CNC Product Reviews & Testimonials

Here are just a few examples of what our satisfied customers are saying about our CNC Milling products. These are REAL PICS from REAL CUSTOMERS who have generously gone out of their way to take and send to us to show what they are machining with their CNC MASTERS Milling Machine.


California College Recognized for Success of CNC Graduates

The College of Canyons, (COC) located in Santa Clarita, California has been getting a significant amount of attention lately. They just made the list of the Top 15 Community and Career Colleges with Salary Potential. COC focuses on preparing students for careers that they can succeed at in fields that are continuously growing. CNC machining is one of those careers and the program at COC is doing phenomenally.
Students
COC also received an Outstanding Achievement Award in early October, given by the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, in the name of CNC machining. The award represented the fact that COC placed 100 percent of its graduates into careers that took part in the CNC Fast Track program. 100 percent of the students that pursued CNC machining got a job after college.

The Fast Track programs at COC are selected based on labor demand and the college focuses on careers where they expect job growth to occur. The programs are typically divided into manufacturing, medical/general office, managerial/professional, and test preparation courses.

The Fast Track CNC program is intended to help students learn the skills and work ethic required to succeed in the field of CNC outside of graduation. It is intended to earn students entry-level jobs in the CNC manufacturing industry, and it is working without a doubt.

Upon graduation, the students earn a “Machining/CNC Certificate of Specialization” which is proof that students are prepared to use CNC programming in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. Students can work not just as a CNC machinist, but as a CNC lathe operation, production machinist, or even a CNC programmer.

The college has also been hosting a job fair with manufacturing companies surrounding the college to allow their students to be interviewed. Many of the students nearing graduation earn on-the-spot job offers during the fair. Students from COC have ended up working with Aerotek, Aerospace Dynamics International Inc., and Paragon Precision Inc.

COC is making a massive effort to ensure their students graduate with the knowledge that they need to have a secure and rewarding job. We applaud the focus that COC has put on CNC machining. If you’re interested in learning more CNC news, visit the CNC Masters blog.


CNC Machines and Lights Out Concept

Lights Out CNC MachiningIn order to improve productivity in the workplace, many companies and shops that use CNC machines daily have opted into a method called “Lights Out” machining. Running lights out means that you continue to run the machines even after employees go home for the night.  The CNC machines run throughout the night and complete jobs without manual assistance.

Both large and small companies have occasionally started to run lights out for a variety of reasons. Customers often want certain products on short notice and want you to get them as quickly as possible.  If a company can run lights off, the shop can finish a project overnight and have it ready the next day for a customer because they don’t need to wait for someone to come in to do the job. Companies are also starting to do lights out CNC machining so they can save on labor costs by paying a fewer number of employees and not having to pay employee benefits as frequently. Saving on labor costs is the biggest reason shops are choosing to run lights out. By letting the machines run themselves overnight , you don’t need to pay an employee to monitor the job or do the job, saving the company money.

Another advantage to the lights out concept is that you are able to run longer jobs overnight and not waste the time on those hours during the day. During the day, it is beneficial to do shorter jobs that require frequent manual maintenance and monitoring complicated parts. While employees are waiting for a job to finish during the day, they can program some of the night jobs for lights out which uses their time more effectively. If a job has to run for several hours with little manual maintenance, running it lights out makes more sense. By doing so, an employee doesn’t have to spend their time just watching the machine work for hours.

In order to start implementing lights out, you do need to ease into it and make sure the CNC machine is working the way it is intended to. You should practice running jobs “lights out” while employees are still present for the first several attempts. You should also make sure all of the tools and parts are sharp and clean. Machines need to cleaned and maintained in order to perform at their best while running lights out. It is also important to make sure the proper program is loaded, the space is clear of chips, and that the reservoir is full of coolant. These are things that the operators normally do but would not be present to do during lights off.

The best CNC machines to use for lights out production are grinders, horizontal and vertical machining centers, multifunction lathes and two- and four-axis lathes. Have you ever tried to run your CNC machines on “lights off?” How did it go?


How to Organize Tools In Your Workshop

Organized workshopScraps of wood and metal likely cover the surface of your workshop as proof of how hard you work in that space. However, a workshop does not need to be messy and will function much better if it is organized and inviting. If you are happy with the way your workshop looks and feels, you’re more likely to spend time on those projects that are piling up.

