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5 CNC Machining Capabilities That Might Surprise You

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It’s a type of manufacturing that relies on written code to control the speed of the spindle, the cutting head, and all other facets of its process. Because it’s autonomous and operates from pre-programmed software, CNC machining capabilities are innovative and come with a range of benefits.

After reading this post, you’ll learn some interesting CNC machining capabilities. And some of them might surprise you!

How Does CNC Machining Work?

CNC machining is used in metal fabrication and uses a subtractive method, meaning material is removed during the process (which is different from additive manufacturing, like 3D printing).

Essentially, CNC machining alters a piece of material, like a metal block. It relies on a Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) file to create a roadmap for the fabrication. It then uses the pre-programmed software as instructions for automating precise and accurate cuts.

Capability 01: CNC Machines are Dynamic

Because CNC machining relies on written code, that code can be updated and revised, making it dynamic. By improving the software that instructs the machine, there’s more potential for enhanced innovation and precision.

In addition, CNC machines make training more efficient and effective. By using virtual software, trainees can practice using the machine much like playing a computer game. This makes both the manufacturing and training process dynamic.

Capability 02: Unmatched Consistency & Accuracy

Because CNC machining relies on programmed designs and autonomous control, each manufactured product will be the same, regardless if it’s fabricated a thousand times. You receive a level of accuracy and consistency that wouldn’t be possible with manual machining.

One of the greatest CNC machining capabilities is the elimination of human error. It delivers flawless accuracy each time a product is manufactured.

Capability 03: Can be Used 24/7

Unlike manual machines, CNC machines can be used 24/7, everyday of the week without tiring. They don’t need breaks, and the quality of the work will not be compromised. They can also be placed on faster settings to meet production deadlines.

By operating at such a high efficiency, CNC machines can drastically shorten turnaround times. Also, because CNC machines offer such high precision, manual assembly lines can move faster, making fittings easier and faster.

Capability 04: It Improves Workplace Safety

One of the more significant CNC machining capabilities is its benefit of reducing workplace injuries and enhancing the safety of your personnel. Because CNC machines are fully autonomous, they do not need an operator.

Some CNC machines can even automatically swap out their tools, even further reducing workplace risk. In most cases, design changes are handled through software updates and not through coming into contact with the machine itself. 

Capability 05: Reduces Costs

By using CNC machining or hiring a CNC machining company to manufacture your product, you can reduce costs. Because they produce more efficient, precise results, you spend less time (and money) on production or fixing manufacturing errors.

In addition, CNC machining is also more sustainable. By using less energy than some of its counterparts in manual machining, it can reduce energy costs. It makes a positive impact on the environment and on your wallet!

Other Resources

Want to learn more about CNC machining and what it can offer your business? Check out some of our past posts:

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Interested in manufacturing your product using CNC machining? At Condor, we offer full-service CNC machinist services.

​​Whether you are mass-producing parts or want a single part that is too small or complicated for manual development, CNC Machining is your best option!

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5 Fun Facts Everyone Should Know About CNC Machining

CNC Machining (Computer Numerical Control) has changed the way professional machinists perform tasks. What once took hours of repetitive work and measurements can now be down with a computer! Using professionally created drawings, a CNC machine is able to efficiently develop products that are incredibly detailed and consistent. Here at Condor Machinery, we love working with our CNC machines! Here are a few fun facts everyone should know about CNC Machining.

1. CNC Machining Improves Existing Processes

CNC Machining doesn’t just change the way machining is done where there are completely new ranges of motions or abilities. Rather, a CNC machine improves the existing capabilities of traditional machining tools. Milling, lathing, or other machining processes used to be done by hand, but when they become CNC-capable, the machining process is improved by precision and efficiency. CNC Machines are more precise than manually operated machining because there is, literally, no room for human error. CNC Machining allows for smaller movements than a person is capable of. CNC Machines are also more efficient due to the automation abilities, the machinist can set up the machine to exactly what needs to be done and walk away, letting the CNC Machine do the rest. That means that you get your entire project done without a machinist needing to painstakingly perform every task.

2. CNC Machines Require Intense Training

A machinist who can use a CNC machine has gone through extensive training and is required to be certified on CNC machines. CNC machines are incredibly complex, and using them without the proper training can lead to products being made incorrectly at best and the machine breaking at worst. 

3. CNC Machines are Used in Almost Every Manufacturing Industry

CNC machines are used in a wide variety of industries and are a key tool in most manufacturing industries. Some manufacturing industries use CNC machines almost exclusively, because the parts need to be so precisely made. Industries like medical, computer/ electronics, automotive, and aerospace all use CNC machines primarily for manufacturing. 

4. Not All CNC Machines are Created Equal

Like most machines, there are different levels of quality and ability when it comes to CNC machines. As technology improves, CNC machines are able to do more and more amazing tasks. Precision machining from a CNC machine today is far better than a CNC machine purchased 15 years ago. Industrial CNC machines are also far more advanced that something an individual can buy. That’s why going to a professional machine shop will guarantee you get the best results, as a machinist trained in CNC machining will know how to use the machine properly as well as access to the best quality.

