Types of CNC Machines

CNC Machines improve productivity and reduce costs.

There are many different types of Computer Numerical Control or CNC machines available for use in production lines, machine shops, and other locations. Each CNC machine is designed and engineered to reduce the time required to create a finished production piece. CNC machines also improve the quality of the output with fewer errors in dimensional specifications and tool placement. Wood, plastic, metal, nylon, vinyl, and other materials can be shaped and work using CNC technology.

Understanding CNC Machines

Since the 1950s, CNC machine design and technology has improved in ways that increase productivity as well as enhance the quality of the output. Computer controls and operating programs allow CNC machines to perform tasks unheard of in production and manufacturing environments. CNC machines generally fall into the following equipment:

  • CNC Lathe
  • CNC Router
  • CNC Mill
  • CNC Plasma Cutter
  • CNC Laser Cutter

CNC Lathes

A CNC lathe works much like an old-fashioned lathe by spinning a workpiece on a spindle and applying a tool to the surface of the workpiece to create shapes and dimensions programmed into the CNC master control. A CNC lathe can produce baseball bats, camshafts, gun barrels, screw threads, and table or chair legs with precision cuts that can be made exactly the same on each workpiece.

CNC Router

Routers make a cut or a groove on the surface of a workpiece. Routers are also used to chamfer edges and create decorative reveals and designs. A CNC Router can replace boring machines, panel saws, spindle molders, and other equipment with one efficient device. Some CNC Routers are used for thermoforming plastics and styrofoam.

CNC Mill

The use of CNC Mills is prevalent in manufacturing and production environments due to the multitude of functions and tools that can be utilized to fashion a workpiece. CNC Mills have three, four, and five-axis capabilities making the machine extremely versatile. Shaping and forming both the exterior surfaces as well as the interior spaces of a workpiece means the use for CNC Mills in production plants and machine shops is virtually unlimited.

CNC Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutters use electricity and gas to create a 40,000-degree arc of electricity that cuts through metal and blows away unwanted particles leaving a clean cut with sharp edges. CNC Plasma Cutters use computer control to accurately produce designs in sheet metals and other materials. Thousands of accurate cuts can be made without error and with greater safety than ordinary cutting torches can accomplish.

CNC Laser Cutter

Similar to a CNC Plasma Cutter, a CNC Laser Cutter uses computer control to focus the high-temperature laser light on different materials to produce a finished workpiece for production. Laser cutters make clean, debris-free cuts through metals, plastics, wood, and other materials reducing the time and effort required to clean or finish a workpiece before it moves to the next workstation.

CNC Machines save time, money, and frustration!

Increasing production capacity while reducing costs of production is what CNC technology is all about. By improving capacity, reducing errors, and enhancing quality, CNC machines have become one of the fundamental technologies many manufacturing plants and production environments use all over the planet. CNC machinery can produce finished workpieces faster, with less handling, and greater safety considerations than traditional production techniques.

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