CNC machining is a way of controlling a machine via a computer, which controls the machine according to predefined codes. Hence the abbreviation Computer Numerical Control.
The technology was developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This type of control is being developed because the technology of that time required the production of an increasing number of complicated parts that could not be produced in the given quantities and quality.
This system was created by the development of the then already existing NC system, which used only Numerical Control. These were unique programs to produce only one specific work. They needed a lot of manual work where the operator would enter the coordinates for each subsequent operation and use only one axis at a given time. This gave repeatable accuracy, but the efficiency was extremely low, as well as the complexity of the parts themselves. With the introduction of computers and the creation of predefined programs that would contain coordinates for each axis and a given operation, the production process has become far more efficient. From that moment on, the way of each production changed radically.
Computers have allowed machines to make curved, irregular lines as easily as straight lines. Complex three-dimensional reliefs have become commonplace and the number of operations that require human labor has dropped drastically. This leads to one of the biggest leaps in productivity in modern history. We minimize the possibility of error caused by human labor. Due to CNC technology, the prices of the production itself are getting lower and lower because the machines have become increasingly used. The number of employees in production plants could be reduced as machines began to “work on their own.” The need for highly qualified personnel increased as this technology enabled multiple machines to be operated simultaneously.
Today, CNC machines are controlled from modern CAD software packages, starting from the design of a part to the production itself. For that reason, the classic engineering hand-made production drawing is being forgotten. These speeds up the entire industry because it enables far cheaper to achieve even the most complex solutions.
CNC machines can work day and night without stopping, without the presence of people, it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend, they won’t stop producing a holiday. This technology has enabled people to achieve far greater productivity and dedicate themselves to other things with less physical work. A system has been created that is able to constantly repeat the same operation without the possibility of quality loss due to fatigue or lack of attention, people are enabled to do things that require more creativity and freedom and not just a few of the same movements for the whole working day.
CNC Machining Process
CNC machining process consists of several stages. The first stage in this process is the design of the model to be made. CAD software tools are used for this, CAD abbreviation represents Computer Aided Design.
CAD software tool gives us the ability to create 3d models down to the smallest detail, finding any errors in the project and the opportunity to eliminate them the fastest and cheapest. When the 3d model is fully evaluated, it completes its journey in the first phase and continues on.
The next phase is the creation of program code to produce the work itself. It could be said that at this stage the machine is learning how to make our desired part. This is done in CAM software, i.e., Computer Aided Manufacturing. All the parameters of the machine that we program are primarily entered into the software itself. This includes the dimensions of the machine, kinematics for each axis it has, data for each tool that will be used in all segments of our work, the position of our material from which to make a part and so on. After entering all the necessary data through the software, the engineer creates the path of each tool and each operation. When you go through the entire process, a G code is generated from the software.
When the code is created, it is sent to the control unit of the machine and the final production process begins.
The control unit of the machine from the sent code has all the necessary information to make the piece. After determining the initial position of the material, the machine automatically cuts the piece and can cut thousands and thousands of the same parts without the need for the presence of the operator.
Why is CNC Machining important for Medical Industry?
The medical industry requires maximum precision, quality of processing, production with extremely demanding materials … these are all the most basic characteristics of CNC machining. From the most modern approach with powerful software and prestigious machines with minimal possibility of error caused by the human factor, it is the basis for today’s standard of living.
It can be said with certainty that the average human lifespan has been extended by the development of industry and CNC technology as one of the supporting pillars of the same. With it, we got the opportunity to make high quality orthopedic aids, unique prostheses for each patient, making the highest quality accessories for operations, equipment, and all with exceptionally low prices. We got the opportunity to make a part that will save someone’s life in the shortest possible time.
Impact of CNC Machining on Manufacturing Industry
The impact of CNC machining on the manufacturing industry is almost immeasurable nowadays. The product development we have achieved today is due to CNC technology. Creating CNC stocks allows you to achieve maximum efficiency from minimum costs. We were given the opportunity to take into consideration new, far better-quality materials for processing, which were previously impossible to use in the production. The quality control procedure is far easier because it has been achieved that the machine itself checks each piece through various sensors and lasers. The machine even has the possibility to inform its operator that everything is finished so that he would be ready to put it back into operation as soon as possible. These are all small pieces of the puzzle that were necessary for our industry to be what it is today.
When you look around, pay attention to the objects in your environment, be sure that CNC technology is used in their production. Whether it is cutting, milling, scraping, turning, bending, welding, and so on. This technology has enabled us to set the limits in production only by our imagination. With this development, not only have we improved efficiency and quality of life, but we have also raised awareness of environmental protection because waste has been reduced to a minimum. The keyboard we are typing on now, the mouse we are moving, the chair we are sitting on are all made with the help of CNC machines and software managed by our creativity.
People were given the opportunity to deal with things that require more imagination, diversity, humanity, while a job that requires daily repetition of the same movements, the operation is left to the machines. CNC technology should be seen by all people as an opportunity given by the industry for people to remain human.