The CNC process is in contrast to, and supersedes, the limitations of manual control, where a field operator is required to prompt and guide the commands of the machining tool through levers, buttons, and wheels. To an outsider, a CNC system may resemble a regular set of computer components, but the software programs and consoles used in CNC machining distinguish it from all other forms of computing.
If you're interested in utilizing CNC manufacturing to produce a variety of products, learn more about how CNC machining and CNC programming work. You may also want to learn about the main types of CNC machinery and the types of work they can do to see if it can meet your needs.
What is CNC machining?
When the CNC system is activated, the required cuts are programmed into the software and the corresponding tools and machinery are instructed, which perform the specified dimensional tasks, much like a robot.
In CNC programming, code generators in digital systems often assume that the mechanism is flawless, although there is a possibility of error, even more so when the CNC machine is instructed to cut in multiple directions at the same time. The placement of the tool in the CNC is outlined by a series of inputs called a part program.
For CNC machines, programs are entered via punched cards. In contrast, programs for CNC machines are entered into the computer via a keypad. CNC programming remains in the computer's memory. The code itself is written and edited by programmers. Therefore, the CNC system provides a wider range of computing capabilities. Most importantly, CNC systems are by no means static, as newer tips can be added to pre-existing programs by modifying the code.
CNC machine tool programming
In CNC manufacturing, machines are operated by numerical control, in which software programs are specified to control objects. Also known as G-code, the language behind CNC machining is used to control various behaviors of the corresponding machine, such as speed, feed rate and coordination.
Basically, CNC machining preprograms the speed and position of machine tool functions and runs them through software in repetitive, predictable cycles, all with little human intervention. During CNC machining, a 2D or 3D CAD drawing is conceived and then converted into computer code for the CNC system to execute. After the program is entered, the operator conducts a test run to ensure that the code is correct.
Because of these capabilities, the process has been adopted in all corners of manufacturing, with CNC fabrication being particularly important in the production of metals and plastics.