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.

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 you understand how it works, check out this video of a lightning bolt cleaving a tree in half.

While this is not exactly how EDM works, it gives you an idea of what is happening on a molecular level. In a nutshell, EDM uses a graphite or soft metal tool as an electrode. The electrode is moved very close – within a hair’s width – to the part being machined. The tip is then loaded with electricity until dielectric breakdown – a spark – occurs. The spark’s corona causes material to vaporize, leaving a tiny cut in the surface only a few molecules deep. The process is repeated at a rate of 100,000 sparks per second and the cumulative effect is a cut through the metal piece.

To prevent the spark from simply conducting between the electrode and the surface, both are submerged in a dielectric fluid. Dielectric fluids are insulators that can rapidly quench an electrical discharge. So, in this case, once the corona forms, it is immediately quenched, but there is enough energy in the spark to allow the metal to vaporize. Check out the ETMM website for a more thorough description of the process.

EDM machines come in three varieties – wire EDM, sinker EDM and hole drill EDM.

In a sinker EDM, the electrode is a die that is moved into the part as material is removed. Wire EDM uses a thin conductive wire as the electrode, and the entire wire is moved into the tool along the cut direction. As the name implies, hole drilling EDM plunges a tubular electrode into a part to make very small and very deep holes in a part. In this case, the dielectric is inside of the electrode.

EDM is excellent for very high-precision parts and parts that must fit together perfectly, with no gaps. It is also used to machine metals that are hard to machine with traditional methods such as tungsten carbide, high strength titanium and hardened steel. The metals must be conductive to be cut with EDM.

Despite its precision and accuracy, EDM machining is also slow and expensive. Although EDM is commonly used in the aerospace and automotive industries, it is often reserved for lower-volume production where high levels of precision are critical. For most applications, CNC milling with conventional cutting tools offers a more cost-effective machining solution.

Generative Design: An Innovative Approach to Manufacturing

Generative Design ConceptEngineers 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 manufacturing processes as well. In April 2018, Autodesk commercially introduced its generative design tool on the Autodesk Fusion 360 platform. This example on their websites shows how they optimized a skateboard truck design with this technique.

In contrast to other automated manufacturing techniques, generative design requires no preliminary CAD instructions.

Engineers input a set of design parameters – special constraints, loading, materials and manufacturing methods. Then, using cloud-based software, hundreds or even thousands of possible designs that meet these criteria are created. Many of the geometries are other-worldly looking with swooping curves and intricate lattices that human designers are not accustomed to thinking up and are very difficult to model parametrically.

Generative design techniques are still in the early stages of development and are not yet practical for large scale production. However, there have been some notable success stories. The Adidas Futurecraft 4D high-performance sneakers, for example, were generatively designed and are set to go into production this year. Meanwhile, Airbus has been exploring generative design techniques to create lightweight interior panels for its planes as well.

The current potential of generative design is still somewhat restricted by hardware limitations, but this novel approach is sure to become more useful and applicable to real-world design challenges with time. In essence, generative design mimics natural evolutionary processes to find optimal solutions through rapid-fire iteration. If and when engineers are able to overcome generative design’s current limitations, this technique could have a transformative effect on the structure and appearance of tomorrow’s industrial design.

Tips on Adjusting CNC Position Panels

Tips on Adjusting CNC Position PanelsHave you ever tried to print a document two-sided on a printer that doesn’t do it automatically? You need to manually turn the paper or flip the paper, and when you do, it usually doesn’t work out right the first time.

The same can happen when you’re machining on a two-sided item, which is why it’s important to make sure that the position panels are always totally accurate. It can be hard to make this happen if you don’t have pop-up pins, but there are alternative ways to ensure accuracy.

Woodworking Network suggests starting with engraving a line around the outside of the spoil board with the CNC tool. After, surface the spoil board and clean up the line. Once you’ve done this, it’ll be much easier to locate sheets on your router with precision.

Another alternative, according to Wood Web, is to simply machine the more complicated side first in your nest and then to cut the perimeters. Once that’s finished, use pins if you have them as a home base to turn the parts over and cut.

Remember that just like when dealing with a paper printer, it’s important to keep the orientation of the parts you’re machining in mind. Consider using a method for marking the orientation of the parts each time you use your CNC machine, that way you’ll have a foolproof method.

You should keep your machine’s calibration in mind as well. If you have pins and you’re working with a two-sided part, it’s easier to use the pins as a starting point for both sides.

Visit CNC Masters blog for more tips on operating your CNC machine. Interested in purchasing a CNC machine? View our selection on our website or give us a call at 626-962-9300.

Ridiculously Unique CNC Projects

Whether you have a CNC machine at a wCNC toporkshop within your home or you are in the business of CNC, you should know the incredible things that these machines can do outside of what we typically use them for.

Although some of the unique projects people create might not ever serve a true “purpose,” it’s awesome to see what they are capable of creating.  Check out some of our favorite home CNC machine projects below.

