CNC machining is widely used in both industrial and manufacturing fields, but what exactly does the word CNC stand for? What is a CNC machine?

The acronym CNC stands for computer numerical control. CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing method that controls cutters to extract material layers from the workpiece and thus create a custom-designed slice.  

CNC machining parts are suitable for one-off and small-batch models. This method enables different materials, details, and even considerable options for finishing CNC machining parts.

Overview

As a progressive extension of NC (numerical control) machining parts involving punched tape cards, CNC machining is regarded as a manufacturing process in which machine cutting tools are manipulated and operated by computerized controls to create custom CNC machining parts and designs from materials such as plastic, metal, composite, wood, foam, and so many more.

Although the CNC machining process provides various capabilities and activities, its fundamental principles remain the same across all manufacturing domains. The general method of CNC machining comprises the following phases:

· Modeling the CAD

· Transform the CAD file to a CNC program

· Getting the CNC machining parts ready

· Carrying out machining parts activities

Types

As explained, CNC machining is a manufacturing process perfect for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automobile, medical device, and construction, and also capable of producing a range of products such as vehicle frames, surgical instruments, aircraft engines, and hand and garden instruments.

The process contains many forms of computer-driven machining parts operations, including chemical, mechanical, thermal, and electrical processes that remove the material required to produce a custom-designated part or product from the workpiece.

Some of the most prominent mechanical CNC machining operations include:

· Milling

· Turning

· Drilling

The CNC machining application utilizes software systems to ensure that the custom-designed component or product is optimized, precise, and accurate. The software includes:

· CAD

· CAE

· CAM

CNC Versions

CNC machining comes in regular and desktop versions. CNC machining conforms to common industry standards and can be assigned to perform a single machining operation, such as drilling presses, or several operations, such as milling and turning machines.

Desktop CNC machines are compact machining that represents their larger counterparts, more portable. The desktop devices usually handle softer materials, such as plastic and foam, and are appropriate for light to moderate production. Available types of CNC desktop machines feature desktop or benchtop lathes.

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Is CNC machining suitable for prototyping?

As most business owners now find 3D printing the dominant force of rapid prototyping, CNC machining is also a significant process for prototype parts manufacturing. Understanding why, given the different forms a prototype can take, and considering why such prototypes exist, is helpful. CNC machining prototypes can accomplish many types of functions.

As placeholders or props, they convey visual details about how the final section should look or behave. Such a looks-like CNC machining prototype may be used as instructions for the R&D cycle or as proof of concept. When rendered beautifully, they can also be used to sell new products to potential buyers.

CNC machining can be a good option for prototyping. Its adequacy depends on the prototype’s nature. For what end will the CNC machining prototype be used? What material does it make? What finishings are needed? Eventually, these and other questions will direct the user towards the most acceptable prototyping method.

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Aluminum CNC machining

Due to its attractive physical properties, aluminum is one of the most effective solutions for metal prototypes. As a result of its oxidized outer layer after oxidization, it is suitable for mechanically machining parts and is resistant to corrosion from the components.

All sectors have benefited from aluminum CNC machining components, but aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, and healthcare are particularly favored. 

We, at X Rapid Technologies, are specialized in high-precision aluminum CNC machining parts. We provide one-stop service from CNC machining, part secondary finishing, inspection, and component assembly. Using the latest CNC machines and technology, we provide excellent performance CNC machined aluminum parts with reasonable pricing and shorter delivery times.

Contact us today for free solutions for your new project!