Computer numerical control (CNC) machines are designed to manufacture a wide variety of items. As such, there are several different types of commonly used CNC machines. These include:
A CNC mill is a machine that utilizes computer controls to cut various materials. Mills can translate specific programs of numbers and letters in order to move the spindle in various ways. Many mills use what is known as G code – a standardized programming language recognized by most CNC machines.
A CNC mill can have a wide array of functions, such as face milling, shoulder milling, tapping, drilling, and turning.
A lathe is a CNC machine that functions to cut work pieces as they are rotated. CNC lathes can make precise cuts quickly by using various tools. These CNC machines are quite effective in the precision they offer compared to manual lathes. They come with similar controls to those of CNC mills and can read both G code and other proprietary programming languages.
A CNC router is a machine that is very similar to the commonly used handheld router utilized for cutting various materials. A CNC router can aid in the cutting of steel, wood, aluminum, composites, plastic, and foam.
A CNC router is similar to a CNC mill. It comes with the ability to use computer numerical control to route tool paths that enable the machine to function. CNC routers reduce waste and increase productivity, producing various items in a much shorter amount of time than using other machines.
CNC Plasma Cutters
The process of plasma cutting involves the cutting of a material using a plasma torch. This method is most commonly used to cut heavy materials, such as steel and other forms of metal.
Gas is blown at a very high speed from a nozzle. While this is being done, an electrical arc forms through the gas coming out of the nozzle to the surface that is being cut. This converts some of this gas into plasma. The plasma is hot enough to melt whatever material is being cut, and it blows away any molten metal from the site of the cut.
CNC Electric Discharge Machines
Electric discharge machining, or EDM for short, involves creating a specific shape within a certain material by using electrical discharges, or sparks. The material is removed from a specific work piece by a series of recurring electrical discharges between two electrodes. These electrodes are separated by a dielectric fluid, which often receives an electric voltage.