Spinning Top

CNC machines can create items with a precision that could never be replicated by hand. This precision is important when it comes to making highly delicate and important pieces of machinery, for example a spinning top. You can use a CNC machine to create a top that will spin so precisely that you’ll start to notice the spots on your countertop that aren’t completely flat!


Speaking of precision, in order to yo-yo well, (although it’s important to practice) you really need a well-made yo-yo. You can create a perfect yo-yo using a CNC machine, and you’ll be able to master the art with minimal effort and plenty of grace.


With Mother’s Day approaching, you have to start thinking about what you might give to the leading ladies in your life. Jewelry is always a no-fail gift and you can create your own with a CNC machine which is guaranteed to mean even more. Picture this: geometric patterns etched and carved onto rings, watches, bracelets, and more.

CNC machines are obviously an important part of many businesses and create many of the items we use on a daily basis. However, if you know what you’re doing and you have the time to spend with one, they can create unique items that make great gifts or gadgets to have around.

Looking to purchase a CNC machine? Visit CNC Masters.

European CNC Market Expected to Expand

CNC in computer machinEuropean CNC Market Expected to Expanding refers to “computer numerical control” which is basically the ability of a computer to manipulate and control machinery. CNC machinery is able to carve a variety of items out of metals, woods, and so forth.

CNC technology has been around for many years and has continued to grow despite developing technology.

CNC requires finely tuned mechanical tools, along with precisely programmed software that tells the tools exactly what to do. CNC is so specialized that many people, such as technology and machinery investors, are not very familiar with it. Regardless, recent market research has revealed that the European CNC industry will likely grow rapidly in the next few years.

A recent “CNC Market Report, published by Allied Market Research, revealed that the industry will be worth about $18 million by 2022 at an annual rate of about 5.5%, revealing a tremendous growth period.

The Europe industry is growing so fast mainly due to technological advancements in consumer products. There is now a significant demand for CNC technology to be used in mass production plants to create, engrave, and machine electronic parts, plastics, steel, graphite, thermoforming, and so forth.

Europe made up a large share of the global CNC market in 2015, and is believed to maintain that standing as countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and so forth request machine tools.

We think it’s great that CNC is remaining prominent in other countries and that business is thriving. We are hoping to see the growth and development of CNC machines in the United States as well.

CNC Masters can take your manufacturing business to the next level or keep trade secrets close, CNC machine line-up features products that not only allow you to keep the entire manufacturing process in-house, but also help you save on space due to their smaller footprint.

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.
50909555 - teacher and students smiling with their tablet in class
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 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.


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.


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.

CNC Technologies to Look For at IMTS 2016

CNC machiningThe 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show is just a few months away, and with registration now open more and more information is flooding in about who – and what – will be exhibited in Chicago this September.

Some of the highlights include:


NUM plans to demonstrate what they are calling, “an exciting new development in CNC hardware and software technology,” at IMTS this year. This is expected to be the first public showing of their new NUMmill control solution, which is expected to draw plenty of attention from the CNC community.

Tsugami/Rem Sales

Tsguami/Rem Sales will be introducing four new machines at IMTS. This state-of-the-art booth will include the SS207-5AC LaserSwiss (a CNC lathe that combines Swiss style CNC machining and laser cutting in one) and the P034H, which is designed for micro machining.


Heidenhain will be highlighting its newest motion control developments, as well as its latest line of CNC machines at this year’s IMST. They will also be hosting a presentation on advanced CNC control capabilities.

GF Machining Solutions

GF Machining Solutions will be focusing their booth on the process of electrical discharge machining (EDM). Their machines offer advanced touchscreen controls and unique capabilities that can eliminate the variables related to thermal expansion and contraction.

Other Highlights

On top of the many exhibits available for viewing, there are also endless seminars for you and your employees to take part in. According to Peter R. Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and business development for the Association for Manufacturing Technology, “These conferences provide opportunities to stay on the leading edge of technology, a core mission of IMTS.”

With business enhancement being focused on throughout the entirety of the show, specific technologies like Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Lasers and Integrated Industries, will be covered on specific days.

We at CNC Masters are excited to see what is in store at IMTS 2016, and look forward to sharing more information about CNC advancements with our customers as it becomes available.

For individuals looking to expand their CNC machining shop, we are proud to offer high quality machines at affordable prices. To learn more about how we can help your business, contact us by phone at 626-962-9300.

Three Great Up-and-Coming Machining Innovations

machining innovationsManufacturing businesses and machine shops often use a combination of newer technologies and older but proven tools. Many times, newer tools are actually improvements on older models that have already proven their value to the industry. The industry continues to innovate, however, and bring new tools and technologies to market. Here are three great up-and-coming machining innovations to keep an eye on, according to American Machinist.

Vero-S Setup Cart

Keeping track of unused module height extensions, clamping devices and mounting screws can prove to be a challenge. Worse, even if they are all stored together, they may not be easily accessible when and where they are needed. The Vero-S setup cart from Schunk attempts to solve this problem. The cart is a wheeled organizer that features removable trays and extending drawers, and can be configured to meet an individual user’s needs. The drawers can hold almost 400 pounds and the top tray can hold nearly 900 pounds.

