CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software directs the movement of plant tools and machinery. CNC technology can control a variety of complex machinery, from grinding machines and lathes to milling and router planers. With CNC machining, you can perform three-dimensional cutting with a group of tips.

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control which is the opposite of manual control that needs an operator to guide the machining tool with commands via joysticks, buttons, and wheels. Therefore CNC technology replaces manual control. An outsider might mistake a CNC system for a traditional computer system. However, the software programs and consoles used in CNC precision machining set it apart from all other forms of computing.

How does CNC machining technology work?

Generally, after activating a CNC system, the desired cutting action is programmed into the software and assigned to the appropriate tools and machines that act like robots to perform the specified dimensional task.

In CNC machining programming, the code generator in the digital system usually assumes that the mechanism is defect-free, even though there may be errors. The possibility of errors is greater whenever the CNC machine is oriented to cut in multiple directions simultaneously.

On NC machines, programs are input via punch cards. In contrast, programs for CNC machines are input into the computer via a small-sized keyboard. The CNC programming remains in the computer's memory. The code itself is written and edited by the programmer. As a result, CNC systems offer greater computing power. CNC systems are never static, as you can adjust pre-existing programs through modified code.

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CNC programming technology

In CNC precision machining, the machine is operated by an NC system that employs a software program to control the tools. The language used in CNC machining, also known as G-code, controls the various behaviors of the corresponding machine tools. The codes tell the CNC machine to use what Cartesian position coordinates for the machining tool and control the tool feed rate, spindle speed, tool changeover, coolant, etc.

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CNC machining can pre-program the speed and position of machine functions and run them through the software in repetitive, predictable cycles that require little to no manual operation. Because of these capabilities, the process has been applied in various industries in manufacturing, particularly in metal and plastic production.

For beginners, 2D or 3D CAD drawings need to be conceived and then converted into computer code for execution by the CNC system. After entering the program, the operator needs to perform a trial run to ensure that there are no errors in the coding.

More tips about CNC machining

1. CNC lathe feed processing route moves from the tool point (or fixed origin of the machine) until it returns to that position and completes the processing program. The routes include cutting paths, tool cutting, cutting, and other non-cutting paths.

2. The feed line for precision machining is basically in the order of the contour of the part. Therefore, the focus of determining the cut line is on the roughing and empty stroke feed lines.

3. Shortening the machining route as much as possible helps reduce the empty travel time, improve the machining efficiency, simplify the workload of numerical calculation, and simplify the machining procedure. For some reusable processes, you should use subprograms.

How is CNC machining work quoted?

In regular CNC machining companies, there is a quotation department. The staff in charge of CNC quotes usually counts the costs mainly based on the cost of raw materials and labor needed for machining each workpiece. Unfortunately, the CNC quotes will keep rising because the prices of raw materials are on the rise. The earlier you start, the more you save.

If your CNC projects need quotes, don't hesitate to contact X Rapid Technologies today. Our CNC quotes will be fairly in line with your budget.