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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!

What Is A Machinist?

 

As you look for a part to be manufactured or for a person to help you with a CNC Machine, you may ask yourself, “what is a machinist?” Sometimes it’s unclear what a machinist does and what the position entails, and you may think you don’t need a professional, journeyman machinist to do the job right. However, you’d be missing out on some important education and experience if you forgoed a visit to a properly trained machinist to get your parts manufactured. What is a machinist? A machinist is a trained professional who knows and understands how to use machining tools and create and manufacture parts to fit your needs! Read on to learn more!

A Brief History of Machinists

Professional machinists began during the industrial revolution, where developments in technology allowed people to create machines to increase the efficiency and accuracy of manufacturing. In the mid 19th century, machining started to mean something similar to what we define machining as today (the act of manipulating material into a desired shape by the process of turning, milling, and drilling). 

Learn More About the Definition of Machining.

Traditional machinists used tools such as lathes, drill presses, and milling machines. Machining (and machinists) became far more recognized for their importance during the first World War, as machinists were called to help with the war effort by developing tools and weaponry. New developments in lathes, grinders, and other machining techniques were made to increase the speed and accuracy of the machining process. According to American Machinist, the US Machining Industry hired over two million workers during the war, manufacturing over 96, 000 planes in a single year (sixteen times more than had ever been manufactured before, combined), not to mention hundreds of thousands of tanks and machine guns in a very short period of time. This change in production levels and the number of trained machinists flipped the machining industry on its head. As time moved forward, computer-powered machining tools were developed, but the core skills in shaping material to fit a desired scope remains.

What Training Does a Machinist Have?

In Alberta, a machinist is a professional trades position. Prospective machinists become apprentices for four years, which includes a mandatory 1560 hours of on-the-job work as well as 8 weeks of training and education a year. After all the requirements of the apprenticeship have been completed, the machinist can take an interprovincial exam which will grant them a Red Seal. Machinists with a Red Seal are highly qualified in the field and will be able to operate almost every tool in the trade.

What Does a Machinist Do?

A machinist performs the work required to product parts, manufacturing materials into the specified shape and other requirements. Machinists work in many different capacities, from using measuring and hand tools to creating drawings for the project.

Measuring Tools

Machining required extreme attention to detail, so knowing how to properly measure the materials and product is incredibly important.

  • Calipers (plain calipers, vernier calipers, and digital calipers)
  • Rulers, tape measures, and scales
  • Micrometer tools
  • Indicator tools
  • Gauges (center gauges, dial thickness, digital bore, edge finders)
  • Electronic measuring tools

Hand Tools

Much like many trades jobs, machining requires the use of hand tools to help complete a task.

  • Multi-bit Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches of all sizes
  • Pliers
  • Claw hammer
  • Etc.

Machining Tools

Machining tools have changed a lot over the years, moving to more computer-controlled devices being the standard of machining. Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machines are the most popular machining tool as they provide ultimate precision and the ability to mass produce identical products. However, CNC Machines aren’t always used in modern day machining, and there are plenty of tools used that are classified as machining tools. Machining tools can be used for cleaning or grinding a surface, cutting the material, adding holes, and re-shaping the materials. 

  • CNC Machines
  • Drilling machines
  • Milling machines
  • Turning machines (lathes and boring mills)
  • Grinding machines

Do You Need a Professional Machinist for Your Machining Project?

The short answer is, yes! Red Seal machinists are the most qualified professionals to help you complete your project correctly, the first time. With years of experience and time working in machine shops, professional machinists can guide you through the process of getting your project machined, with advice from materials, planning, and manufacturing! If you’re looking to have a custom machining project completed, the best choice is to find a professional machine shop.

Where Can I Find the Best Machinists in Edmonton?

Here at Condor Machinery, we pride ourselves on hiring the best and brightest machinists available. Our expert team of machining professionals can guide you through your projects. Whether you’re in need of AutoCAD drawings, custom CNC machining, or any traditional machining project, our team has you covered! You’ll find the best machinists in Edmonton at Condor Machinery!

Condor Machinery is a full service machine shop in Edmonton, Alberta! We facilitate every kind of machining, from design to production. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your next machining project.

Custom CNC Machining Service

How does a custom CNC machining service work?

Condor Machinery offers custom CNC Machining Services. What is a custom CNC machining service? A custom CNC machining service is where our expert technicians will walk you through the entire process of developing the parts or machined piece you require. Custom CNC machining services allow you to consult experts throughout the entire CNC machining process. Here’s how it works.

Development

When you bring your custom CNC Machining project to us, the first thing we’ll do is help you develop your concept and the scope of the project. We’ll talk you through every aspect of a custom CNC machining service, from what materials you would like to use, including the benefits and disadvantages of different kinds of materials, what the design process looks like, what the production of your project will look like (including what additional kinds of machining you may need or want), and finally, what your quote is. The development of your custom CNC machining project is a necessary step, as it allows you to fully understand the steps and costs associated with custom CNC machining services, and it gives us at Condor a full understanding of your project needs.

Design

After your custom CNC machining project has been scoped out, then begins the design process. One of the things you will likely need for a proper design for CNC machining is an AutoCAD drawing. 

Read more about AutoCAD here.

AutoCAD is a design program that aids specialists in designing precise drawings. These drawings are necessary for a CNC machine, as CNC machines have the ability to perform incredibly complex machining operations, but they require precise drawings to do so. Our expert team of technicians will bring your custom CNC machining project to life with an AutoCAD drawing that precisely shows exactly what you want developed.

Machining

After the design has been approved, we are able to produce your project. Condor Machinery is a full-service machine shop, and our team are experts in CNC machining. Once we have the drawings, we can program the CNC machine to produce your project perfectly. 

Read the details on CNC machining.

Our CNC machines are top of the line, and can produce your custom CNC machining service once or a thousand times, whatever you require!

Finishing

If you’re mass producing parts with your custom CNC machining service, you may require pin stamping or zinc phosphate coating to prolong your parts’ life. All this can be done with Condor Machinery! Get your custom CNC machining project completed from design to protective coatings, all at a single Edmonton machine shop!

Condor Machinery is a full service machine shop in Edmonton, Alberta! We facilitate every kind of machining, from design to production. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your next machining project.

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