Wood Working with CNC Machine
We got started into wood working with a CNC router machine. We've since expanded what we can do and strive to add additional aspects of our wood working business as we progress.
CNC stands for “computer numerical control.” These machines represent a manufacturing process used to control a wide range of complex tasks.
CNC machining is used in many different industries. It’s most prevalent in metal and plastic production.
Basically, CNC machining is a manufacturing process. Computer software is pre-programmed to tell a machine how to move factory tools and machinery.
A CNC machine allows for three-dimensional cutting tasks to be accomplished with a single set of prompts. This means that it requires very little input from human operators.
Once the programming is put into the machine, a CNC machine will operate on its own. The speed and position of machinery and involved tools are run through software. CNC machines operate like robots.
Most CNC machines are closed loop. This is because a closed-loop machine reduces the risk of error. It also rectifies most irregularities.
Some are open looped. This means the controls run in a single line from the control to the motor. With open-looped machines, the one-way dictation allows for irregularities to occur.
CNC machining relies heavily on programming. A human programmer must input the right codes and ensure they work properly. Without the codes, there is no CNC machining.
The language behind CNC machining is also known as G-Code. Most manufacturing machines have code to dictate one or two functions. G-Code is significantly more complex than this.
G-Code will control many varying behaviors in CNC machines. These include speed, feed rate, and coordination.
Once G-Code is written and fed into the machine, there is almost no need for human operators. The code does most (if not all) of the work for them.
Similar to our 3d printing, the applications for CNC machines are limited to your imagination.
Types of CNC Machines
There are several unique types of CNC machines. The most basic functioning is the same in all these machines. Its what makes them computer numerical control systems.
The way each machine functions past that is different. How a CNC machine works will be based on what the machine is expected to do. Below are examples of some of the most common CNC machines.
These can be run by programs made prompts that use both numbers and letters. The programming guides the different pieces of the machine across varying distances.
The most basic mills operate on a three-axis system. Newer models are more complex. They can operate up to a six-axis system.
A lath cuts pieces in a circular direction. This process is done with indexed tools. They carry all cuts out with incredible precision and high velocity.
Lathe CNC machines are used to produce designs too complex for manually-ran machines. Although they create complex designs, lathes are typically not complex machines themselves. A two-axis system is most common.
We use plasma cutting CNC machines with metal materials most often. A lot of speed and heat are necessary when making precision cuts in metal. To help achieve this, compressed-air gas is combined with electrical arches.
Wire Electric Discharge Machines
Also known as wire EDMs. These machines use electrical sparks to mold pieces into specific shapes.
Spark erosion is used to remove portions from naturally electronically conductive materials.
Sinker Electric Discharge Machines
Also known as sinker EDMs. These operate like wire EDMs. The difference is in the way electricity is conducted to remove pieces.
With a sinker EDM, work materials are soaked in a dielectric fluid to conduct electricity. This is how pieces are molded into specific shapes.
Water Jet Cutters
These machines are used to cut hard materials with high pressured water. We often use water jet cutter CNC machines with granite and metal.
We sometimes mix sand or another abrasive material into the water. This allows for more cutting and shaping power without adding heat.
CNC Drilling Machines
These use multi-point drill bits to create circular holes in the workpiece. We usually feed the drill bits perpendicular to the workpiece’s surface to create vertical holes. We can also program the process to create angular holes.