CNC machining is a widely used technology used by manufacturers to make prototypes. CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machining is an automated process in which various cutting tools are housed inside the machines. These tools can grind, cut, route, mill, drill, and lathe any type of rigid material. This incredible versatility makes it perfect for CNC prototyping services.
How is it different from 3D printing?
3D printing is, in many ways, the opposite of a CNC prototyping service. In 3D printing, the material is added progressively to build parts, making it an additive manufacturing process. In CNC machining, the material is gradually removed to create a particular shape, making it a subtractive process.
CNC machines are larger and more expensive than regular 3D printers. They require more space, parts, and maintenance. However, smaller businesses can avail of CNC prototyping services from manufacturing service providers like our company, X Rapid Technologies. Our experts can help you with your custom prototyping requirements.
What are the different processes in CNC machining?
Companies that offer CNC prototyping services commonly use the following methods:
· CNC milling: This process is useful for creating prototypes out of plate material where every design feature is on one side of the component. It involves removing material from large sheets with computer guidance.
· 5-Axis CNC milling: It is the same as CNC milling but with tools moving more freely. It is useful for more complex geometrical designs.
· CNC turning: With CNC turning, we produce prototypes with round or cylindrical cross-sections. It involves rotating a cylindrical rod and removing material to obtain the desired components.
The advantages of CNC machining for prototyping
CNC prototyping service is the first choice of manufacturers because of the numerous benefits over traditional prototyping methods.
· Material-friendly: CNC machines are compatible with a wide range of metal and plastic materials. It allows manufacturers to test the same design with different materials to achieve the best possible outcome.
· Precise and accurate: A CNC prototyping service uses CAD computer software to create a 3D model of the component. This design represents the finished part and its physical features. These specifications are fed into the CNC machine’s computer, and the prototype is created accordingly. A computer-controlled process means you get precise prototypes every time.
· Enhanced capabilities: In a CNC machine, all the tools are housed within the machine and can be changed as per requirement. There is no fixed tooling, which gives manufacturers greater control over the process. The tools can be switched in seconds in case of material or design changes. These tools can perform a variety of functions, saving time and effort.
· Reduced human resources: As CNC machines are computer-controlled and perform most of the tasks automatically, they remove the need for big human teams required in traditional methods. A CNC prototyping service requires only one skilled operator who oversees the system to ensure optimal and smooth production.
· Scalability: CNC machines can handle any workload, delivering precise results every time. It enables manufacturers to produce thousands of replicas of the same design with high accuracy. Hundreds of iterations can be made. And making modifications is quick and easy with the design software.
· Speed: CNC machines, unlike humans, can function round the clock, every day. They only go offline for upgradation or maintenance purposes. It reduces the turnaround time, thus ensuring faster product development and time to market.
How to get a CNC prototyping service?
Smaller businesses cannot afford to buy their CNC machines for cost reasons. Our experts at X Rapid Technologies provide an economical CNC prototyping service for businesses of all sizes and take care of your specific needs.