CNC Machining Unplugged: learn the different types

CNC Machining Unplugged: learn the different types

CNC (computer numerical control) machining comes in a variety of types. At its most basic, the process involves an automated program that moves factory tools and/or machinery to cut materials into three-dimensional shapes. It does so precisely and uses a wide range of processes, dependent on the finished product required.

The advantages of CNC machining are many. They include:

  • High levels of precision
  • High quantities can be produced
  • Fast
  • Doesn’t require multiple human interventions
  • Produces little to no waste
  • Reduced energy consumption

There are many different types of CNC machining. The following provides an overview of exactly what they are.

CNC Drilling

This can be as simple as a single perpendicular hole or highly complex, needing both perpendicular and angular actions. Countersinking, reaming and tapping can all be effectively carried out this way, simplifying a laborious task into one that can be accurately repeated over hundreds and thousands of workpieces.

CNC Milling

Chamfering, slotting and threading are just some of the processes that CNC milling can do. Accuracy is excellent, with tolerances as low as +/- 0.1mm. The process uses a rotating tool that removes chips from the material – it’s suitable for many different substances such as plastics and metals. There are different sub-types, including gear milling, face milling, and form milling, each of which can create extremely intricate designs.

CNC Multi-Spindle Machining

As the name suggests, this utilises several spindles to carry out the process. They’re positioned in a drum, and this changes position to carry out the necessary action. Each time the drum rotates, a different spindle carries out a task. The result is a highly efficient, fast process that’s extremely cost-effective.

CNC Turning (Lathing)

There are two types of this – one that uses a fixed head and another with a turning head. The process is used to create bushings, shafts or other metal cylindrical parts. The material spins and the machine moves to carry out the necessary cuts and metal removal.

CNC machining is a cost-effective way to create multiple parts, fast, accurately and with minimal fuss. The right type of machining will be determined by the design team who’ll identify the requirements. This will be dependent on the material, shape and complexity of the elements to be made.

At Sixde, our design team works with you from the conceptual stage right through to delivery of the finished products. With years of industry experience and second-to-none customer service, you can rely on us for all your CNC machining needs.

For this, and other manufacturing requirements, such as precision machining, 3D printing, calibration blocks and more, Sixde is your local Australian engineering partner with a truly global reach.