5. 3D Printing is a Type of CNC Machining

You may not have known that 3D printed materials are made with a CNC Machine! Although most machining requires taking a raw product and removing material and shaping it into its finished form, 3D printing takes a blueprint and creates the material. Because CNC simply stands for Computer Numerical Control, any machine that uses a computer to control and form a finished product is a type of CNC machine!

Condor Machinery is Edmonton’s number one machine shop! Our technicians are highly skilled and trained in all forms of machining, especially using CNC machines! If you have any questions about CNC machines or want to get started on your next machining project, please contact us!

What Can You Make With a CNC Machine?

CNC machines are incredibly versatile machines that allow you to machine complex parts or simple parts. If you’re wondering what you can make with a CNC machine, the possibilities are almost endless. Asking what you can make with a CNC machine is like asking what you can cook with a knife, there are so many ways to answer the question! We’ll outline the basic uses of CNC machines and how they machine different parts, as well as some of the most common things machinists will make with CNC machines!

Machining is the act of taking a material, and cutting and manipulating it into something usable. You can read our blog, What, Exactly, Is Machining, to learn more!

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which means that the CNC machine uses a computer to perfectly machine the items, rather than relying on a person. CNC machines allow you to machine incredibly complicated and small details, consistently and efficiently. CNC Machines use AutoCAD drawings to follow a design perfectly. 

Industrial Items You Can Make with a CNC Machine

CNC machines are widely used in the industrial and manufacturing world. CNC machines are used to mass produce different parts and materials in order to ensure that every part is exactly the same. Industrial CNC machining is one of Condor Machinery’s specialties, but we also complete projects that are for people’s enjoyment or just a single part to do a task.

A few industries that use CNC machines are: Medical Industry, Transportation Industry, Oil and Gas Industry, and the Electronics Industry. There are many other industries that use CNC machines, but these are a few well known ones!

Medical Industry Uses for CNC Machines

The medical industry uses CNC machines all the time! Medical professionals need parts for their tools and electronics, as well as things like implants and orthotics. The medical industry requires absolute precision, that’s why they rely on CNC machines! Things you can make with a CNC machine for the medical industry include:

  • Screws and plates for broken bones
  • Implants and orthotics
  • Equipment for research or medical machines
  • Sterile packaging and FDA approved design
  • Medical instruments like scalpels and clamps.
  • And much more!

Transportation Industry Uses for CNC Machines

The transportation industry is an incredibly important industry, and making sure that the vessels that are getting items from one place to the other are in top shape is paramount! The transportation industry requires parts that are consistent and can be trusted, and it’s important that everything designed can last for long periods of time. Some of the items that are made with a CNC machine for the transportation industry include:

  • Vehicle parts such as wheel bearings, screws, engine parts, brakes
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Freight trains
  • Special designs for 18-wheelers
  • Shipping vessels
  • Much more

Oil and Gas  Industry Uses for CNC Machines

Considering the Oil and Gas industry is so prevalent in Alberta, CNC machines are well used in this industry! CNC machines are used to machine parts for all aspects of the oil and gas industry, from pipelines to refineries, to safety, and more! The oil and gas industry utilizes the precision and mass production capabilities of CNC machines. Here are a few examples of items created by CNC machines:

  • Drill bits
  • Hand tools
  • Valves
  • Pistons 
  • Pins 
  • Cylinders 
  • Turbine plates
  • Seals
  • Compressor parts
  • And much much more!

Electronics Industry Uses for CNC Machines

The electronics industry requires a lot of small parts working together. If there are any errors, it can cause the entire machine to malfunction, that’s why the electronics industry uses CNC machines to ensure that everything is as accurate as possible. Some items that are made by CNC machines in the electronics industry include:

  • Electrical insulation
  • Audio components
  • Adapters and couplings
  • Mounting hardware
  • Radio frequency shielding
  • And more!

Practical Items You Can Make with a CNC Machine

Using a CNC machine isn’t just about creating parts and tools for industries. CNC machines are used predominantly for industrial settings due to their accuracy, and industrial work tends to have the greatest need for precision. However, there are still some uses for CNC machines that are practical. Here are some examples of common items that use CNC machining:

  • Custom engraving
  • Bottle openers
  • Bike pedals 
  • Custom car parts
  • Custom attachments
  • Key chains
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • flashlights
  • Much more!

Fun Things You Can Make with a CNC Machine

CNC machines are also used to make fun items, whether they are decorative pieces for your home, or interesting gadgets, CNC machines can also be used to make items just for the fun of it! For example:

  • Coasters
  • Lamp shades
  • Custom chess sets
  • Board games and toys
  • Whistles
  • Guitar bodies
  • Engravings for your wall
  • Jewelry
  • And much more!

There’s so much that can be made with CNC machines! This blog only covers a small amount of the different industries that use CNC machines and the different things you can make with a CNC machine. Condor Machinery is Edmonton’s go-to machine shop! Our talented team of machinists can help you with any project you bring forward! Whether you need industrial parts or are looking to custom machine something for your home, Condor is Edmonton’s best machine shop, and our CNC technicians will ensure your project is completed perfectly!

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