What can you make with CNC machining?

by Stephen Ellison

What is CNC machining?

Computer numerical control (CNC) is an efficient technique of manufacturing that employs the use of pre-programmed computers and machines to accurately design an array of items, parts, and materials. CNC machining is used to manufacture parts and items with minimal human intervention. The machines used for manufacturing with CNC machining include CNC Mills, lathes, plasma cutters, etc.

Materials that are compatible with CNC Machining

It should be noted that CNC machining cannot be used for materials that are too soft or hard such as silicone, rubber, and ceramics. It is used for a wide range of metals and plastics such as Nylon, brass, aluminum, and copper. It can also be used for fiberglass, wood amongst others.

Things that can be made with CNC

Most of our everyday items are made with CNC machining. This is because of the high-level accuracy of CNC machines when programmed properly and when the materials that are used are compatible with CNC machines.

It is highly used by manufacturers who need to produce a large volume of products in a relatively short time that needs to be mathematically accurate. The precision and speed of CNC machining make its usage popular in various intrinsic sectors of the economy of countries such as aerospace, automobile, healthcare, and security agencies.

Generally speaking, items manufactured by CNC machining include automobile parts, aerospace parts, and paintball guns, military and navy materials. It should be noted that the products or items that can be made with CNC machining depend on the CNC machines or processes that are used.

Items that can be made through CNC turing

CNC Turning is done with a CNC lathe. This method can be used to process various cylindrical shapes such as a slanted cylinder, linear cylinder, etc. it can also be used to process hyperboloids, threads, worms, and groove.

Items that can be made through CNC milling

CNC Milling is done with a CNC milling machine. It is used for processing shell parts, planes, and curved surfaces. Items that can be made with CNC milling include propellers, connecting rods, etc.

Things that can’t be made with CNC machining

Although most things can be made through CNC machining, it is not without its shortcomings. There are a lot of parts that cannot be made with CNC machining. They include:-

  • Items with thin walls

CNC machining cannot be used for parts with thin walls because they are likely to be broken or cracked during the process. Thin-walled items can also cause them to vibrate which will affect the accuracy of the manufacturing process

  • Items with cutouts

CNC machines cannot be used to make items that have cutouts in certain areas (such as on the inner walls of their parts). This is so because the machines cannot get to those parts

  • Items with deep holes

CNC machining cannot be used for manufacturing parts with holes that are too deep. This is because CNC machines work best when they are drilling holes that are not more than 3 times their diameter.

  • Items with internal vertical corners

Due to the shape of most CNC machines, internal vertical corners cannot be made.

Final words

CNC machining has a lot of utility especially as regards the manufacturing of items and the growth of micro and macro economies. This paper has laid out the utility and shortcomings of this process to give wide knowledge on the subject.

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