When you want to make a custom parts with high precision requirements, have you wondering how these parts make? In the 21th manufacturing, a lots of high precision parts are made with computer numerical control (CNC) machines, especially the metal machined parts, these processes also called CNC Precision Machining.
CNC precision machining now is more and more popular for different industrials, that mechanical engineers rely on these CNC machines to make rapid prototype, mold tooling, components. Therefore, people have more questions related cnc machinings, such as how much cost of cnc precision machining, how much precision it can be made, what kind of products it can be made……
In this article, we will introduce all information you need to know for cnc precision machining, then you can find out everything you need to know and it might be easier and simpler than you think.
What is CNC Precision Machining?
The cnc precision machining is high precision machines with computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aid manufacturing (CAM) system to cut and shape raw material to final desired parts, it guarantee all dimensions can meet tight tolerance specifications with the CAD drawing and the whole machining process is automatically with minimal labour operation to reduce error. What’s more, cnc machiniests use these machines to make custom parts with different materials, from single rapid prototype to volume production.
Before making any custom machined parts with precision cnc machining technique, you need cnc machinist to analyse what kind of cnc machines shoud be used during the machining processes, it depends on geometry of parts and its specification on the CAD drawing, then make programing based on CAD or 3D drawings, the programming is critical step to make a digital parts with high precision and low cost successfully.
From automotion components, automotive, marine equipments, medical devices to aerospace, the precision cnc machining is widely used to make molding tooling or components rapidly to help companies to reduce product development lead time and cost effectively.
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Types of Precision CNC Machining Equipment
Due to the different designs of the part that needs different machining processes involved to make it work. In some cases, the machined parts are can be finished with a single machine, in some other situations, the machined parts have to be placed on different machines, and the machinist will have to move the workpiece/raw material from one machine to another to finish a final complex part, so let’s see what precision machines are involved.
The cnc precision machining process involves 5 main types of machines:
- 3-4-5 axis cnc milling machine
- CNC Lathe machine
- CNC milling & turning machine
- CNC router machine
- Wire EDM machine
01. Wire EDM Machine
Wire EDM is a process that uses electricity to cut and shape metal pieces by feeding them through a wire loop.
Wire EDM machines are used for cutting and shaping metal parts. They are also known as wire cutting machines or wire shears. They work by feeding the metal part through a loop of wire, which is electrically charged with the appropriate voltage and current.
The machine has two main parts: the power supply and the wire head. The power supply is usually mounted on top of the machine’s base and provides electrical energy to the wire head via an electric cable, which feeds into it from above.
02. CNC Lathe Machine
CNC turning lathe machine is a type of machine tool that has the ability to perform both turning and boring operations. It is used in many industries including automotive, aerospace, and other metalworking industries.
A CNC turning lathe machine can be programmed to perform a variety of operations. These include cutting and shaping parts from a piece of material with the help of tools such as end mills or drills. The CNC turning lathe machine can also be used for drilling holes in the workpiece with a drill bit.
CNC lathe machine is a computerized machine that can automatically turn the workpiece. It can be used for turning all kinds of cylindrical objects.
The CNC lathe machine has three main components: the workpiece, the tooling and the controller. The workpiece is usually mounted on a rotating table so it can be turned by a cutting tool in order to produce parts with complex shapes.
03. CNC Router Machine
A CNC Router Machine is a machine that carves or shapes wood, plastic and other soft materials by removing material from the surface. A CNC router is one of the most powerful tools in any woodshop.
CNC machines are computer controlled machining tools that use G-code to create accurate cuts and shapes in a variety of materials. The G-code is programmed using CAD software and then the code is sent to the machine via an interface such as a USB drive or Ethernet cable.
04. CNC Milling/Turning Machine
CNC milling and turning machines are used in the manufacturing industry. They are often combined into a single machine, which is called a CNC mill/turning combined machine.
The CNC mill/turning combined machine is used to create products from solid materials such as metal, plastic, wood, and stone. The CNC mill/turning combined machine can be used for two main processes: cutting and turning.
A CNC mill/turning combined machine will use the same cutting tool to cut a piece of material in one direction and then turn it around to make another cut in the opposite direction. This allows for more accurate cuts than when using just one process at a time.
05. 3-4-5 axis CNC Milling Machine
CNC milling machines are used in many industries to cut, shape, and drill materials. They are used for cutting metal and plastics.
CNC milling is a computer-controlled cutting process, which is a form of machining. It can be used to cut flat surfaces and shapes, as well as 3D objects.
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software takes the design data from the CAD system and converts it into instructions for the CNC machine. The instruction set tells the machine where to move along its axes and how fast to move, what tools to use, what sequence to cut in, and other information about how to perform the desired operation.
The computer control system reads these instructions and moves the cutting head along an axis at a specified feed rate. The controller also controls other aspects of CNC milling such as tool load sequence and spindle speed.
