CNC Machines

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What is a CNC Machine? CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control. Sounds complicated, but it isn’t. Years ago, it was just NC, or Numeric Control. Since, they’ve added computers to control the machine.

In the simplest of terms, think of a drill press. It’s a machine that drills holes. But before you can drill the hole, you have to loosen the chuck, install the correct drill bit, drill the hole in the correct place, turn off the drill, and remove the drill bit. Manually, this could be time consuming and cause fatigue over the course of numerous parts. This is a simple example, but throw in some lathe or milling machining and you have a greater chance for error.

With the CNC machine, all of this drilling can be done automatically instead of the manual process listed above. Machining has to be precise, and whether you use a CNC lathe or milling machine, you have to make sure the part is right. The computer takes a lot of the guesswork out of the machining of these parts. In fact, a CNC programmer can sometimes get bored watching the machine do all the work.

But there is more programming for the machine than you would think. The operator has to enter a set of instructions. The programming uses about 50 words and tells the machine how fast, how deep, and location for machining.

What can you do with a CNC machine? In manufacturing, you can use this tool for milling, drilling, reaming, boring and counter boring. You can also groove and thread parts in a CNC turning center. You may have several setups including CNC lathes, CNC drill and tap area, CNC milling, or even CNC grinding.

EDM (electrical discharge machining) can also take advantage of CNC operations. EDM can be either vertical or wire. A vertical EDM machine uses an electrode to make a cavity for a plastic injection-molding machine. A wire EDM machine uses a wire to cut metal for a tooling operation for fabrication. EDM is more closely related to making tooling for other machines, people often overlook the use of CNC with these machines.

CNC machines can also be used with routers in the wood industry. CNC can also be used with lettering and engraving.

I hope this gave you some basic information about what a CNC machine is and what they are used for.

Stuart Simpson

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The 3 Options You Have in Obtaining Your Own CNC Router

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Deciding on the purchase of CNC Router is not always the most attractive prospect. The upfront cost of a router can be a bit intimidating and cause a great deal of reluctance.

What I will do here is discuss the top 3 choices you will have in the acquisition of a CNC Router.

1. Buy Brand New

This is the most obvious prospect. There are some major benefits to purchasing a brand new CNC Router, the 1st of which is that you can rest easy knowing that your machine is brand new and most likely will not have any major mechanical difficulties for some time. The 2nd is that in 9 out of 10 cases you will receive some type of warranty from the company you purchase from; a benefit you will not receive from the other two options.

2. Buy Used

This is probably the most popular option of the 3. You can find plenty of resources online that sell used CNC Routers and I'm sure that you can receive an excellent bargain.

In my opinion, this option should only be resorted to if you absolutely cannot afford a new machine.


Because you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. Traditionally, you will not get any warranty with your CNC Router purchase or any assurance that the machine has not experienced major mechanical challenges in the past. However, if you can be sure that your source is reliable and trustworthy, then go for it! This option will save you about half the cost of a new CNC Router.

3. Build your own.


That's right, I said it. Build your own!

Now if you are anything like me, this is not a very inviting option. However, if you are the naturally crafty type this project may be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Again, you will easily find all of the necessary resources for this task online.

Well, there you have it! The top 3 options mixed in with a little bit of my opinion.

For more information on CNC Router or visit

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Important information about CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machines

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What is a hot wire cnc foam cutter used for?

Hot wire foam cutters will cut different types of foam, from insulation to fabrication, from logos, surfboards and signs to crown moldings and concrete molds

Hot wire foam cutters are designed to cut different types of foam

  1. EPS – expanded polystyrene
  2. XPS – extruded polystyrene
  3. EPP – expanded polypropylene

Not to be used for cutting polyurethane – will result in toxic fumes

What are the main components that a foam cutter is made of?

  1. The software is divided into two sections – design software to design the shapes to be cut, and the cutting software that controls the machine
  2. The hot wire tensioning mechanism
  3. Effective cutting sizes for the horizontal, vertical and the wire length
  4. Number of axis – a 4 axis machine will be able to cut tapered shapes (like a cone or a jet wing)

Here are some features to look for in a hot wire foam cutting machine:

For production of crown molding:

  1. Multiple wires – from 3 to 8 wires will increase the cutting capacity from 2 to 7 times
  2. 8 foot effective wire length – don’t settle for a 4’ machine
  3. If primary use of the machine is to cut logos and signs – a smaller machine will do the job
  4. Cutting speed – mostly material dependent – as a rule of thumb: the higher the foam density – the slower the cutting speed

Foam cutting machines have many applications. They can be used to cut architectural shapes, for packaging, building, construction, hobbies, RC Planes, sculptures, monuments, theme parks, props, aeronautics, aerospace and much more.

Hot Wire CNC Foam Cutter prices:

CNC foam cutters will range from $1500 to $50,000. The price is a factor of the machine size, the number of wires, the way the wires are kept under tension.

Other foam cutting machines:

Another way to cut foam is with a CNC router – this is mainly for machining the foam and not for cutting.

