What is CNC machining? Working, Advantages, & Applications

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. And CNC machining refers to manufacturing a product with high precision, with the aid of computers. Now rolling back in time, the first CNC milling machine was built in 1952 and was known as Cincinnati Milacron Hydrotel. Since then, CNC machines are being utilized in various industries to increase production speed with better efficiency.


CNC Machine Working

  • A CNC machine requires a digital file (aka CAD file) to create or design an object. This CAD file contains information regarding materials, processes, and the 2D / 3D design of the target object.
  • After uploading the CAD file, a CAM (Computer-aided manufacturing) software converts the raw model to a series of instructions, known as G-code. What is G-code?
  • This G-code tells the machine when to turn ON/ OFF, how fast/ slow it should move, etc. After attaching the required tools and other machine components, the CNC-machine gets ready to begin the process.
  • All it takes now is to press the START button. With the aid of the machine’s integrated computer, the object gets completed within hours.
CNC lathe machine
CNC lathe machine


Advantages of CNC Machining


It is the most important advantage of using prototyping services. Most of the machines operate using computers with little or no human interference. Hence, the chances of injury reduce to a great extent.


The use of computer-programmed machines removes human error and gives higher accuracy. The CNC machines provide an accuracy of 0.125mm for a part of length 300mm and 0.400mm accuracy for a piece of 900mm length.

Increased production speed and efficiency

With computers, it is possible to operate a machine for longer hours, with little or no breaks. With fully automated machines, even the complex designs get completed within hours that requires more time with manual machines.

Scalable Volume and Uniform product

PCBWay offers scalable volume for producing parts that vary from 1 to 100,000. So, you don’t need to worry about bulk ordering. With high-tech machines, all the CNC outputs have the exact dimensions as of the prototype.


Applications of CNC Machines

Metal removing / fabricating Industries

Fabricating a metal piece using a CNC machine
Fabricating a metal piece using a CNC machine

These include Aerospace or Automobile industries. For making shafts, gears, and cylinders, metal works like cutting, milling, drilling, and shaping gives the metal a final shape. CNC machines provide the optimum services to these industries by providing them rapid prototyped parts with high quality, right on time.

Oil and Gas Industry

This industry requires corrosion-resistant metals like Aluminum 5052, which are optimum for pipelines or refineries. CNC machining offers reliable parts for rods, pins, pistons to carry out the refining work smoothly.


Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) Industry

Electrical Discharge Machining
Electrical Discharge Machining

This process involves removing metal pieces using an electric discharge. It is preferable for cutting sturdy metals like titanium. The electrical discharge machining is of three types: Wire EDM, Sinker EDM, and hole-drilling EDM.

In case you are looking for rapid prototyping solutions, PCBWay is the perfect manufacturer for the service. PCBWay is offering an instant 10% discount on any of their prototyping services. To avail of the benefit, visit today.

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