CNC, or computer numerical control technology, has truly gained traction in our modern world. Although the technology has been known about and available since its inception in the forties, it did not gain a groundswell of support and widespread use until recently. Although the sixties saw a number of industries start to make use of CNC machining, it was the advent of CAD and the ability to use CAD to synch CNC machining capability directly to a computer that made the CNC machine a desirable commodity and the widespread tooling option that it is today. A dedicated CNC machine is versatile and saves money, time, and labor. It does this by doing the work that was once the purview of a host of machine site tools, including grinders, saws, lathes, milling devices and punchers and cutting equipment. A well-made and dedicated CNC machine can go on for very long periods of time, creating high-end accurate patterns to exact specifications. CNC machining is affordable and mobile and apt to continue on this trend, so that even at-home DIY mavens can utilize this technology with ease. CNC is also projected to automate many processes now done by hand, such as spray-painting. With CNC machining, it’s also been predicted that 3-D printing, which can already make an array of objects by dint of using a computer file, will trend upwards until the 3-D industry allows individuals to print all types of items, possibly even wearables.
- A good quality CNC machine replaces drilling, cutting, sawing, milling and grinding machines.
- It can do this because, CNC machines are able to synch up seamlessly with a computer, utilize a CAD file and from there create a perfect prototype or finished product.
- Before the technology was able to integrate with computers, as it does today, it was unheard of to find a CNC machine used by shops or independent users as recently as ten years ago.
“The only limits to CNC capability are the users’ imaginations and programming abilities.”