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How Does CNC Design Technology Work?

Written by Shikha Mehta

Did you know that your computer converts everything you input into 0 and 1? That’s exactly how CNC (computer numerical control) design technology works- by converting your design inputs into numerical codes.

The manufacturing industry in today’s date cannot operate using just manual labor or mechanical equipment. It needs computerized machinery to maintain its efficiency. Computers were designed to make human work faster, and they do so by working faster than humans!

So, let’s take a look at how it makes the operations of machines like drills and cutters faster.

What is CNC Programming?

CNC programming refers to a set of codes and programs that are fed into software to help instruct machinery perform their desired function.

With the help of these codes, you can control a machine to cut and shape a product according to the design you made. The software has the design which converts it into the coordinates of a graph. Going by these coordinates, it instructs the machine to create the desired shape.

How does it work?

  • You upload an image or file into a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software.
  • The software converts this image into a vector file.
  • Once it’s a vector file, every part of the image is now a number.
  • Now, you connect the computer to the cutting machine which is capable of taking instructions from it.
  • Next, you place the material in front of the machine. It starts cutting it as instructed by the software.
  • It is in your control to decide the speed and depth of creating the object.

Types of CNC Machines

There are several machines operating through CNC technology. Depending on the object you need to make, you can choose from the following varieties:

1. Drills:

Manual drills are commonly used for creating holes. Where the object is more complex and requires more precision in its making, a computer operated drill plays a better role.

2. Lathes:

They are machines used for shaping cylindrical or conical objects by spinning the material around the spindle. You’ll need another cutting machine to shape the object if required.

3. Milling machines:

They are the most common machines used in manufacturing. You have 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis CNC mills that can cut and shape the most complex objects very precisely. Some of the objects you can create include aerospace parts, molds, turbines, etc.

4. Grinders:

They are relatively easy-to-use machines that shape the object by grinding the edges. They are more like a spinning wheel that can shape objects, although with lesser precision as compared to mills.

5. Routers:

They are very similar to mills, used to cut harder objects like wood, plastic, metal, and glass. Moreover, they can do high-end jobs of a carpenter much more precisely. Some common applications include carvings, molds, furniture, instruments and other objects with similar complexities.

6. Laser/Plasma cutters:

They use laser beams and plasma torches to cut metal sheets, a very essential and crucial part of manufacturing. When you operate them through computers, it’s safer along with being more efficient.

Why do you think the machine was invented in the first place?

It is simply because it is faster than a human, both physically and mentally. No matter how skilled, fast and experienced a human is, a machine is going to be more efficient than plenty of human labor combined.

Of course, you need humans to operate the machine in the end, but it makes your job so much easier, faster and better. It saves not only your energy but also that of your staff.

CNC design technology has made manufacturing fast enough to make mass production within a day possible. It guarantees productivity per day by your laborers and employees.

Instead of making, hands do a job that might lead to more wastage of time and materials, isn’t it better to utilize human brains into technology that speeds up the process?

About the author

Shikha Mehta

I discovered my talent in writing while I was in high school. Since then, I discovered the joy of sharing your knowledge with people around you. This is the reason why I love making my contributions to Insights of Technology. Being a certified content writer, I have been writing on several topics, science & technology being one of my favorites.

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