CNC routers for foam are mostly used for 3D shapes seen in Las Vegas, theme parts and even signs

Foam coating: EPS and XPS will melt if painted with oil-based paint. Painting is composed of two steps:

  1. Preparing the foam for coating – a primer should be used to prevent the coating material to penetrate the EPS beads
  2. Coating – Coating is usually Epoxy (usually brushed) or Polyurethane (brushed or sprayed)

Once the foam is coated – it can be painted with any type of paint.

Cutting EPS Foam:

Expanded polystyrene is very easily cut with a hot-wire foam cutter, which is easily made
by a heated and taut length of wire, usually nichrome due to nichrome's resistance to
oxidation at high temperatures and its suitable electrical conductivity. The hot wire
foam cutter works by heating the wire to the point where it can vaporize foam immediately
adjacent to it. The foam gets vaporized before actually touching the heated wire,
which yields exceptionally smooth cuts.
Polystyrene, shaped and cut with hot wire foam cutters, is used in architecture models,
actual signage, amusement parks, movie sets, airplane construction, and much more.
Such cutters may cost just a few dollars (for a completely manual cutter) to tens of
thousands of dollars for large CNC machines that can be used in high-volume industrial production.
Polystyrene can also be cut with a traditional cutter. In order to do this without ruining
the sides of the blade one must first dip the blade in water and cut with the blade at
an angle of about 30ยบ. The procedure has to be repeated multiple times for best results.
Polystyrene can also be cut on 3 and 5-axis CNC routers, enabling large-scale
prototyping and model-making. Special polystyrene cutters are available that
look more like large cylindrical rasps.

by: Tal Barnea
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Measurement technology is key to automation

