The Advantages Of CNC Machining

Reading time: 4 minutes | 11 June 2024

Technological advances have changed the way manufacturing works over recent years. The CNC machining process is no exception with computer-aided manufacturing techniques being used to create intricate and complex components and products that are used in a range of industries.

This blog post will look at some of the key advantages of the CNC machining process and how it’s used to create some of the most intricate components in sectors such as the aerospace and medical industries.

cnc milling
cnc milling

What Is CNC Machining?

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a subtractive manufacturing process suitable for creating intricate, custom-designed parts and components for a range of industries such as automotive and telecommunications.

It is a type of computer-aided manufacturing that can perform a wide range of intricate and precise machining tasks to create components for industries that require unique, specifically designed pieces for their bespoke applications. The technology allows parts to be created quickly to the stringent specifications and tolerances required in some industries.

cnc milling

How Does CNC Machining Work?

The CNC machining process works by using computerised controls and machine tools that work on a blank or workpiece of a particular material that removes layers from it to create the finished part. A wide range of materials can be used from metals and glass to plastics, wood, foam, and composites making it a versatile part of the manufacturing industry.

The CNC machining process begins with designing the computer-aided design (CAD) model. The process is then:

  • Converting the CAD file to a CNC program
  • Preparing the CNC machine
  • Executing the machining operation

 These four steps enable the final piece to be created from the blank piece of material.

What Is CNC Machining Used For?

A lot of the things we use in our everyday lives are created by a CNC machine, according to Tony Schmitz, an engineering professor from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. From aeroplanes to cars, medical equipment to televisions, the CNC machining process creates intricate components that make up these types of final products.

The process lends itself to the exacting and complex requirements of industries such as aerospace. However, its versatility means it is also a great manufacturing process to create furniture and musical instruments. CNC machining is essential in the world of modern manufacturing thanks to its precision, efficiency, and repeatability. 

The Advantages Of CNC Machining

CNC machining is used in a wide range of industries that require precise components to be made to exact specifications, often in large quantities and at speed. Its main advantages include precision, high productivity, and cost-effectiveness.

Precision and AccuracyComputer-aided manufacturing creates finished pieces that have a higher degree of accuracy and precision than manual machining operations. It can create parts that meet precise specifications without the need for a skilled operator to check and refine the process.The machining process largely relies on computer instructions to fabricate the parts, almost completely eliminating human error. Some machines are capable of achieving tolerances as small as 0.004 which enables them to create complex parts that are vital in industries such as defence where weapons and vehicles demand high levels of reliability and precision.
High Efficiency and ProductivityThe versatility of the CNC manufacturing process means that it can create a component in whatever volume is required. So the machine can create one or thousands of pieces from the same run.Once the design specifications have been programmed into the machine, production takes very little time to create large quantities, making it a highly efficient process. Productivity can be scaled up or down, depending on the needs of the project.
Cost-effectivenessCNC-machined parts are cost-effective across the whole manufacturing process for a number of reasons. Initially, training for CNC operators can take place virtually thereby eliminating the cost involved in purchasing training workpieces.This combined with low production costs, a smaller number of errors and mistakes, and a higher output rate than manual machining make it a cost-effective manufacturing process that is adaptable to the changing demands of the industries it serves best.
Versatility In MaterialsThe use of the latest computer-aided manufacturing software and CNC systems means that machining can create the desired shape from a variety of different materials. This means that components can be created to whatever specifications a particular project demands.The rotating cutting tools work with solid materials such as metals, and wood as well as delicate ones like glass and softer things like foam and plastics enabling final pieces to be made for a range of different requirements.
Reproducibility and ConsistencyA CNC machine can create the same design hundreds and hundreds of times to the same specification enabling high volumes of pieces to be made quickly and consistently. Once the CNC machining equipment is programmed, it can create as few or as many of the pieces as required.The CNC machining process offers a way to reproduce the same piece, time and time again consistently with a low error rate.

Get In Touch For All Your CNC Machining Needs

Washington Components has over 40 years of experience in CNC machining processes, creating first-class parts and components for a range of industries, worldwide.

Our expertise includes:

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can turn your design into reality, whatever the size or quantity you require.

Get Your Next Project Started Today

Get In Touch >