Before discussing CNC machines let us discuss what are machines and why the need of a CNC machine arrived.
In our day to day life we see many machines around us. It could be a sewing machine, drilling machine or a very complex automotive engine.
Functions of all the machines is to reduce human effort and make our life easy.
Most of the machines around us depend on the human mind for crucial decisions. For example, in case conventional drilling machine we have to stop the machine when drilling is completed. This machine cannot determine by itself that whether the hole is drilled or not. Similar is the case with other machines.
There is a basic problem with theses machines and that is errors caused due to manual operation. As we all know there are several problems with the human beings like, we feel exhausted, we have emotions, and we have inborn tendency to do errors.
All of the above things forced engineers to develop machines which can perform desired operations without human intervention. It is also desired that these machines should have high accuracy and should avoid any accident.
This is where the need of CNC machine arrived.
What is a CNC machine
The word CNC stands for computer numerical control. In this practice the tool and workpiece both are controlled with the help of a numerical program.
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The complete process of CNC machining depends on CAD and CAM.
The word CAD stands for Computer Aided Design whereas the word CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing.
With the help of CAD we make 3-D design of the object which we have to make and with the help of CAM that design is converted into reality.
Modern day CNC machines are highly precise and can reduce the time to perform a job drastically.
Advantages of CNC machines
- Machining is accurate
- Time taken to perform a job is very less
- Safe to operate
- Number of operators required to operate a machine are reduced
- No possibility of human error
- Even very complex designs can also be made
- Low maintenance required
- They are versatile
- Uniformity in designs
- They could run for all 24 hours a day
Disadvantages of CNC machines
- They are costly
- Trained operator is required to operate the machine
- In case of breakdown a highly skilled professional is required to solve the problem
Applications of CNC machines
- Metal removal industries
- Material fabrication industries
- For non-conventional machining industries where the machining task is difficult to perform manually