Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The process can be used to control a range of complex machinery, from grinders and lathes to mills and CNC routers. With CNC machining, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be accomplished in a single set of prompts.
With CNC machining, pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The CNC process runs in contrast to — and thereby supersedes — the limitations of manual control, where live operators are needed to prompt and guide the commands of machining tools via levers, buttons and wheels. To the onlooker, a CNC system might resemble a regular set of computer components, but the software programs and consoles employed in CNC machining distinguish it from all other forms of computation.
How Does CNC Machining Work?
When a CNC system is activated, the desired cuts are programmed into the software and dictated to corresponding tools and machinery, which carry out the dimensional tasks as specified, much like a robot.
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.
With a numerical control machine, programs are inputted via punch cards. By contrast, the programs for CNC machines are fed to computers through small keyboards. CNC programming is retained in a computer’s memory. The code itself is written and edited by programmers. Therefore, CNC systems offer far more expansive computational capacity. Best of all, CNC systems are by no means static since newer prompts can be added to pre-existing programs through revised code.
What are the Advantages of Computer Numeric Control For CNC Milling Machine?
All of these movements of CNC mills rely on Computer Numeric Control, which is a computer program derived from a 3D digital file of the desired finished part.Early automated machine tools relied on punch cards to control their basic movements in a systematic fashion. This technology worked but it was a slow and cumbersome system and punch cards could not be modified once made. These were later replaced by magnetic tapes, disk drives and now fully digital instructions in G-Code. This control system is not only fast and accurate but, unlike earlier systems, it can be easily modified as needed, line-by-line and in real time, in order to fine-tune the machining program for the best CNC milling results.
What are the Benefits of Automatic Tool Changers for CNC Milling Machines?
Making a finished part from a block of material requires many different tools, each of them performing a very specific CNC machining function. Changing these tools one at a time by hand would be prohibitively time-consuming and inefficient. To counter this, CNC milling machines have rotating carousels where all the needed tools are pre-loaded on separate holders. When needed, these CNC milling and machining tools can be exchanged automatically on the spindle within a few seconds.