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Advances in machine accuracy, on-machine touch probing technology and noncontact tool setting provide powerful tools for automating and speeding mould machining, says Barry Rogers.
Note: A free brochure or catalogue is available from on the products in this news release.
Drives to faster, leaner, more flexible manufacturing are shifting industry focus away from traditional post-process quality control. The most expensive, non-value-added process in most shops is part inspection. Inspecting good parts - parts that meet all print specifications - is a waste of time, money and manpower.
Rather than back-end detection, attention is shifting to front-end prevention.
The aim is to make 100% good parts, right the first time, to ever-tighter tolerances in the lowest possible total processing time.
Under that mantra, a variety of practices and technologies are being applied to machine tools to achieve greater process control.
Automated process checks can keep process and parts in control, while minimising downtime for operator intervention.
These process control improvements can be particularly vital for mouldmaking.
The one-off nature of most mould/die work and the high accumulated value that can go into a complex mould demand right-the-first time processing.
At the same time, shorter lead times and global competition force the need for faster mould processing.
By minimising need for operator intervention, these process controls give mouldmakers an 'eye on the job' during long machining runs and lightly staffed second and third shifts.
Front-end prevention takes three forms: identifying and maintaining machine capability; in-process probing; and automated tool monitoring.
A technology leader in all three areas, Renishaw offers single-source expertise and assistance in creating an integrated programme of mouldmaking process control.
To move from defect prevention, you must be able to document your process capability and the accuracy of your machine tools.
To do this, inspect them to a nationally recognised and accepted standard, such as ISO230 or ASME B5.54.
Both call for a ballbar and laser interferometer to be used with a recommended procedure for checking machine tool accuracy.
The purpose of these standards is not to specify an accuracy the machine must meet, but to find out what accuracy level it can meet - its process capability.
The part print dictates the accuracy your machine must have to make good parts - where to set the accuracy bar.
Testing tells you how high your machine can jump.
As long as your machine can top the bar, you have process capability.
Test and calibration technology are now available - and affordable - to enable shops to ensure the accuracy and health of their machine tools.
Plants and large shops increasingly maintain their own laser interferometers and electronic levels, while rental equipment and diagnostics services are commercially available to small shops from various sources and competitively priced.
Renishaw's QC10 ballbar system is readily affordable by virtually any shop and provides a fast, 15-minute check-up for prevention and diagnosis in maintaining machine accuracy.
The ballbar test allows precise assessment of machine geometry, circularity and stick/slip error, servo gain mismatch, vibration, backlash, repeatability and scale mismatch.
Renishaw's Ballbar5 software provides diagnosis of specific errors in accordance with ISO230-4 and ASME B5.54 and B5.57 standards, then provides a plain-English list of error sources rank-ordered according to their overall effect on machine accuracy.
This allows maintenance people to target those factors which most need attention.
Periodic ballbar testing enables trend tracking of machine performance.
Preventive maintenance can be scheduled before a machine drifts out of process capability.
The industry trend is to calibrate the machine on need, not time.
There is no reason for maintenance to pull a perfectly good machine out of production for calibration.
Let the ballbar and the accuracy of your parts determine when something has gone awry.
Meantime, run production.
Today's standard machine tools can deliver accuracy and repeatability approaching levels formerly available only on CMMs.
This enables the machine tool itself to be used for probing checks of workpieces during critical stages of the machining process.
Once a machine tool's performance as a measuring instrument has been established, the touch probe becomes the operator's CNC gauge.
Probing routines can be programmed as part of the machining process and automatically run at various points to check feature dimensions and locations and apply necessary compensations.
This saves operators from using dial indicators and shim stock, or eliminates errors in manually entering fixture, part and tool offsets into the control.
Probing on the machine makes it part of the process - a powerful process improvement tool for making parts right the first time in the shortest throughput time.
Used to locate the part automatically and establish a work co-ordinate system, probing cuts setup time, increases spindle availability, lowers fixture costs, and eliminates nonproductive machining passes.
On complex parts, 45 minutes of fixture alignment can be replaced by 45 seconds of touch probing - performed automatically by the CNC.
When starting with a casting or forging, probing can determine workpiece shape to avoid wasted time in air-cutting and help determine best tool approach angle.
In-process control uses touch probing to monitor size and position of machine features during the cutting process, as well as verify precise dimensional relationships between various features at each step to avoid problems.
A touch probe can be programmed to check actual machined results at various stages against the program and automatically apply cutter compensation - particularly after rough machining or semi-finish machining.
Reference probing - comparing part features to a dimensional master or reference surface of know location or dimension - enables the CNC to determine positioning discrepancies and generate an offset to make up the difference.
By probing the artefact before a critical machining pass, the CNC can check its own positioning against the master's known dimensions and program an offset.
If the dimensional master is mounted on the machine and exposed to the same environmental conditions, reference probing can used to monitor and compensate for thermal growth.
What results is a closed-loop process requiring no operator intervention.
Every machine has its own set of numerous small errors in its motions and structure.
As a result, there is always a slight discrepancy between a CNC's programmed position and the true position of the tool tip, even after laser compensation has brought the two into closer agreement.
Programmable artefact probing provides a way to further compensate for remaining machine errors.
It gives process control feedback to enable positioning accuracy that can approach the machine's repeatability specification.
Such closed-loop process control can allow a machining centre to achieve accuracies comparable to boring mills and other high-precision machines.
Many probing operations are accomplished through the use of memory- resident macro programs.
Work co-ordinate updates, tool geometry changes, part measurement etc, are automatically determined by the CNC after the successful completion of a probing cycle.
This eliminates costly errors resulting from miskeyed information or incorrect calculations.
Used to inspect parts after machining, probing can reduce the length and complexity of off-line inspection, and it some cases eliminate it altogether.
Inspecting on the machine is particularly beneficial with large, expensive workpieces, such as mould or dies, which can be especially difficult and time-consuming to move.
Here, too, reference probing against a traceable artefact can be used to compare final dimensions to the known dimensions for a metrology master.
When making this comparison, the CNC can determine if the specific machining tolerances were actually achieved.
Based on these results, an intelligent decision can be made on corrective actions, while the workpiece is still on the machine tool.
Laser tool setters provide a fast, automated means to verify tool dimensions, especially critical in checking for wear during the long machining runs in mouldmaking.
A cost-effective solution to high-speed, high-precision tool setting and broken tool detection, laser tool setters rapidly measure tool length and diameter on-the-fly, while the tool is indexing through the laser beam and rotating at normal speeds.
Laser checking at working spindle speeds identifies errors caused by clamping inconsistencies and radial run-out of the spindle, tool and toolholders - not feasible with static tool setting systems.
Renishaw's NC family tool setters can perform broken tool detection at maximum traverse to further minimise out-of-cut time.
As the tool moves through the laser beam, system electronics detect when the beam is broke and issues and output signal to the controller.
The NC systems can accurately measure tools as small as 0.2mm diameter anywhere in the beam.
The system triggers when the laser beam is broken beyond a 50% threshold by the tool being checked.
The noncontact tool setting system uses a visible-red diode laser proven reliable in machining conditions.
Advanced electronics and simplified design makes noncontact tool setting an affordable alternative to contact systems.
No moving parts make NC systems virtually maintenance free.
The design avoids the brackets and actuators with contact-based systems.
Housed in a rugged stainless steel unit, the NC laser tool setters feature Renishaw's MicroHoleTM protection system.
This uses a continuous stream of compressed air to keep out contaminants and provide uninterrupted protection from chips, graphite and coolant ingress, even during measuring routines.
Three different Renishaw NC systems enable installation on nearly any size and configuration of machine tool without impinging on the work envelope.
These proven, affordable control technologies can allow greater automation of mould machining with greater process control.
They can make it possible for mouldmakers to produce moulds faster, with greater geometric and dimensional accuracy, and less operator intervention, rework or manual finishing. Request a free brochure from

CNC Machine Buying Guide

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CNC refers to the computer controls of a machine. With the help of a program code, it will be easier to replicate same parts. It is a great innovation in the field of manufacturing that makes mass production more efficient and practical. That is why companies, large or small, must exert effort to find a CNC machine that will best suit their needs.

Here are some tips on how you can get the best CNC machines.

- Buy and choose with the help of buyers representative. A buyers representative has been made to cater to the following needs and give advantages to CNC machine users -

1. To allow users to save time in negotiating

Most people who would buy CNC machines will have to settle with getting quotations from two to three manufacturers to save time and to avoid the hassle of talking to a lot of sales representative.

