When it comes to turning your product idea into a product, precision is the key to your success. And one way you can achieve precision is to fabricate your parts using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes like CNC precision machining.
However, most people who aren’t involved in the machining industry hear the word ─ CNC precision machining ─ and think, “what is that?”
This article answers four frequently asked questions about CNC precision machining. By the end of this article, you’ll have enough information to turn your product idea into reality using CNC manufacturing technology.
Question #1 What is CNC Precision Machining?
CNC precision machining is a subtractive manufacturing process ─ which means it involves removing portions of material from a workpiece till the desired product is formed.
This process is quite similar to conventional milling and lathe operations. However, with CNC precision machining, computer numerical control (CNC) technology controls the sequence of movement of the workpiece and cutting tools to fabricate the parts accurately and precisely.
Before making any product by CNC precision machining, you need to first create the 3D computer-aided design (CAD) of your desired part using CAD or CAM programs. Next, your machinist converts this CAD file into G-code ─ which is a computer program the CNC machine uses to automate the manufacturing process.
Learn More: What is CNC Machining?
Question #2 What is the Achievable Engineering Tolerance of CNC Precision Machining?
Without a doubt, CNC machines offer higher accuracy and precision than other manufacturing technologies. However, CNC machines cannot reproduce the dimensions of your part just as they are in the CAD blueprint. That is to say; there will always be some deviation in the dimension of your machined part.
Product designers and machinists use engineering tolerance to specify the acceptable amount of deviation in the dimension of a part.
For instance, say you’re looking to manufacture a shaft with a nominal diameter of 20 mm. If the functionality of your shaft isn’t affected by a deviation of up to 0.01 mm, then you can specify your engineering tolerance as ±0.01 mm (pronounced plus or minus 0.01 millimeters). So if your machine shop ends up manufacturing a shaft with a diameter of 20.01 mm or 19.99 mm, you’d still expect your part to be functional.
CNC precision machines can meet tolerances as small as ±0.004 mm, making them ideal for projects with stringent tolerance requirements.
Learn More: Machining Tolerances 101
Question #3 What are the Most Common Types of CNC Precision Machining Equipment
In product development, machinists often use several types of CNC machining equipment to fabricate your product. The choice of CNC machining equipment primarily depends on your product design features and complexity. For instance, here is a list of the most common types of CNC machines and their applications:
CNC Milling Machine
The CNC milling machines feature a multi-bladed cutting tool that rotates against a stationary workpiece. This CNC machining equipment is ideal for creating cavities, angled cuts, and off-center holes.
CNC Turning Machines
In CNC turning machines, the workpiece is attached to a chuck and made to rotate against a stationary cutting tool. CNC turning machines are ideal for fabricating complex cylindrical shapes. You can also use them for reaming, thread cutting, spot facing, and knurling operations.
CNC Electrical Discharge Machine
CNC Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM) are quite similar to CNC lathes and milling machines ─ they use CNC technology to automate the manufacturing process. However, unlike CNC lathes and milling machines that use machining tools to create cuts, an electrical discharge machine uses electrical sparks to cut the workpiece. These machines are ideal for creating micro slots, angled features, and holes in difficult-to-machine metals.
Learn more: 10 Types of CNC Machines and Their Applications
Question #4 What are the Top Applications of CNC Precision Machining?
The high precision of CNC machining equipment makes them ideal in several industries, including the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.
CNC precision machining is allowing auto parts manufacturers to meet the stringent requirements of today’s automotive industry. For instance, modern gearboxes and engine blocks are quite small and require tight tolerances to be functional. CNC machines are being used to manufacture these essential parts precisely.
In addition, CNC machines are helping to machine lightweight alloys used in vehicles’ interior and roof panels.
Learn more: Applications of CNC Machining in the Automotive Industry
Nothing is as important as precision in aerospace parts manufacturing. And as you may have guessed, CNC machines allow manufacturers to fabricate complex aircraft parts accurately. For instance, aircraft manufacturers rely on CNC machines to fabricate aircraft fuselage sections and landing gears.
Learn more: Applications of CNC Machining in the Aerospace Industry
CNC machines are at the forefront of technologies used in the medical industry. For instance, applications of CNC machines in the medical industry include the fabrication of medical implants and surgical instruments (like blades and scissors).
Learn more: Applications of CNC Machines in the Medical Industry
CNC Precision Machining: Gensun Can Help
CNC machining is ideal for fabricating high-quality parts while satisfying tight tolerance requirements. However, the success of your manufacturing project also depends on the CNC machining shop you work with.
Gensun Precision Machining is a leading provider of CNC machining services across Asia. We’ve been in business for nearly two decades, providing high-quality machining services for customers across various industries.
Learn more about our CNC machining services.