Get A
Free Quote

    CNC stands for computer numerical control. That means it’s a complex process involving heavy machinery and advanced technologies. Machinists manage countless specifications to fabricate parts with variable tolerances. So, only highly-trained experts can run the rigs. And manufacturing clients don’t always see the bigger picture.

    To grasp CNC machining methodologies, you must understand machine tool basics. But without a formal education, grasping complex manufacturing techniques can be a challenge. Thus, it’s crucial to work with an established fab shop when developing high-quality, low-cost components.

    What Are the Basic Components of a CNC Machine?

    The computerized manufacturing industry has experienced rapid growth over the last few decades. So, there’s an expanding chasm between old-school fab shops and advanced facilities. However, most CNC machine shops still use the same technologies that we’ve employed since the Industrial Revolution.

    That means CNC machines typically include a spindle drive system and a feed drive system. Both systems help machinists move their workpieces toward the tool to complete complex geometries. But innovative machinery also includes sophisticated cooling systems, lighting fixtures, and lubrication delivery modes to make manufacturing more efficient.

    Accurate fabrication and mass manufacturing also require trained machines and modern CAD/CAM software. But expedited metal fabrication relies on the spindle speed, feed rate, and cutting depth to produce high-precision parts.

    What Are the Six Primary Types of Machine Tools?

    Most machinists split their tools into seven distinct categories. However, more advanced methodologies might require different equipment or procedures. So, ask your design team for more information. And get to know these six primary machine tool groups in the meantime:

    #1. Turning Machines

    CNC turning involves rotating a workpiece to create precise shapes. It’s one of the most fundamental processes in modern fab shops. Plus, it’s highly customizable regardless of the materials you use. So, you can usually find aluminum turning, stainless steel turning, and other metal turning services nearby.

    #2. Shapers and Planers

    Planers and shapers consist of heavy-duty tools making grooves and T-slots on various surfaces. The shaper oscillates along the material to cut precision strokes based on a computerized blueprint. Planers are similar but they can machine longer workpieces. Therefore, many advanced CNC machine shops use both to create tailored designs.

    #3. Drills

    Drilling machines are crucial to the manufacturing industry. Also called drill presses, these tools cut holes in different materials. Machinists use various methods such as reaming, boring, counterboring, tapping, and countersinking to make functional parts. Then, experts utilize those components as part of a bigger design.

    #4. Mills

    Milling machines force change to material by feeding workpieces against a rotating cutting tool. Cutters can create multiple shapes in variable sizes depending on the operation. So, experts typically use mills to cut flat surfaces, round off corners, or carve grooves and shoulders into hard materials.

    #5. Grinders

    Grinders remove small chips from the workpiece surface, allowing the manufacturer to control outcomes better. That’s because machinists can bring materials in contact with a rotating abrasive wheel. And the wheel lets them grind hard or soft components to extremely tight tolerances.

    #6. Power Saws

    There are three basic types of metal-cutting power saws. So, most CNC machine shops use them all. Power hacksaws help split materials into chunks. But band saws and circular saws can let machinists create shapes on sheet metal.
    Some fab shops might also use presses to form parts or combine molten metal components. And advanced facilities may utilize high-tech methodologies to provide specialty manufacturing services, such as:

    CNC machining is a skilled trade that requires hours of experience and relentless attention to detail. So, never expect at-home fabrication tools to produce the same quality as a professional machine shop. And remember that you can’t distribute certain components with ISO certification. That’s because ISO certificates standardize product quality to ensure safety across the board.
    For more information about how advanced machine shops finish projects so rapidly, reach out to someone on your team. Designers and engineers can answer your questions, provide samples and prototypes, or host a guided tour of the facility.
    DID YOU KNOW: Pioneer Cuts recently expanded the facility to complete large custom orders for aerospace and automotive clients.

    Discover CNC from a Professional Perspective

    Complex computer numerical control can be fascinating. And the advanced programming software can make intricate projects look easy. But even the basic CNC tools aren’t simple, nor are they safe in untrained hands. So, discover the possibilities of modern manufacturing from a professional perspective. Then consider the factors that affect fabrication costs while you’re at it.

    For example, most machining tools are robust. Yet, they can’t withstand immense pressure or heat for too long. And different raw materials have different properties that can change the way machinists handle them. Plus, the necessary process might also raise or lower machining costs. So, calculate the price of your project carefully. Or request a quote when you get the chance.

    Get an Introduction to CNC from Pioneer Cuts

    Let the Pioneer Cuts pros help you understand the basics of CNC tooling and machining. You can gain insights to keep the budget intact or find ways to cut lead times. Our sophisticated software gives clients accurate estimates in six hours or less. And we can get your project started as soon as you’re ready.

    Share this article!

    CNC Design for Manufacturing eBook

    Design Parts with the manufacturing process in mind.