CNC machining is a process that has been in use since the 1950s, when John T. Parsons collaborated with the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory to develop a new type of milling device. Numerically Controlled (NC) technology preceded Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technology. NC machines utilized hardwired operating parameters so that the millers could only use one machine for one specific type of cut. This meant that if a miller wanted to use three different cuts, that miller had to have three different machines.
Once CNC machines became commercially available, milling technology advanced rapidly, giving millers the ability to cut complex curves as simply and easily as they would with straight lines. Furthermore, CNC automation enabled manufactures to duplicate products countless times with great accuracy. CNC automation also allowed for more flexibility in the way machines held parts in the manufacturing process, and reduced the time required to change the machine to produce different components.
Today, more than 60 years after they were invented, CNC machines have become a staple of modern manufacturing equipment.
From sculptors to automotive designers, these machines have been employed by craftspeople for a wide variety of applications. CNC Mills are more accessible and affordable than ever, and the software that powers them has come a long way as well. At CNC Masters, we offer our own Master MX Software that’s designed to make the CNC machining process as easy and intuitive as possible. With a clear visual interface and straightforward functionality, this software is much easier to use than more primitive CNC programs.
Interested in learning more about CNC machines and their applications? Give us a call today to speak with a representative!
Have 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.
CNC in computer machining 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.
If your business recently hired a new CNC operator, you likely have expectations and standards that you would like them to meet. However, we have summarized several important things to keep in mind when you begin training a new CNC operator.
Make Expectations Clear
When training a CNC operator, you should get specific with what tasks you expect that person to do. If you want them to do the right job, you must tell them what the right job is. You should also recruit other willing operators that yare currently employed to explain to the trainee what they do on a daily basis and allow them to ask questions. Getting a person that already does the job is a great way to get the new hire’s questions easily answered. When developing your training curriculum, look at what your current operators do in order to develop an accurate curriculum and let them have a role in it.
State Your Specifics
When providing a new CNC operator with their job description, you should make sure that you are being as specific as possible. You cannot assume that the new hire will understand your terminology without having the details of each statement. For instance, if you give them a task to do, make sure you list each specific step of the task and not just a generic overview. Although this will make the guidelines for the new CNC operator much longer, it will ensure that the new operator will understand each task and not have to stop frequently to clarify questions.
Point Out Personal Preferences
Although many companies have similar views and standards on what CNC operators might do or might need to do, such as safety, many of them also have unique expectations and you need to make sure your new hire is trained with those preferences in mind. For instance, if your company machines products that are extremely flammable, such as titanium, your new hire should be made aware of that from the beginning. If you use specific measuring devices, the new CNC operator should be informed about it so they can make a habit out of doing it from their start date.
Highlight Your Machines
Although CNC machines all perform similar tasks, many machines are slightly different and so are the cutting tools used for them. Make that your CNC operator trainees understand when you’re specific cutting tools are beginning to wear. Point out to them what they should keep an eye out for whether it is change in sound or appearance. Make sure you only highlight the CNC machines the operator will actually be working with to avoid any confusion. If you have machines that give you certain problems, make sure you include that in your training so they are aware before starting on the machine itself.
These several suggestions will help you to train your next CNC operator appropriately and to the standards of your company. For more CNC news and advice, visit CNC Masters blog.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, aluminum 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.
If 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.
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.
When 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.
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.
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.
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.