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Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining

By EdApp
4 Lessons
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Learn about the beginnings of CNC machining, its operating process, its essential components, and the difference of each of the most widely used CNC machines today.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Lessons

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  1. Introduction to CNC Machining
  2. CNC Machining Process and Elements
  3. Types of CNC Machines
  4. CNC Drilling Machine Safety

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Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining course excerpts

Introduction to CNC Machining

In this lesson, you'll discover how CNC machining was born and how it is used now in the modern economy.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Course - Lesson Excerpt

Introduction to Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining

How was the CNC concept born?

Before the advent of CNC machines, first came the development of numerical control and the first NC machine tools. It was John T. Parsons' pioneering works in the early 1940s that led to the invention of numerical control. 1

Parsons conceived the method of using IBM punch cards containing coordinate position system to control a machine tool. The machine, which was originally called Card-a-matic Milling Machine , was directed to move in small increments and generate the desired finish.

In 1948, Parsons demonstrated this concept to the US Air Force (who then needed help with ultra-precise wing construction) and was awarded a $200,000 contract to make it a reality.

Below is an excerpt from the August, 1996 issue of American Machinist explaining the history of CNC: “Numerical control as a concept developed in the mind of John T. Parsons as a way to produce integrally stiffened skins for aircraft, and this led to a series of Air Force research projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning in 1949."

The series of project at MIT led to the development of the first NC prototype in 1952 and eventual discovery of Automatically Programmed Tools (APT) language, a means that allowed programmers to communicate with machines using English-like statements. The APT language then would mark the arrival of the technology we now know as CNC machines.

In which industries is CNC often used?

Manufacturing of interior and exterior parts for automobiles, boats, trains, aircraft, and spacecraft

Manufacturing of electronic components

Production of heavy-duty parts that form reliable household appliances

Detailed building models

Prototypes of original equipment manufacturers

CNC Machining Process and Elements

In this lesson, you'll have a walk through of the essential 4-step process of CNC machining. You'll also learn about the vital elements of a CNC machine and their individual functions.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Course - Lesson Excerpt

CNC Machining Process and Elements

How do CNC Machines work? 1 CNC machines involve several tools beforehand to produce a certain part or product. Now, let's go through the 4-stage CNC machining process to know how this happens.

Designing the CAD Model The CNC machining process begins with the creation of a 2D vector or 3D solid part CAD design.The model determines the necessary dimensions and properties of the final part. Once the CAD design is completed, the designer exports it to a CNC-compatible file format, such as STEP or IGES.

Converting the CAD file via CAM software The formatted CAD files are often fed into a CAM software. This will extract the part geometry and generate the CNC program, which uses digital programming codes such as G-Code and M-Code (to be tackled later on). Once the CNC program is generated, the operator loads it to the CNC machine.

Preparing the CNC machine Before the operator runs the CNC program, the CNC machine must be prepared for operation. This includes setting the right parameters (e.g. cutting speed and voltage), affixing the workpiece into the machine, and attaching the required tooling (e.g. drill bits and end mills).

Executing the machine operation Initiating the program prompts the CNC machine to begin the CNC machining process, and the CNC program guides the machine throughout the process as it executes the necessary machine operations to produce a custom-designed part or product

The G-Code provides the commands that the M-code missed.

Elements of a CNC Machine The elements of CNC machines basically consists of the following: Program Input Devices Machine Control Unit (MCU) Machine Tool Driving System Feedback System Display Unit Check out the image map in the next slide to know more about each element.

Types of CNC Machines

Learn about how CNC machines are categorized and some examples of popular machines under those types.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Course - Lesson Excerpt

Types of CNC Machines

Types of CNC Machines They can be classified based on the ff. different methods: Functions (Parts) Motion type Number of Axis Control loop Discover about each of the type in the next slides.

According to the functions or types of machined parts, CNC machines can be further classified into 5 types:

CNC Milling Machines These are used to create shapes, slots, holes, notches, grooves, pockets, and specialty faces, and perform the machining process of manufacturing CNC milling parts.

CNC Lathes These are used to manufacture cylindrical objects, and perform the process of producing CNC turning parts. A cutting tool will shape the workpiece while the material block is turning rapidly on a spindle.

CNC Drilling Machines These are used to drill hole in the workpiece, the tool can locate the position for drilling quickly and accurately, sophisticated drilling machines can also perform reaming, counterboring, and tapping holes.

CNC Plasma Cutters It is a machine that carries a plasma torch, which is for cutting metals, involves cutting through electrically conductive materials by an accelerated jet of hot plasma.

CNC Grinders It is a machine that uses a rotary wheel to abrade the material by grinding or grating it into the desired shape.

CNC Drilling Machine Safety

Learn about the basic components and process of the most common CNC machine used today. You'll also get more tips on how you can work safely with this CNC machine.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Course - Lesson Excerpt

CNC Drilling Machine Safety

Common Applications of CNC Drilling Machine 4

Metal Fabrication One application of this machine consists of drilling precision holes in solid metal material used by the automobile, aerospace, construction, and other industries in producing end products

Wood Manufacturing Wood manufacturers also use this type of CNC machine as part of standard operations. Often, this application relies on other CNC machines as well, including turning, milling, and grinding.

Computer Parts and Components Manufacturing It is also common for manufacturers of computer parts and components to use a CNC machine for drilling. For this industry, precision is critical, which is what this machine offers.

Electrical Industry For this industry, CNC drilling and other machines are essential. For this application, manufacturers also use an electrical discharge machine in most instances.

How do CNC Drilling Machines work? Here is the step-by-step process:

The operator uploads and accesses the computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) file.

The operator installs the appropriate drill bit and secures the designated material on the table.

The operator starts the drilling process through the control panel or interface.

The spindle lowers, drilling the appropriate hole sizes and diameters.

How to take care of CNC Drilling Machines? 1 Clean each machine after use. Clean T-slots, grooves, and dirt from belts and pulleys. Remove chips to avoid damage to moving parts. Put a light coat of oil on all unpainted surfaces to prevent rust. If machines are operated under extremely dusty conditions, operate at the slowest speeds to avoid rapid abrasive wear on the moving parts and lubricate the machines more often. Under extreme cold conditions, start the machines at a slow speed and allow the parts and lubricants to warm up before increasing the speeds. Extreme heat may cause the motor to overheat, so use intermittent, or on and off, operations to keep the motor running cool.

CNC Drilling Machine Safety Procedures

Other Important Operational Safety Procedures: Drilling must be operated at the correct speed according to the diameter of drill bit and material. Use a correctly drill for the material being drilled. Machine shop personnel can help select the correct drill type The drill must be loosen when the power is off. Always remove the drill chuck key or, the drill drift from the spindle immediately after using it. Let the spindle stop of its own accord after turning the power off. Never try to stop the spindle with your hand Let the spindle stop of its own accord after turning the power off. Never try to stop the spindle with your hand.

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Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining


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gives you the very basics of cnc and its history.

It was understandable and very beneficial

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