5 Things to Know About CNC Machines

5 Things to Know About CNC Machines

If you’re running a business, you likely want to do so as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That means you’ll want to automate as many parts of it as you can. You’ll want to save money on labour hours and employee hiring.

A CNC machine is something that enables you to do that. In this article, we’ll talk about CNC machines a little bit. We’ll go over what they are, where you can get them, and some of the tasks they can accomplish.

What is a CNC Machine?

Before we get into topics like where you can get new and used CNC machines, we’ll start by explaining what the term “CNC” means. CNC:

  • Means computer numerical control
  • Is when you use a computer to control 3D printers and machining tools

There are all kinds of CNC machines that you can use for a wide task range. You use them to process different material pieces.

You’re trying to meet certain specifications with it. You program the machine to follow very particular coded instructions. When you do so, you don’t need a manual operator directly controlling it.

In other words, CNC is an automation process that produces specific, repeatable results. You need to do routine maintenance on them, just as you do on any machine. However, if you have CNC machines that are working at peak efficiency, you can mass-produce many different products while maintaining a skeleton crew.

What Kinds of Things Do CNC Machines Do?

If you have some CNC machines in a warehouse space, you can program them to undertake many different manufacturing processes. You set up each one to operate according to pre-programmed computer software. You can either program that software yourself, or you can get a programmer to do it for you.

CNC-enabled machines might include:

  • Routers
  • Mills
  • Lathes
  • Grinders

Using CNC, you can create physical products for individual retail sale, or you might mass-produce them for bulk sales as well. Companies often use CNC machines for three-dimensional cutting tasks. They program them with a simple prompt set, which they then execute again and again throughout the workday.

If you’re using a CNC process for something like a router, you’re producing a digital product rather than a physical one.

Why Is It a Good Idea to Use CNC Machines as Part of Your Business Model?

The main reason why so many companies and industries use CNC machines is that with CNC, you don’t run into the manual control limits you otherwise would. If you’re trying to produce a product, and you didn’t use the CNC machine method, you’d need many more live operators to guide and prompt machining tools. They would have to use levers, wheels, buttons, etc.

With the CNC method, those live operators are obsolete. An onlooker watching a CNC process might see what looks like a standard computer component set.

However, the CNC method uses consoles and software programs that distinguish it from all other computation forms, or at least any that humans have devised so far. Your manufacturing process can attain precision and efficiency that no other method can duplicate up to this point.

How Does the CNC Machining Process Work?

Without getting too technical, when you activate a CNC system, you’ve programmed the actions you desire into the software. The software dictates them to the responding machinery or tools.

If you want them to move forward with a physical action, like cutting metal into shapes, for instance, they will do that. They do so in what looks like a robotic motion.

The CNC programming allows these machines or tools to act according to what engineers call a “part program.” The program generates a code and then uses a small keyboard to feed the computer that has operational control.

You can add new prompts to a CNC machine whenever you want to modify it to start a new or different task.

Where Can You Get CNC Machines?

Once different companies and manufacturing concerns find out about CNC machines, they often want to buy them so they can scale back employee hiring to help their bottom line. If you own one of these companies, you can purchase brand-new CNC machines, but you can often buy used ones as well.

You can buy them from various companies at a significant discount, and you can also sometimes get them at an auction. You can get some of them as-is, or you can get others that are essentially certified pre-owned, similar to gently-used vehicles.

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