Are you interested in rapid manufacturing or rapid tooling? Depending on when you started using CNC machines, there’s a lot you might not know about this technology. CNC machining was first used in the 1940s with a punched tape. This perforated paper tape technology is now obsolete, as the data medium transitioned to analog and eventually to digital computer processing.
CNC machining uses a block of material like metal and cuts into it to make a finished product. It uses computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) or computer-aided design (CAD) to interpret design patterns to cut into the material.
The ability to control machining tools helps ensure that the process is fast and accurate to optimize production run speeds. It ensures accuracy, as each stock material is finished in the exact same manner with none of the errors that can occur when human work is employed.
Because machining requires multiple tools, CNC machining can be preferred over conventional methods. CNC machining makes cuts or drill bits by moving on the x , y and z axes, longitudinally and rotationally, while basic machines can only move in one axis or two at best. CNC machining can also flip materials electronically without the need for manual worker assistance, making them more efficient to optimize production speed.
With machining, drills can be used to spin holes into materials. Lathes offer a similar approach but spin the material laterally against the drill bit. Mill machining, the most common CNC machining method, uses rotary tools to cut and remove parts of a stock material.
Newer technologies employ chemical machining or electrical machining to cut materials. These include electron beam machining, electrical discharge machining (EDM) and photochemical machining for mass production. Additionally, water-jet, plasma, laser and oxy-fuel are novel technologies, while fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a technique used with 3D printing.
In gauging whether it’s better to use 3D or CNC, it may depend on your material, time, budget and design. 3D is used to create parts from the ground up and can help with complex designs and unique shapes. CNC uses existing materials and cuts them down, but can be limited with the axes and rotation. FDM prototypes are limited by the material used, in which case CNC will offer better results. Want to learn more about CNC machining?
Whether you are interested in CNC machining services or getting assistance with rapid prototyping services, 3ERP can help. 3ERP is ISO-certified and combines excellence, efficiency and economic technologies. They can provide your business with customized solutions in multiple industries. Request a 3ERP quote today!
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