CNC machining used to be programmed with hardwired commands. It was a complicated process to change the programming and still make things precise. While this type of machinery in its infancy was able to accomplish some cutting tasks that other machines could not, the machines were not fully adopted in industrial and manufacturing settings until after they became more technologically advanced. Now, precision CNC machining can do so much more than straight cuts and perfect hole punches. Here is how CNC machining has changed and how it benefits your steel fabrication industry.
How It Has Changed
CNC machining moved through the floppy disk age and the USB age to the digital age at present. Just about any digitized image can be programmed into the CNC machine via a computer download, eliminating most of the need to calculate dimensions and program the machine's laser guidance systems. Errors are very few and far between, which means that most everything that is cut, ground, punched or lathed in a CNC machine is perfection incarnate. Additionally, much of the engineering software used to download designs and upload them into the machine's program has advanced as well, meaning that any incongruent design issues are typically spotted before the machine begins its work.
What It Can Do for Your Steel Fabrication Plant
Three-Dimensional Shapes, Perfectly Cut and Formed
When you need a solid cone or cube shape of any size, a CNC machine takes the dimensions you have programmed into it and cuts the block of steel or metal alloy down until it is perfectly formed. Because it is frequently easier to use the subtractive properties of a CNC machine to create precise solid forms, you may be able to get more of these items cut from blocks rather than poured, molded and formed (or additive properties). Additionally, creating these solid forms from additive procedures means you will still need to use a lathe or grinder to smooth the surfaces and edges before handing them off to the next department for further development and installation.
Smooth and/or Sharp Edges
If you have an order of steel or metal items that require really smooth surfaces, the lathe tool inside a CNC machine can cut, grind and buff these surfaces to your customer's specifications. If you also need items with razor sharp edges, the CNC machine can cut a beveled edge that rivals some of the best chef's cutlery. It can even punch perfect spheres in the same pieces of metal and sharpen the interior edges of these spheres.