By asking professional help from someone who knows a lot about CNC machines and manufacturers, you will just coordinate with only one party- the buyers representative. They will be the one who will shoulder all the talking and negotiations for you.

And since they regularly collect updated quotations from the CNC machine manufacturers, it will take lesser time for you to get information regarding the CNC machine of your choice.

2. To check the quality of the products that they are referring to buyers

Buyers representatives exert effort to check that the machines that they will be referring to buyers are of good quality.

3. To offer a large variety of machines from different machine manufacturers

Most people do the common mistake of asking for quotations from the well- known (and expensive) brands in the market when they have the options of buying other brands that are as efficient yet cheaper than the “mainstream” brands.

Buyers representative offer quotations from less prominent CNC machine manufacturers that has cheaper price as well. In this way, the buyers representative also gives equal playing fields for all CNC machine manufacturers, both in the large- scale and medium scale.

4. To allow buyers opportunities to get the best deal for their money and save some too.

All buyers would like to get the best thing that their money can buy. Also, all buyers would also prefer to save their hard- earned money without sacrificing efficiency and quality. Here are some ways buyers representative can help you save money -

- The buyers representative only charge 5 percent of the cheapest CNC machine that meets the buyers requirements. That is a small price to pay for the assurance that you will get a wonderful CNC machine that will cater to your needs.

- The buyers do not have to settle in buying prominent brands and pay for the brand name. With lesser money to spend, one can get a machine as efficient as the prominent brands.

- By forming buying groups, buyers representative can also negotiate with manufacturing companies to give discounts to prospective buyers.

- With greater competition among the manufacturers, there will be better quality of products and more affordable prices.

- If getting help from buyers representative is not your choice, you can always do it yourself. The general rule in buying CNC machines is to be familiar with all the parts first then everything else will follow.

1. Make sure that the following parts are intact and correctly attached to the CNC machine to ensure the perfect working condition of the machine -

- the safety shield (a plastic that cover that protects the working space),

- the tool or drill bit (the part that does the cutting),

- spindle shaft (the part that holds the tooldrill bit),

- the spindle motor (the part that drives and controls the cutter),

- the vertical or upright column ( holds the pieces together) and

- the control box.

2. Always look for the emergency stop button in your CNC machine. This is to ensure that when an error is made, the machine can be stopped manually to prevent further damages from happening.

3. Big control guides are preferred so it will be easier for user to refer to it. It will also be helpful for operators who have poor eyesight too.

4. The plastic that comprises the shield must be made from sturdy polycarbonate.


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CNC Machines Get The Job Done

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If you need a machine that will improve your speed and accuracy then try a CNC machine when you are getting large jobs done or doing very repetitive tasks. You can get a used one for half the cost of a new one since most individuals wouldn’t want to spend their money on a new one. CNC equipment can be found in woodworking shops or industrial settings. Add them to your collection that includes a milling machine as well.

If you need to drill holes than consider a CNC router. Some of them can hold more than one tool too. This makes it possible to do more than one procedure at a time. This will help you cut back on the tie you spend working and help you become more accurate.

Computer Numerated Control is the full name for CNC. In the 1970’s this technology was first created. These machines are easy to run and operate after they have been initially set up. They also need to be set up correctly and programmed before they are operated.

They can be made so you can drill a hole automatically. This can be much more accurate and quicker than manual drilling. You will get more uniform results. If you have a large job that needs a lot of drilling then this can be a good choice for you. You might get more inconsistent results when you are doing manual drilling and if the operator gets tired.

If you want a good thing to cut wood with then try a CNC lathe. You can buy one that ranges from 15-40 horsepower. You will choose the lathe power you need depending on the type of wood you use. You can get a model that comes with more than one mode. You can one that is totally manual or CNC. You can rig each machine for your individual project.

If you want the best in milling technology then try a Bridgeport mill. You can find a mill in both a small shop or a large one. If you want a mill that will last forever than try a Bridgeport mill. They are very pricey and more so than most people can afford.

A CNC mill use a special type of instrument that uses a combination of robotics and computer programming. You will get great results better than anyone could ever want. These are the kind of mills that the airline companies use. The CNC decides which tool is need for an operation and changes as it goes.

Since CNC equipment is so pricey it means most people can’t afford it. If you get a used machine you may find that you can afford it. You may be able to save about half on a used machine compared to a new one.

Being really passionate about cnc machinery and woodworking tools, Greg Hansward authored different summaries in this specific area. With his detailed writings on cnc machines and tools and cnc machinery the reviewer showed his deep knowledge on the topic.

By Greg K. Hansward

Cnc Windows Software

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The development of computer numeric controlled (CNC) routing, using affordable personal computers has already begun to revolutionise all aspects of the woodworking industry. In so doing it has created new opportunities for large and small businesses as well as for individual craftsmen.

CNC is a technique whereby the movement of a router head is controlled by instructions from a computer. These instructions come from a computer program or list that the user keys into the CNC 860 console or into a computer as ISO standard commands called 'G' codes.As an example, the code G01 X100 Y100, instructs the head to move in a straight line to a point horizontally and vertically 100mm away from its starting position.

