CNC Machines or Computer Numerical Control Machines is a term used for an automated system that uses a computer to manage manufacturing operations. While traditionally, a manual operator directly controlled the machine operation, in a CNC Machine, the same is done automatically. There are different types of CNC Machines based on the type of function they perform.
Traditionally, drilling, lathing, and milling machines were operated by humans. Hence, companies needed highly skilled manpower to achieve high levels of accuracy. Also, a manual operation meant more time taken to complete the operation. In 1949, CNC machines were invented to boost productivity, reduce waste, and minimize the risk of human error.
Types of CNC Machines
There are different types of CNC Machines described below:
1. CNC Milling Machines
This is one of the most commonly used CNC machines. CNC Milling Machines have tools built into them for cutting and drilling. The computer leads the tools based on your needs. These machines are usually available in 3-6-axis configurations. They can be operated by trained workers with ease.
2. CNC Lathe Machines
These machines can turn or rotate materials during an operation. CNC Lathe Machines are also known as CNC Turning Machines. Usually, they spin the workpiece at a very high speed while a tool is applied to the surface to get the desired output. While CNC Mills can work on any shape, CNC Turning Machines are highly effective with conical, cylindrical, or flat shapes.
3. Wire Cut EDM Machines
If parts are electrically conductive and are resistant to conventional machining processes, then Wire Cut EDM Machines such as Accutex can manipulate them into the desired shape using controlled electrical sparks. It is typically used for very hard materials that are difficult to mold using traditional machining processes.
4. CNC 3D Printers
For printing the designs of buildings and/or premises, CNC 3D Printers are a highly efficient option. The CAD and CAM processes are used to create the designs and the 3D printer is used to create them. CNC 3D Printers print elements layer by layer.
For instance, the Phillips Additive Hybrid integrates the metal deposition technology of Meltio with Haas CNC Vertical Machining centers to offer a cost-effective additive hybrid machine. This allows companies to add capabilities to existing Haas machining centers rather than purchasing a separate metal 3D printer. The Phillips Additive Hybrid also supports offline programming software like Autodesk, Siemens NX, and Mastercam.
Phillips also offers other 3D printing solutions such as Markforged and EOS.