Finished Space


If the ceiling is unfinished in your workshop and it has wood or wires exposed, you’ve found your first project. A space without a ceiling will always feel cold and unappealing. You will likely spend a lot of time in your workshop and it’s important for it to feel welcoming. Painting the walls of your workshop is also an easy way to make the space feel warmer. Choose a color that you really like but wouldn’t necessarily use in your home. You can paint a workshop whatever color you want and that’s fun!


Give It Light

You will need light in your workshop in order to make it a practical space. Most workshops are within a garage or basement and both have little light. Fluorescent lights are ideal for a workshop. Although they feel very industrial, they are energy efficient and don’t give off heat. An encased fluorescent light will also not shatter or spark if it is dropped or knocked which is inevitable in a workshop.

 

Benefits of Workbenches

Installing a workbench is a vital part of making your workshop functional. A workbench will give you a large, flat space to handle multiple projects. Workbenches often come with drawers and hooks as well to use for storage and organizing. Place a padded, rubber mat down at the foot of the workbench to make it more comfortable for you when you’re standing at it.


Know Safety Precautions

Your workshop is likely an extension of your home but you still need to recognize that many of the materials in a workshop are dangerous. If you have chemicals in your workshop, store them in a locked cabinet and away from anything that could give off heat. Keep a fire extinguisher in your workshop as a precaution as well. Always wear closed toe shoes, such as sneakers or boots, in your workshop to protect your feet from tools or nails.


Categorize and Organize

Work benches are full of multiple tools, wires, tapes, paints, and extension cords. Come up with categories for whatever you have a multitude of in your workshop, label drawers, and organize accordingly. Make a habit of putting things away in the correct places. If designated drawers hold specific items, you will also save time because you’ll know where to find what you need.

Workshops are for building and creating. Whether you are creating a CNC machine masterpiece or fixing a light fixture, your workshop should feel organized, comfortable, and inviting.


Students Encouraged to Use CNC Machines

High school students in Foley, Minnesota, have the opportunity to take a sheet metal machining class where CNC machines are used daily. Students that have taken this class have been highly recommending the class to one another, raising the number of students wanting to take it. The class became a “hot topic” among students and many students became interested in learning the CNC machines.  The class allows students to discover, develop, and create, making the class unique and enticing to the high school students.
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The class teaches students how to both use and master different sheet metal techniques, including using CNC machines. It is an elective course so students are not required to take it but students willingly sign-up for the class. Students do have to pay somewhere between 20 to 25 dollars for the independent projects but students claim they believe the money spent is well worth it.

During the 2014-2015 school year the industrial technology department received a curriculum review which awarded funding to the department. The school invested $12,000 for the purchase of
tools which included the purchase of a CNC machine, a laser engraver, and more. Students typically start out by creating simple things such as a tool box. As their skills improve, they are granted access to laptops and computer-aided design software such as CNC machines. The advanced students have been able to develop go-cart bumpers and metal signs using the CNC machine, along with many other creations. The CNC machines allow students to create things quickly and with great precision.

Through the sheet metal class, the high school students enrolled are also exposed to careers that would involve CNC machines and CNC technology. The students take field trips to local technical colleges to help students see what a higher education in this field would be like. They also tour business and establishments that use CNC machines to understand what people do that use CNC machines for a living.

Students enrolled in this sheet metal class are learning valuable skills that might allow them to establish themselves as a professional through CNC machines. If students aren’t planning to make a career out of CNC machines, at the very least, they are learning a valuable skill.


What Materials Work Best for CNC Machines

Many materials can be used with CNC machines, giving you plenty of options to create whatever you’d like with your CNC machine. From aluminum to copper and from plastic to wood, options are practically endless as far as what materials can be used. Some people even work with steel and wax, depending on what they’re designing. One of the major advantages of CNC machines are the amount of materials that can be used with them, providing owners with multiple options.

Wood

Wood is most commonly thought of as the material that you would use with a CNC machine.  Solid wood is something that has never gone out of style and has been a “go-to” material for people for hundreds of years. CNC machines and wood go hand in hand, and although it’s certainly not the only material that can be used, it’s a popular choice. CNC machines have made creating products made from wood much easier. Choosing the right wood for your project, such as pine or cherry, can make a big difference in the finished product.  Depending on the wood you choose, you also can gear yourself toward a certain color whether you’re going for a darker or lighter finish.