The CNC 860 The Trend CNC package is based around the Elu/DeWalt CNC 860 Machining Centre, which has a machining area of 860mm x 860mm x 90mm. These dimensions relate to the three axes, X,Y and Z (width, length and height). Each axis is served by a separate stepper motor, controlling the movement of the routing head. Two head options are offered: a modified portable router or a continuously rated, high cycle motor, that provides improved performance for intensive machining applications.

Programming directly in G-codes through the console can be time consuming. To assist the operator, a PC software application called CNCTalk is included with the machine. This is a basic computer aided design (CAD) application which runs under DOS, the original PC operating system before Windows. It is useful for intermediate applications like cutting out irregular shapes. However, to gain the maximum versatility from the CNC 860,Trend's Open Sign System Software for Windows is the most effective solution.

OSS consists of two separate software applications: OSS Draw which provides the drawing tools to create any shape or sign, and OSS Work which handles all the routing and tooling-related parameters like depth and offset. Graphical simulations are shown for all tool parameters enabling the user to perfect a design before routing any material.

Sign-writing As an example of how these products work together, the method of producing a simple sign is shown, incorporating two different lettering styles and a graphical logo. Having launched OSS Draw, the first step is to draw a box or boarder on the screen to indicate the overall area of the work. This can be either a simple rectangular boarder or a more decorative one. This border then needs to have a depth assigned to it. This is done by using colours to define the depth of each area.

The logo is then created using the drawing tools within OSS Draw. The words are keyed in using the text function. Again, colours are assigned to each area to produce a graphical representation of how the finished sign will look. The next task is to define the routing parameters. In the example, the red and blue areas of the logo and the lettering have been assigned a depth of 5mm and the green area assigned a depth of zero. The same dialogue box lets you specify whether a letter or object is engraved or routed through the material. The cutter profile that will be used can now be defined. With lettering, particularly serifed fonts, the cutter used needs to have a small diameter, perhaps 3mm. However, to achieve a 5mm cutting depth this will have to be routed in several passes.

A simulation of the cutting path is now drawn on screen. Having then created a G-code file of the sign ready for the CNC 860 to cut, the file is downloaded to the CNC 860. The design can now be routed, the material being held on the bed by an adaptable clamping mechanism. From the simulation, the path that the tool will take is known allowing a datum point to be set using the zero key on the console, and the program 8 INProfile is run using the start key. This type of routing operation takes around 20 minutes to complete and requires no further involvement by the machine operator. Other accessories Sign-writing is just one of the many complex and wide ranging routing operations that can be carried out using the OSS and CNC 860 package. OSS also has a range of tools for drawing component shapes and profiles directly or with an electronic sketchpad (graphics tablet). Vacuum Clamping To reduce the through-put time for this kind of operation, the CNC 860 can also be used with a vacuum bed. Trend offer a complete range of affordable vacuum pumps and jigmaking accessories to enable all CNC users to produce a highly automated production system to suit their own specific requirements.

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About the Author:
Paul Disley is a woodworking expert at Trend Router

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CNC Router Plans

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A well supplied work shop is the 1st to making certain you are prepared and able for any DIY home improvement project. With a few basic workhorses, you can saw, nail, sand, shape and sharpen the way the pros do it.

The Top 5 Tool List: CNC Router Plans

With this you can cut straight lines and enormous curves. Setting a board along the head of 2 saw horses, can create a work area to hold wood being cut.

Next, for bigger wood working projects a table saw or radial arm saw is in line. Selecting one that rotates to different angles is significant if you intend to cut picture framing or crown mouldings for your house. The angles enable you to make the 45 degree mitre cuts for an ideal fit.

Third, the well- provided workshop has an electric sander. All of this work may be done by hand, but the electric belt sander gives each piece of wood a professionally finished look. It prepares long strips of moulding or the edges of table tops and other furniture for marking or painting. CNC Router Plans

This handy tool enables you make woodworking patterns and grooves that take a bit of furniture or moulding from that plain look of the Shaker style to the flamboyant French provincial elegance.

These will enable you to maintain blades and keep them cutting the small details and patterns that take your handicraft up a notch from amateur to professional.

Solid Brands for Solid Quality

There are some brands of tools that the name alone creates a picture of quality. The prices in these brands alter a little bit but with any of them you can count on a quality tool which will last decades.

Adding On: CNC Router Plans

Of course there are the smaller devices such as gluers and clamps that keep projects together while you're employed. But to that you are able to add electric nailers, dovetail jigs, jet tools and more to make life easier.

A well arranged workshop with all the basics is the most effective way to work. Maybe your first giant project can be building the workbench which will serve as your foundation for lots more projects to come.

Check out some great CNC Router Plans Info here!

