to save time and cost in the manufacture of parts, increasing the profitability of the process.

How does CNC machining work?

CNC machining has different ways of working, depending on the type of CNC machine we are going to use (milling machine, lathe, etc.). However, they do share certain characteristics. First of all, the prototype of the part must be designed by computer, using CAD software.

Once the part has been designed, another person is in charge of inserting the data into the machine. This data follows a code or language designed for this type of machine: the G-code. This code will tell the machine what processes and movements it must perform in order to create the final part.

Depending on the number of axes in which the machine can act, it will be necessary or not to relocate manually the part and change the orientation, in those cases in which the machine cannot do it itself.

When was CNC machining first used?

The process of machining has existed for centuries, but the invention of computers has allowed the process to evolve until now, as we know it. In 1940, engineer John T. Parsons created a system in which, by using punch cards as if they were a position coordinate system, he could control a machine interpreting that data. After several years, the first prototype of a CNC machine was created at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).


Why is CNC machining useful in the automotive industry?

CNC machining has meant an evolution in the automotive sector, since the speed at which parts are manufactured has increased and, therefore, their production. In addition, precision when manufacturing the pieces is even greater and the materials used have allowed improving the performance of the vehicles that incorporate these pieces.

CNC machining makes it possible to work 24 hours a day, as we only need the help of the machine operator to monitor the process and insert the code. All the movements of the machine are automatic (even the change of parts in some machines).

Types of CNC machines

There are different types of CNC machines, each with characteristics that make it more suitable for certain tasks or to design a certain type of part. They usually differ in the part of the machine that makes the movement (the base, the cutting tool, etc.), or in the way the cutting is done.

CNC lathes

A CNC lathe is a CNC machine in which the material is placed in a spindle, which rotates at high speed, while the cutting tool moves to give the shape we want to the part, almost always in two axes: X and Z. A CNC lathe can only manufacture parts with rotational symmetry and simple geometries.

CNC milling machines

On a CNC milling machine, the part to be worked on does not move and is located at the base of the machine. In this case, the tool is the one that rotates, while the milling machine can move in three axes: X, Y and Z. Nowadays, there are also 5-axis CNC milling machines that allow greater freedom when creating parts, since the base where the part is clamped can also be moved automatically.

CNC grinders

A CNC grinder is equipped with abrasive discs that are used to finish work on parts that require a high quality surface finish. A CNC grinder can remain stationary as the part moves, and vice versa. In addition to abrasive discs, other types of discs can also be used.

Plasma and laser cutters

A CNC plasma cutter uses a plasma torch to cut the material and create the final part. It is usually used with metals. On the other hand, a CNC laser cutter, as its name suggests, uses a high intensity laser beam to cut the material.


CNC machining solutions, at Inoxform

We hope you liked our post about CNC machining. If you need CNC machining services, at Inoxform we have state-of-the-art machinery and a team of qualified professionals to carry out your project efficiently and on time.

More than 15 years in this sector guarantee the quality of our services, and our clients (spread all over the world) are satisfied with us. In addition, we choose the best materials so that the durability of the parts is not a problem. Only by offering the best quality have we become a world reference in the automotive sector.

Would you like to speak with us about our services? All you need to do is contact Inoxform. You can send us an email or give us a call. Our team will be delighted to help you and advise you on what you need.

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