Types of CNC Machines
These machining centers use computer controls to cut different materials. They are able to translate programs consisting of specific number and letters to move the spindle to various locations and depths. Many use G code, which is a standardized programming language that all CNC machines understand, while others use proprietary languages created by their manufacturers. These proprietary languages are often simpler than G code, but not transferable to other machines.
Lathes are machines that cut metal that is often turning at fast speeds. CNC lathes are able to make fast, precision cuts using indexable tools and drills with complicated programs for parts that normally cannot be cut on manual lathes. These machines often include 12 tool holders and coolant pumps to cut down on tool wear. CNC lathes have similar control specifications and can read G code as well as the manufacturer's proprietary programming language.
Grinding metal is a process that uses a coated wheel that slowly removes metal to create a part. Through the years, grinding was done on a manual machine, but with the advent of CNC technology, the grinding process has advanced dramatically. Enter the program, which includes the various passes that the wheel will make, and hit start. It is one of the easiest types of CNC machines to work with as they often only contain a single grinding wheel.
CNC machines offer many benefits over manual machines of the same type. Since the machines are using complicated programs, many parts that were not previously possible are now being created with 3D computer-aided manufacturing software. You can design a part and convert the dimensions to G code. You can often do this right at a CNC control and run the program immediately. These machines save time and money, resulting in cost saving due to lower amounts of waste from mistakes.