Hans Bangor is a product researcher the performs many product reviews throughout the year.
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CNC Turning Process - An Overview

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CNC Turning process is a simple method of shaping a metal or wood on a lathe. It is a machine tool that spins or turns a block of material to achieve rotational symmetry in a machine shop. Turning can be done manually or using a CNC machining. The computer numerically controls CNC machine. A typical CNC machining center is designed to remove material using a rotating cutter that moves laterally to a work piece mounted onto a table or fixture. In the CNC turning process, a piece of material is rotated on the lathe and a cutting tool is traversed along two axis of motion, transverse or longitudinal. The process is done in a machine shop. The cutting tool is used until the required depth and dimension is achieved. Turning can be on both sides, inside or outside as per the needs and specifications. The rotation occurs at the turning center that enables control of tool motion through computer programs that use numeric data. Parts that are too large to balance and cause difficulty in rotating around one center point, can be worked on a machining center featuring a U axis. The turning length is about 1000mm between centers and has a drive power and speed range up to 46kW and 4,000 revolution/minute respectively. CNC turning process cuts the metal into various different shapes ranging from plain surface, taper ends, contour, and filter to radius profiles and threaded surfaces. These cut and turned metal pieces are used to create shafts, rods, hubs, bushes, pulleys and much more. Many industries also use it for fabricating parts and materials that have circular cross section. The process applies well to the most rigid materials that can be controlled exclusively with the software program tooling. The process does reduce the cost of production but on the other end, it limits the design flexibility. CNC turning machines are said to deliver components at a faster production rate with optimum manufacturing accuracy. The automation of the CNC turning process allows reaching tight dimensional tolerances in every piece. Other advantages are high level of parts consistency or uniformity, achievement of optimum cycle times for all components and faster execution of larger volume. As machines have brought a revolution in the industrial world, new technologies provided by emachineshop, boost the use of metal products. George is a well-known author who writes on the topics related with free CAD software, cnc machine shop and waterjet cutting for the site [Photo]

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CNC Rotary Tables

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A CNC Rotary table is a piece of CNC milling equipment used for precision metalworking. It is similar than a dividing head or indexing head except that it is fixed to be used in only two planes, the horizontal plane and the vertical plane. A CNC Rotary table is used for CNC milling and is made up of a solid base that has proper provisions for clamping metal material on tables and other kinds of equipment. The table of this CNC milling equipment is a precision machined disc that also has provision to clamp materials in it, that is aided with a T slot. This CNC milling equipment can rotate by itself or be controlled by a worm or a handheld operational control.

1. Extreme Accuracy

A graduated dial and a vernier scale allow this rotary table to be positioned to a high degree of accuracy. The center of CNC milling equipment has hole that allows a morse taper center or fixture to be inserted. A tailstock is usually provided if the rotary table can be mounted from its end, so that the axis will be horizontal. The most common use of this CNC milling equipment is on it vertical axis that in this mode is on the same plane as the cutter when it is used on a milling machine.

2. Coaxial Design

If the CNC rotary table is mounted on a secondary table the work piece is adjusted in the center around the rotary tables axis, in this position the work piece is centered around the cutting tools axis; this make all three axis coaxial. Making a way for the secondary table to be offset in either the x or y plane so that the cutter is pitched at a distance from the work piece's center allowing a simultaneous operations on the work piece.

3. Specialized Or General?

There are literally hundreds of CNC milling equipments available on the market today with different specifications and different additional features. They come in all types of shapes and sizes. Some are designed for specific applications, while others are more of general purposes in nature. When looking for the right CNC rotary tables, try to talk to people who already using this kind of equipments from them you can learn how this things work. The good thing about talking to this people is that you will gain information not based on industrial propagandas but on experience and uses of there CNC milling equipments. You can also visit a shop in your area so that you will ly see on how CNC rotary tables work. You can eve try to use one CNC milling equipment to know how it feels. You can also attend CNC seminars to be able to gain professional views about his matters and also do not forget to check online information sites.

4. Setting Up Shop

When setting up your CNC rotary tables make sure that the platform is stable and your CNC milling machine secure. Setting up your CNC milling machines is a critical issue to early success, the less movement that occur the better. The right material to be used should also be thought about when using this kind of CNC milling machines. Determine the right thickness and sizes of your materials. Also look for proper fixtures for your CNC milling machines, for this will save time, money and frustration when using your CNC rotary tables.

Before going into production, make a plan to test the different variables you need to work with for a period of time. Getting familiar with your machine is also a critical issue for success. Try to make familiar with the different types of cut, type of materials to be cut, the table type, the depths of cut, the feed rates and the type and sizes of bits that you will be utilizing. Feel around the machine but not literally though for it may I injure you.

5. Satefy

Make sure to read your manuals and have a thorough understanding about the safety measures and the different features of your CNC milling machines. Have a good idea on how this things works. On what it can do to make your business prosper and also on how it can harm your employees.

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CNC Milling Machine Buying Tips

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CNC stand for Computer Numerical Control, and refers specifically to the computer control of machine tools. The main purpose of CNC Milling Machines is to repeatedly manufacture complex parts in metal as well as other materials, using a specially coded program. This specially coded program that is used by CNC Milling machines is written in a notation called G-code. G-codes represent specific CNC Milling functions in alphanumeric format. CNC Milling was developed in the late 1940's and early 1950's by the MIT Servomechanism Laboratory.

