COMMON TOOLS USED IN CNC MACHINING
Manufacturing industries, in past years, have taken great advantage of the benefits of using machines. Before the arrival of machines, man would use crude tools like holes, nails, knives, Cutlass, chisel and many others to achieve their desired aim. These crude tools are used to perform many functions: cutting, drilling, milling and many more. However, the need for more precise and large-scale quality products has push man to design machines that can perform many processes with little stress, lesser labor, and high-quality products.
Centre lathe machine, drilling machine, shaping machine, grinding machine, broaching machine and many other have totally displaced old, crude tools. At present, the high-quality demand market seems to require more than what the conventional machines can only offer. These machines that once appears like the ideal solution to produce precise and quality products centuries ago, now requires a new, better technology to meet the market expectation.
Lots of research and time were invested in getting a more advance machine to complete complex tasks. This machines, in the 1940s, became a success. They were designed by U.S. Airforce mechanics. The machines are called Computer Numerical Control (CNC). CNC machines do not require a lot of personal like the conventional machines before complex tasks are achieved.
CNC machines actually work by using a programming language called G-Code to instruct it. Unlike, convention machines that require one or more technicians to operate a machine before you get the appropriate product, all you need now is a technician familiar with g-code programming to operate all machines at once.
These machines have gradually evolved based on the demand for more than ordinary products. Today, computerized numerical control machines appear to meet up with the complexity of products need.
These machine tools are essential as they have much wide application in many fields: Aerospace, agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Dental, Electronics, Firearms, hospitality, military, transportation, publishing, production, and any type of manufacturing.
Advantages of CNC Machines
Precision: using CNC machines on your workpiece, helps you avoid human errors and attain higher accuracy.
Reliable: CNC machines are very reliable. Humans can get tired, which will reduce their efficiency but machines can work for 24 hours 7 days a week without stopping. Only you just have to keep the machines in good conditions.
High Production: how many workpieces do you think a human using a lathe machine he can work on from 9 – 6 pm? But for CNC machine all you have to do is instruct the machine using g-code and go sit. It will produce more products to meet up with your deadline.
More Capability: not all designs can be achieved by humans, some are extremely difficult to do manually. There are the advantage CNC machines offers.
Less Labor: conventional machines need at least one experience personnel on a machine, which is not the case in CNC machine. Now, a technician in the CNC console room is enough to direct all the machines in the manufacturing industry.
Uniformity: it is almost impossible for the most talented technician in the world to produce a product 10,000 times and they are all identical. Humans are in perfect, however, CNC outputs are an exact replica of one another. These outputs have the same dimensions, shape, sizes, curves, design, etc.
Cheaper: one of the benefits of CNC machining is its ability to help you save money. It helps you save by offering you speed, efficiency, fewer labors, precision, specialization and labor wages. Although these machines are expensive compared to conventional machines. In the long, there will be low running cost.
What are CNC tools?
A CNC tool is a machine with the purpose of shaping or machining metal or any other rigid materials. This usually involves CNC tools to carry out a process such as cutting, boring, grinding, shearing and any form of deformation.
Types of CNC Tools
Milling machines do not have an interface to obey the command from CNC console but now new modification can be made. In milling machines, many mechanisms are removed so it easily adapts to the g-code programming language. Mechanism usually removes DRO (digital read out) electronics and hand wheels. Equally, there is need to change the old lead screws to new accuracy ball screws.
Mills are known to perform many functions with some high level of precision, accuracy, quality, and efficiency. They are used for cutting and shaping surfaces, gears, etc to desired products.
This machine already has a CNC interface. With routers, there is no need for a human to interfere with the process. The main function of this CNC tools is to produce a product with higher dimension using materials like metal sheets, plastics, and woods
The most common router is the 3-dim axis (x, y, z), which allows it to operate on the workpiece in three dimensions. However, there are other routers capable of producing products with complex design. Most complex design requires more Cartesian coordinates like 4-dim,5-dim, and 6-dim to achieve your aims. Certain router with the number of axes exists.
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CNC Plasma Cutter
Plasma cutters are very similar to above CNC tool – routers. The significant difference that exists between both of them is, plasma (4th state of matter) is used in the cutting process and makes use of less powerful setup.
Plasma cutters are mainly used to cut a metal sheet into a shape with 2 dimensions alone.
CNC Laser Cutters
The basic principle which laser uses is the same with plasma cutters. These cutters are very good for cutting metals, plastics, and wood. Depending on how rigid the material is, you can adjust the strength of the Laser to fit the material rigidness.
Pick and Place
This is another interesting CNC tool, with the ability to relocated materials. Its basic principle is similar to laser cutters. However, it doesn’t cut through metals sheets like most machines do.
It picks electrical components for one place and places them correctly on a printed circuits board. This machine is automated and does not require humans to help out after the instructions have been given.