ABOUT CNC MACHINING
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC machining is a modern machine processing that entails computer controlled machines that perform a wide variety of functions. In metal fabrication, CNC machining involves the use of computer driven machinery to perform such tasks as metal cutting, metal welding, shaping of the metal components and finishing the components.
The original metal fabrication machines were initially called numeric controlled (NC) and they were invented in the late 1950s by John T. Parsons in conjunction with MIT University. The machines used G-Codes that gave the machines 'go' instructions. The G-Codes defined the positions of the machines and they instructed machines to perform specific functions. The machines were built for a specific function and it was quite hard changing the functionality of the machine. However, in 1970s, computers were incorporated into the machines to allow for different programs to be applied to a machine. This means that with a change of the controlling software, the machines can be reprogrammed to perform different functions. Today, CNC machining uses computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided machine (CAM) technology to execute their functions.
CNC Code Programming
When a CNC Lathe or CNC Mill is properly programmed and set-up, it is a safe, productive, and high-quality method for production machining.
Today’s CNC Machine Shop likely produces it’s G-Code with the aid of a CAM(Computer Aided Manufacturing) software package. Cam software used the geometry from the part drawing or blueprint. It utilize the dimensions drawn into the part and assigns 2D or 3D geometry to the part. This geometry is then used by the Cam software. The CAM Programmer assigns a group of machining processes, like drilling, facing, boring, pocketing, etc. to the geometry in the drawing. Once this is done, the Software quickly and automatically generated the G-Code program to be used in the CNC machine. Often this program can be several thousand lines long.
CNC Machining Tips
Machinists want to safely speed up cutting processes to reduce cutting time and keep costs low. The ultimate goal is to machine efficiently and reduce waste of material and cutting tools. For this purpose, processes that allow the cutting of more parts per hour are generally beneficial both to the machinist and the overall bottom line.
Use the Right Cutting Tools and processes