CNC milling machines can be classified by their axis. The first axis is the X-axis which moves the workpiece horizontally in relation to the cutter head. The second axis is the Y-axis which moves the workpiece vertically in relation to the cutter head. The third axis is the Z-axis which moves the workpiece up and down relative to the cutter head. The fourth axis is often called a rotary axis because it rotates around an imaginary line that extends from one side of a square or rectangular table through its center point and out through its opposite side (the fifth axis).
Tolerance of CNC Precision Machining
Tolerance is the amount of deviation in the dimension of a part that is acceptable by conventional standards. A synonym for it is dimensional accuracy. There is no standard tolerance for all precise parts. The strictness of tolerance depends on the manufacturing process capability & product design needs. The number of decimal places a tolerance value has shows the strictness of the measurement.
As you should know, all products with dimensions have the tolerances, and designers surely want to get tight tolerances for the products to have best quality. Therefore, we want to know what’s the tolerance of cnc precision machining can be achieved, how much precision of the part can be make? Then mechanical engineers can define the dimension tolerances on the CAD drawing well.
The answer is most of cnc precision machining process make the parts with tolerance +/-0.01mm to +/-0.10mm, these tolerance can be achieved easily and a reasonable machining cost, a tight tolerance +/-0.001mm also can be achieved but higher machining cost due to its need more time or more advanced machines such as cnc milling&turning or 5-axis cnc machine, especially when machining complex geometry part with tight tolerance.
CNC Precision Machining Applications
CNC precision machining is an important component in the manufacturing of a wide range of products. The industrial applications are vast and diverse, ranging from aerospace to food processing for producing very accurate and detailed parts.
The process is used in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, and more.
In the aerospace industry, CNC precision machining is used for manufacturing aircraft parts and components. In the automotive industry, it’s used for manufacturing engine blocks and cylinder heads. In the medical devices industry, it’s used for manufacturing surgical instruments.
01. Medical Industry
CNC precision machining is a process that involves cutting and shaping materials with a computer-controlled machine. It has been used in the medical industry to create medical equipment components for many years. Examples of such include orthotic devices, safe enclosures, Implants, MRI machines, research equipment, etc.
02. Aerospace Industry
The aerospace industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the world. It is also one of the most competitive industries with an ever-increasing demand for products that are more advanced and more affordable than ever before. The aviation industry has been using computer numerical control (CNC) for decades to produce high quality parts for aircrafts such as wings, fuselages and landing gears. The aerospace industry has always been at the forefront of technological advancement, which means that it will continue to be an important player in shaping future technologies as well.
03. Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is one of the most complex industrial sectors in the world. It is one of the most important industries in terms of economic output, and it is also one of the most polluting industries. The automotive industry has seen a lot of changes over time and it continues to evolve with every passing day.
The automotive industry has evolved from a labor-intensive manufacturing process to an automated process with high precision machining. CNC precision machining is an advanced manufacturing technique that helps produce parts that are accurate to fractions of a millimeter, which can make all the difference for some applications like engine or other components.
04. Automation Components
The use of CNC machining is becoming more and more popular in the manufacturing industry. The precision of CNC machining allows for automation components to be made with high accuracy. This is important for robots, as they need to have a precise understanding of their environment in order to complete tasks.
CNC precision machining is also used for the production of small parts, such as gears and fasteners. The tolerance levels are much higher than those of other types of manufacturing methods, so this type of machining is often used when a perfectly round hole or an accurate radius are required.
Advantages of High Precision CNC Machining
In this section, we will be discussing the advantages of high precision CNC machining. This type of manufacturing process is mostly used in industries that require complex shapes or large volumes of custom parts.
One advantage of high precision CNC machining is that it can produce parts with a better surface finish than other processes. It also has a higher tolerance for dimensional accuracy and can produce parts more precisely than most other processes.
Another advantage is that it can provide more accurate and faster results than other manufacturing methods. The high precision CNC machinist has the ability to change the machine’s software to match their needs, which makes it possible to get better product quality and efficiency.
First, it is much faster than other manufacturing processes. Second, the accuracy of the parts is very high because there are no manual operations involved. Third, it can produce very complex shapes that cannot be created by any other type of machining process. Finally, it requires less tooling and setup time and thus provides significant cost savings in the long run.
How much does CNC precision machining cost?
CNC machining is a process that is used in various industries. It is a process of manipulating metal or plastic to create the desired shape. The cost of CNC machining depends on the type of machine will be used, the type of product material, size, and complexity of the project.
The cost for CNC precision machining per hour can differ greatly depending on what type of company you are working with and what type of machine they are using. Some companies charge by the minute while others charge by the hour. However, on average one can expect to pay around $10 to $50 per hour for the cnc precision machining service.