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A Brief Explanation of Electrical Discharge Machining

Electrical Discharge Machining is a high precision machining process that uses electricity to cut metals. In fact, the metal being cut is never touched by a tool at all. Instead, a high-frequency electrical discharge basically disintegrates the metal to make a cut. EDM involves molecular process that can be difficult to envision, so to help… Read more »

How Has CNC Machining Changed the Manufacturing Industry?

Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining has been around since the 1940s. These days, with the help of computer aid design (CAD), high-speed automation and advanced production capabilities, CNC machining is a fully-integrated manufacturing technology. Since its introduction nearly 80 years ago, CNC machining has become a critical part of technology development. Let’s look at the… Read more »

Notable Differences Between CNC Turning and CNC Milling

Milling and turning are everyday operations in a machine shop. Both techniques use a cutting tool to remove material from a solid block to make 3D parts. Removing material is what classifies them as subtractive manufacturing processes, but there are key differences to these operations. Turning is an operation for a lathe. The name ‘turning’… Read more »

Unique Advantages of Subtractive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D Printing, first started in the 1980s. Back then, it was a novelty concept reserved for advanced engineering research laboratories. In the 1990s, 3D printing made waves in the medical arena thanks to its ability to create custom medical devices. By the early 2000s, the open-source movement brought 3D printing… Read more »

Essential Tips for Machining Aluminum Components

Common complaints among people new to machining Aluminum alloys include poor surface finish, gummy deposits on cut faces or tool edges, and a smeared appearance. All materials have different properties that require adjustments and care to achieve the optimal finishes. Aluminum is a soft and ductile metal that has high thermal conductivity. The former means… Read more »

Up in Flames: Fire Precautions for Milling Combustible Materials

Flint on steel coupled with some easily-combustible kindling makes for a cozy fire. That combination is just one of the tricks up a scout’s sleeve for survival. However, that same formula can spell trouble when milling woods, plywood, or even plastics. Fast-moving metal tools cutting against combustible materials can result in a not-so-cozy fire on… Read more »

Use a CNC Mill to Create Your Own Printed Circuit Boards

Electrical engineers and technicians often use breadboards for prototyping and testing circuit designs. Breadboards are typically plastic plates with grids of spring-loaded receiving holes for inserting wires and components. While breadboards are great for quickly mocking up circuit layouts, they have several drawbacks. They are large, so they easily don’t fit into mechanical housings. They… Read more »

Generative Design: An Innovative Approach to Manufacturing

Engineers and designers for companies like General Electric, Airbus and General Motors are using a new tool called generative design to explore thousands of design iterations with geometries that are automatically generated within their software. Although generative design is most applicable to additive manufacturing processes (aka 3D printing), developers are quickly integrating the technique traditional… Read more »

Scribe vs. Script: The Difference Between Marking & Engraving Cutters

It’s a bit misleading to say marking and engraving cutters are different, because marking cutters are a sub-class of engraving cutters. However, understanding the best applications for using marking cutters over other engravers is useful for efficiency, quality, and cost savings. Engravers are typically used to machine finishing details into the surface of a part,… Read more »