1. About CNC

- Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling is the most common form of CNC
- CNC mills can perform the functions of drilling and often turning
- CNC Milling machines are classified according to the number of axes that they possess
- Axes are labeled as x and y for horizontal movement, and z for vertical movement
- The evolution of CNC milling machines drastically changed the manufacturing industry
- Curves are as easy to cut as straight lines, complex 3-D structures are relatively easy to produce, and the number of machining steps that required human action is way down.

2. The Fabrication Process

With the use of CNC milling machine the fabrication process of the materials have been trimmed down to just a couple of steps. CNC Milling machines now days are driven directly from computer softwares crated by CAD software packages. With the use CNC Milling machines the assembly of parts can go from brief designs without any intermediate paper drawing works being required. In one sense, with the use of CNC milling machines industrials tasks are done must easier and much faster and the production cost of the company is also lessening out. CNC machines may be said to represent special industrial robot systems, as they are programmable to perform any kind of machining operation, within certain physical limits, like other robotic systems.

3. Buying Tips

Before buying a CNC milling machine it is a must that you should have knowledge about the CNC milling machines basic parts. A CNC milling machine is basically composed of a Safety shield that is usually a clear plastic cover that cover and protects the cutting area. The Tool bit, this part of the CNC milling machines is the one that do the cutting. Spindle Shaft, is the part that holds the tool bit. Spindle Motor, is the part of the CNC milling machine that drives the cutter. The Vertical Column, the part that holds the spindle and all of its part. The Cross Side, a moveable support where the work piece is being cut. The axis motors, which moves the cross side into different axis and the Controller box.

When purchasing your milling machine make sure to check that you have all of this part intact on your CNC milling machine, for if one of this parts is not there it will not surely work or will produce an undesirable end product. Also see to it to check out for safety features, never buy a CNC milling machine without an emergency stop button, this button automatically stops machining when it is pressed. Human, hardware or software errors could mean big losses if the CNC cannot be stopped quickly enough to correct the problem. Also check out the control panel part, it is advisable to buy one with a big control guide sticker so you can clearly see it.

Also check out the screws and tools with long overhangs and adapters, be more observant about cracks and breaks on this CNC milling tools. Make sure that the plastic shield that you are purchasing with your CNC milling machine is made up of high impact polycarbonate plastic. An insert break loose from a 35 mm diameter CNC milling cutter at a spindle speed of 45,000 rpm will be thrown out at a speed of 90 meters per second - equivalent to a bullet that is being shot out of a pistol!

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About CNC Controllers

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CNC controllers are devices that control machines and processes. They range in capability from simple point-to-point linear control to highly complex algorithms that involve multiple axes of control. CNC controllers can be used to control various types of machine shop equipment. These include horizontal mills, vertical mills, lathes and turning centers, grinders, electro discharge machines (EDM), welding machines, and inspection machines. The number of axes controlled by CNC controllers can range anywhere from one to five, with some CNC controllers configured to control greater than six axes. Mounting types for CNC controllers include board, stand alone, desktop, pendant, pedestal, and rack mount. Some units may have integral displays, touch screen displays, and keypads for control and programming.

Industrial communications options for CNC controllers include ARCNet, CANBus, ControlNET, Data Highway Plus, DeviceNet, Ethernet 10/100 Base-T, parallel, PROFIBUS, SERCOS, Universal Serial Bus (USB), serial (RS232, RS422, RS485), and web-enabled. Communications language choices include bitmap, conversational, DXF file, G/M codes, Hewlett Packard graphics language, and ladder logic. A bit map (often spelled "bitmap") defines a display space and the color for each pixel or "bit" in the display space. Conversational language is a higher level, easy to learn programming tool. It performs the same functions as the standard G-code commands. Drawing eXchange Format (DXF) file that was created as a standard to freely exchange 2 and 3 dimensional drawings between different CAD programs. It basically represents a shape as a wire frame mesh of x, y, z coordinates. G-code is the programming language for the Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools that can be downloaded to the controller to operate the machine. M-code is the standard machine tool codes that are normally used to switch on the spindle, coolant or auxiliary devices. Hewlett Packard Graphical Language (HPGL) was originally created to send 2 dimensional drawing information to pen plotters, but has since become a good standard for the exchange of 2 dimensional drawing information between CAD programs. Ladder logic is a programming language used to program programmable logic controllers (PLC). This graphical language closely resembles electrical relay logic diagrams.

CNC controllers have several choices for operation. These include polar coordinate command, cutter compensation, linear and circular interpolation, stored pitch error, helical interpolation, canned cycles, rigid tapping, and auto-scaling. Polar coordinate command is a numerical control system in which all the coordinates are referred to a certain pole. The position is defined by the polar radius and polar angle. Cutter compensation is the distance you want the CNC control to offset for the tool radius away from the programmed path. Linear and circular interpolation is the programmed path of the machine, which appears to be straight or curved, but is actually a series of very small steps along that path. Machine precision can be remarkably improved through such features as stored pitch error compensation, which corrects for lead screw pitch error and other mechanical positioning errors. Helical interpolation is a technique used to make large diameter holes in workpieces. It allows for high metal removal rates with a minimum of tool wear. There are machine routines like drilling, deep drilling, reaming, tapping, boring, etc. that involve a series of machine operations but are specified by a single G-code with appropriate parameters. Rigid tapping is a CNC tapping feature where the tap is fed into the work piece at the precise rate needed for a perfect tapped hole. It also needs to retract at the same precise rate otherwise it will shave the hole and create an out of spec tapped hole. Auto scaling translates the parameters of the CNC program to fit the work piece.

