Why CNC Machining Is Still The Best For Highly Specific Repairs
Many industries and companies use very specialised machines, manufacturing tools and equipment that are one of a kind and needed for reasons completely individualised to them. That means, when they break down, they are very hard to replace. While 3D printers are slowly becoming useful to fill this void, they are nowhere near the level of quality that CNC machining can provide. CNC machining has been around for a long time, but modern updates to the hardware and software have allowed it to remain competitive as the undisputed king of highly specialised repairs.
What Is CNC Machining Anyway?
CNC machining is a method of manufacturing small- to medium-sized components in a highly specific way. It is done by connecting a computer with special software to a machine that carries out the instructions on the chosen material. You might think that sounds very much like a 3D printer, and in some ways, they are similar. There are some key differences as 3D printing creates pieces by adding plastics in a certain pattern. CNC machining creates components by carefully removing parts of a blank canvas (often a block of metal). CNC machining, therefore, has a great range of items it can work with, and that makes it more useful for people not just wanting to make something out of plastic.
Different Machining Processes
CNC machining uses three different methods of subtracting material from the stock (the stock being the raw material that is being transformed into your desired component). Milling is the most common method used in CNC machining, and it allows for the most versatility. Lathes are also a common form of moulding the stock to your needs, and this method is useful for particularly square-shaped needs. Finally, a regular drill bit is also part of the CNC machining armoury, and these come in varying sizes to make the hole as big or as small as you need. When compared to other methods like 3D printing, there is just no comparison in the variety of approaches. That allows CNC machining to be far more precise and unique.
CNC Machining Is Quick
Once the machine has a design, the entire process can take just a few minutes. On the longer end of the spectrum, it can take a few hours if your stock is quite big and the requirements are minutely detailed. However, when compared to 3D printing, which can take days for large operations, there is simply no comparison. Often, when a business needs a specific piece, they need it as soon as possible to get work back underway. CNC machining will always be the faster option because of how finely tuned the industry has become over many decades.