Polycrystalline Diamond Drill Insert

Drilling in carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer can be hard on tools. The new polycrystalline diamond (PCD) T-A Drill insert from Allied Machine & Engineering aims to fix this. The T-A Drill is designed with a replaceable tip that prevents needing to replace the entire tool. These drill inserts are designed to perform on abrasive and strong materials like CFRP-titanium stacks, chipboard, fiberglass, magnesium, aluminum, copper and titanium, making them highly versatile for applications in both automotive and aerospace industries, reports American Machinist.

Constant pH Cutting Fluid

Cutting fluid technology is also experiencing innovative developments, as seen with the introduction of Castrol’s Hysol SL 35 XBB and Alusol SL 51 XBB. Whereas traditional cutting fluid often requires the use of biocides and treatment additives to maintain stability, these new fluids from Castrol are stable longer than other cutting fluids and can maintain a stable pH of 9.0 to 9.5. In turn, this also protects from changes in acidity that can lead to expensive system repairs or a need to fully flush fluid systems.

CNC Masters has earned a reputation for offering the most affordable, high-quality CNC machines. Our great prices on innovative machining equipment have allowed a number of entrepreneurs and small businesses to successfully get their start in manufacturing. To learn more about how we can help your business get the right tools at the right price, contact us by phone at 626-962-9300.

Section 179: Incentives for Investing in Your Business

Congress stilled the winds that blew Section 179 limits up and down during the past few years by enacting the newly minted Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act in December 2015. Deep within the 233 pages of legislation are provisions related to the extension and modification of bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing. But why are we talking about this seemingly obscure tidbit of tax code?

We understand if government-ese makes you glaze over, so let’s spell out how exactly this PATH Act did small businesses like yours a favor and how you can use the changes to invest in your business by purchasing that new equipment or software your budget couldn’t otherwise cover.

The PATH Act – what does that mean for you? We found a lot of answers, and some of them are very pleasant surprises.

To start, your business can qualify if it purchases, finances and/or leases less than $2 million in new or used business equipment during 2016. The equipment in question must be used for more than 50 percent of the time to qualify for the Section 179.

In a nutshell, Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code allows your business to deduct – for the current tax year – the full purchase price of financed or leased equipment and off-the-shelf software that qualifies for the deduction.

There are rules and caveats, of course, but they’re actually fairly generous.

The equipment purchased, financed or leased – yes, financed and leased acquisitions qualify as well! – must be within the specified dollar limits of the legislation, and the equipment must be put into service between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of the tax year that the deduction is being taken. For 2016, that specified dollar limit is $500,000. There’s a spending cap for each year – for 2016, you can’t exceed $2,000,000 in purchases, leases or financed funds – making this a bona fide small-business deduction.

The PATH legislation also reinstated the 50 percent bonus depreciation on new equipment purchases, and it provides adjustment for future inflation. This allows business to write off the depreciation of new purchased equipment at 50 percent during the first year instead of the standard depreciation calculation.

If you’re perplexed by the difference between bonus depreciation and Section 179 deduction, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s an entire website dedicated to this complex legislation and how it applies to our field.

According to, the most important difference is both new and used equipment qualify for Section 179 deduction, while bonus depreciation covers new equipment only. Bonus depreciation is useful to very large businesses spending more than whatever Section 179’s spending limit is for that year. Also, businesses with a net loss in a given tax year qualify to carry-forward the bonus depreciation to a future year. When applying these provisions, Section 179 deductions are generally taken first, followed by bonus depreciation, unless the business has no taxable profit in the given tax year.

The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), a membership organization of construction equipment dealers, also offers a succinct, clear outline and Q&A on the most salient aspects of increased Section 179 expensing and the depreciation bonus. AED made its guide public with the understanding that the information is provided as a public service to equipment purchasers and that it not be construed as tax advice or as a promise of potential tax savings or reduced tax liability.

Here’s AED’s at-a-glance rundown:

– Under the PATH Act, 50 percent bonus depreciation is in effect for 2015, 2016 and 2017. For 2018, the depreciation bonus amount is 40 percent. For 2019, it is 30 percent.

– Helps businesses that buy new equipment cut their tax bill by allowing them to depreciate (“write off”) more of the cost the equipment in the year it is purchased.

– Applies, among other things, to purchases of tangible personal property (including construction, mining, forestry and agricultural equipment) with a Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) recovery period of 20 years or less.

– Applies to new equipment only (“original use” must occur with the taxpayer claiming bonus depreciation).

– Equipment must be purchased and placed in service in the year in which the taxpayer is claiming the bonus.

– In lieu of claiming bonus depreciation, companies may instead elect to accelerate alternative minimum tax (AMT) credits.

– Discretionary: Taxpayer need not claim the depreciation bonus.

Now that you’re inspired, feel free to call us here at CNC Masters at 626-962-9300 or email us at [email protected]. We’ll help you choose the piece of equipment you’ve been waiting for, because there really is no better time to buy than in 2016!