Features common to CNC controllers include alarm and event monitoring, behind tape reader, diskette floppy storage, tape storage, zip disk storage, multi-program storage, self diagnostics, simultaneous control, tape reader, and teach mode.

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For all your CNC machining and plumbing needs

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White Racker Co. is a manufacturing company that deals in the production of CNC Machining, Commercial Plumbing Specialties and Washroom Partition Hardware. Ours is a company that focuses on Commercial Plumbing and deals in Toilet Partition Hardware, CNC and Machining. Our prime specialization lies in CNC Machining. CNC or Computer Numerical Control Machining is the use of completely automated machining functions to quicken and make industrial processes far more efficient. In our CNC machining division we handle a variety of different services. We specialize in providing precision-machined parts in castings, forging and bar work. Along with our CNC turning and CNC milling functions, we also have secondary operations and in-house engineering and tooling. The main purpose of CNC or Computer Numerical Control Machining is to produce 3-D structures with the help of a many computer controlled commands. This involves the selective removal of material from a workpiece. The new developments in machining technology have made manufacturing operations modernized, swift and fully mechanized One of the main advantages of CNC Machining is that it leads to the enormous reduction the cost of machining. That apart, it also improves operational capability, and reduces time taken lending a great deal of uniformity and consistency to the product. An important and useful point to note is that it is easy to identify errors that may occur during the operation and manufacturing process using these machines. In CNC machining, these programs sends notifications to the operator's mobile phone in case of any problems. Apart from the use of CNC machining in use conventional machining, CNC is used in Robotics, Electromechanical machining, Welding and Laser cutting. Everything that an operator would be required to do with conventional machine tools is programmable with CNC machines. With some CNC machining, even the workpiece loading process has been automated. As a result, the cost of production is reduced significantly and efficiency of production substantially increased. At white Racker, along with CNC Machining, we also deal with Aluminum and Brass Casting, CNC Turning and Boring, All Secondary Operations, In-house Engineered Tooling, Prototype to Production Runs, JIT Delivery, 2 Jaw and 3 Jaw Chuck Work. CNC Machining is a very important link in the plumbing and manufacturing process and at White Racker we assure you that all your needs are fully and efficiently met. For more information please
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CNC Programming Tips the Professional Way

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When a program is completed and sent to the Computer Numerical Control Machine, the programming process is over. All calculations were made and the algorithm fully written. But the question is the programmer’s job really finished? When is the programmer’s responsibility really over? And how can we evaluate the type of program that the Computer Numerical Control Machine programmer did?

The fairest and reasonable answer to those questions would basically when a part has been machined under the most optimized working conditions. Therefore the Programmer’s responsibility does not end after he or she finishes the program. We could say that the program at this stage is still very much in the development process, because most of the programming considerations were based on certain assumptions and there are a lot of external factors that may affect the outcome of the product.

Every Computer Numerical Control programmer should have an effort to be in the touch with the actual production. In the field of software development, Constant communication with your colleagues as well as actual machine operators of the CNC will help you to improve your own program. Because most of the time the CNC machine operators are a good source of constructive ideas, improvements and suggestions.

A good CNC programmer should talk, ask questions to them and most importantly listen to what they have to say. Programmers who never put their foot in the actual machining process and think they are always right are all on the wrong track. Exchanging ideas with CNC machine operators, asking questions and seeking answers is the only way to be fully aware of what is going on in the machine.

Whenever you start a Computer Numerical Control Program the first time it is important to check its Program Integrity. A new and unproved program is a potential source of problems. During Manual Programming in CNC, mistakes are more common than when the program is made in a CAM program.

A good way to look at a new program is through the machine operator’s perspective. Experienced Machine Operators take a direct approach when running a program for the first time. That means that they wont take any chances of mistakes with the actual running of a program therefore a good programmer must take note of any comments that the Machine operator will say about the program.

What does an experienced Machine Operator look for in a new part of a program? Most of the Machine operators would say that the first and most important thing to be checked on a Computer Numerical Control Program is its consistency. Therefore a machine operator looks at how a CNC programmer does its own programming, is the way you create your own algorithms the same as the other ones. Machine Operators take note with this kind of Information.

Upgrading your CNC Program

Whenever you upgrade your own program, it means that you are strengthening or enriching it, therefore making it better than it was before. Upgrading would be based on this standard, It is to decrease the production cost without compromising the quality of the part being manufactured or the safety of the Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator.

One of the Most Common forms of Program Optimization is doing some minor changes to the spindle as well as the feed rates of the machines. This process is called cycle time optimization, slightly increasing the spindle speed and feed rates of these machines will decrease the time it takes to finish the part.

And when we compare it to mass production, saving one second for each part in a batch of 3600 pieces would mean an hour saved. Efficiency in the rate of production is a very important aspect in Mass Production.

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