Plastics

Plastic is also commonly used with CNC machines. PVC which stands for polyvinyl chloride is a plastic that is easy to use with CNC machines. PVC is lightweight yet tough which make it an ideal material to work with. The machines can cut through PVC relatively easily too, leaving finished products smooth. PVC also comes in a variety of color options which can help spice up projects and let CNC owners utilize their creative side. Another plastic that is commonly used with CNC machines is plastic acrylic sheets which have varying colors and thickness which can be turned into signs, storage boxes, or even aquarium windows.

Metals

Metal is something that can be challenging to work with when it comes to CNC machines. However, Metals1aluminum is one metal that is very easy to work with. It is extremely durable, can be recycled, and is easy to cut through. Aluminum is one metal that many CNC machine owners choose to work with. Certain metals require specific bits to make the cutting process easier as well depending on the thickness or toughness of the metal. Metals such as brass or bronze can be used on CNC machines but they are not as easy to work with as aluminum. Metal has a very distinct and shiny appearance, making most metal projects appear clean cut and sharp.

CNC machines have a wide variety of materials that can be used with them, allowing owners to create and design with very little limitation.


Why Sheet Metal And CNC Machines Go Hand In Hand

Sheet Metal and CNC MachinesIf you are making a one-off sheet metal project, such as a hobby piece or prototype, CNC machines are just the thing for you. The lineup of machines CNC provides allows you to keep your p roject in-house, preserving trade secrets. They also have a very small footprint, saving you the expense of additional space.

Where CNC machines really start to shine in sheet metal use is when you start to take advantage of our software. CNC Machine Master MX software is included with every purchase of our CNC mills, lathes, and router machines. It runs with most Windows programs from seven on up as well as with a USB port connection, touch screen desktop or laptop PC.

The Master MX comes with wizards to easily generate a file without using CAM software. The MX can also run standard FANUC G-code files from other CAD-CAM software such as MasterCAM, SmartCam, SurfCam, etc.

If you are used to doing your sheet metal machine work manually, CNC equipment has a great track record of helping people transition to software-based machining. CNC machines have brought together the best aspects of manual mills and lathes and integrated them with CNC capabilities. Because of this, many of our customers who were used to manual controls found it easy to learn the ropes of CNC machines.

Don’t believe us? Check out some testimonials.

One great example of very nice sheet metal work using CNC machines is from Creative Sheet Metal Services. Danny Isaacs used the Supra Mill for a cockpit instrument panel that used one-inch thick plate sheet metal.

Whether you are machining car parts, computer parts, of the next great invention of your own imagining, check out CNC’s lineup. We can help you bring your idea and your business into the world.

 


Ways to Extend a CNC Machine’s Life

CNC Max GuardWhen you make an investment in machinery that impacts your business, you want to make sure it lasts. A CNC Machine is no different. This machine is so productive for your line, that if it breaks down, your production can fall behind and miss deadlines. We put together a few easy maintenance tips to help extend your CNC machine’s life.

There are a few operating problems like excessive vibration and chatter that can severely impact the machines efficiency. These problems can affect a spindle, and if you do not have an extra spare on hand, things will not look good while waiting for a replacement. If a spindle is pilled, it is because of both quality issues and possibly due to noise levels.

It is important to know when a repair is needed. You may be able to catch the needed repair in advance, before it gets any worse. If you have not done so already, setup a maintenance schedule for your CNC Machine, you may need to consult your handbook for best practices on this. Train your employees to properly maintain this machine as well.

It may be best to have a few individuals that specialize in CNC machine performance and will be able to maintain the machine, notice when a repair is needed, and take care of the repair for you.

If your CNC machine seems to be breaking down, even after proper maintenance is performed on a regular basis, you may need to consider having pushed it beyond its capabilities. Your machine may not be able to handle the increased workload you are requiring of it any longer. Think about other alternatives to redistribute the workload or consider investing in a new machine to handle what you need.

If you need help identifying a new CNC machine that will suit your new needs, contact CNC Masters at 626-962-9300. We are proud to provide some of the best quality and service nationwide for CNC machines.

For additional ways to extend the life of your machine, read here and here.


