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CNC takes machine shops to new levels

Machining techniques have advanced a lot since I began working with CNC machines. The first CNC machine I worked on had a spindle speed of 7,500-rpm. An air spindle or a geared spindle speeder could be used to make such machines run faster. Today’s CNC machines often have 20,000-rpm spindle speeds. High-speed machining has become more popular, bringing efficiency benefits with it. For these machines to work, modern CAM software is necessary. In earlier times, operators would write out G-code on paper. That is no longer necessary. Communication systems have also improved, with Cat5 connections, USB ports, and even wireless connectivity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Modern CAM software has a graphical user interface that makes programming more like playing a video game.
  • Today’s machine tool controls are designed to communicate and come with Cat5 connections, USB ports, and wireless connectivity.
  • In the future, machining and additive manufacturing processes will be combined into one simple platform.

“I programmed them with a pencil, paper and a calculator, typed codes into the controls and stored all programs in the machine tool controls.”

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