What is CNC? CNC refers to Computer Numerical Control, and is responsible for the automation of machine tools. The types of tools controlled by CNC processes include lathes, drill presses, and screw machines. All of these tools are used in the machining process to cut metal components to desired dimensions with a high degree of accuracy and detail. CNC milling and CNC turning have made it possible to create patterns and add detail to metal components that are not possible by hand. What are the differences between CNC milling and CNC turning?CNC milling consists of a milling machine that uses commands, or G-codes, programmed into the machine via a computer software program. Each code entered into the program has a designated function that is performed by the machine. When codes are entered into a CNC program representing a potential finished product, the mill then drills and turns along axes to cut and shape the material to match the dimensions entered into the computer.
CNC milling machines are controlled in one of two ways: by computer or via manual override. Computer programming allows the machine to make the precise cuts required, but the manual override allows a CNC machine operator to slow down or speed up or tweak the process if necessary.
There are numerous examples of products that can be created using CNC milling processes including pulleys, arms, linkages, fixtures, and valves. Often customers have a need to make a strong part from aluminum or steel to replace a weak plastic part supplied by the manufacturer, and CNC milling machines can do this.