An Overview of Engraving [INFOGRAPHIC]

Today, we can get just about any hard and flat surface engraved with fine detail. As a gift idea, or for your business’s signage needs, engraving is a tried, true and trusted method for branding and creating unique designs.

You might not have given engraving a great deal of thought since it is very common and easy to come by, but engraving has one of the longest histories known to man.

In the beginning:

Starting around 60,000 BC, human people first engraved ostrich eggshells to be used as water containers.

Engraving was a process only performed by skilled craftsmen such as goldsmiths or carpenters and the fine details were dependent upon the materials used in the press. The process involved prints of drawings or paintings that were copied and then etched onto wood or metal.

In modern times:

There are various machines, such as the milling machine, that are responsible for truly amazing engraving techniques. We can engrave on a variety of materials such as metals, glass and laminates as long as it is a flat surface. You can create a design with computer-based programs as well as heavy-duty machinery.

Engraving is a permanent design used for engraving actual objects or for printing images on paper with prints or illustrations. The raised areas of an item consist of the engraved part.

With engraving, you can design images or wording. One of the types of machinery that is used for engraving hard flat surfaces is a milling machine. These machines work fast, are efficient and produce amazing engraved products.

At CNC Masters, you can expect quality products from our machine, and we would gladly discuss its benefits with you.

 

An Overview of Engraving

From Visually.

 


The Importance of Cleaning in CNC Machining

clean cnc machineWhen it comes to your CNC machines, you probably know the ins and outs of operation, but have you ever looked into their cleaning? Many individuals forget the importance of regular cleaning or get swept up in the excitement of everyday work, allowing this task to fall to the wayside.

We at CNC Masters would like to bring cleaning back to the forefront of your attention for a minute, reminding you of just how important it is to clean all components of your CNC machines on a regular (we recommend weekly) basis. Why? We have listed a few of the most important reasons below.

Longevity

Your machines are used to cut through some tough materials, and because of this, they are going to experience a lot of everyday wear and tear. Just think of how much of a mess the metal shavings, cutting fluids and oils can make of your shop floor! Regular cleaning is just one way to help extend the lifetime of your machines. Prevent grit and grime from building up – both on their exteriors and interiors – to help ensure longevity.

Functionality

Clean machining parts will give you the best possible results, helping to ensure that the products you make are the best that they can be. Regular cleaning will also allow you to check machining components often, helping to ensure you notice parts that need replacing or adjusting – instead of finding out when your machine breaks down.

Safety

A clean machining shop is a safe one, and this motto should apply to your machines themselves, as well as the tools and surfaces around them. Weekly cleaning will keep your fleet of CNC machines in top shape, preventing potential injuries and break downs.

For businesses, teachers and hobbyists looking for high quality CNC products at competitive prices, CNC Masters is the place to shop. Review our catalog online or give us a call at 626-962-9300 for assistance finding the right products to suit your particular needs.


Create a Backup of Your CNC Data

You have been told countless times, by countless tech gurus, just how important it is to keep regularly updated backups of the data on your cell phone, digital camera, desktop computer and laptop. And whether you actually back up this data onto a secure hard drive as often as you should or not, you are probably confident that should damage occur to your device, you have most (if not all) of your important files saved to another location.

But have you ever thought of doing the same for your CNC data?

If you have never created a backup copy of the data stored on your CNC machine, we at CNC Masters recommend you do so promptly. Not only may you need the data from previous projects, but you also have fine-tuned your machine to work exactly to your specifications and needs. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but having to revert your CNC lathe back to its factory settings after a power will be a great frustration. Especially now that you know there are alternative solutions.

Knowing how to make backup copies of all the data stored within your CNC is imperative for all machinists to learn.

As mentions on MMSOnline.com, not only should you create backup copies of recent programs, you should also save CNC parameters, custom macro variables and more.

Regardless of the size of your business – or even if your CNC machine is used for hobby – the information and settings saved on your devices is incredibly important. Make sure you know how to save this information to an external hard drive and do so regularly to ensure that none of your valuable data is lost.

For all your CNC machining needs and questions, please contact CNC Masters at 626-962-9300. With more than 20 years of experience in the machining field, we pride ourselves in our ability to offer competitive pricing and expert knowledge that assists business owners, machinists, teachers and hobbyists operate their machinery with success.