Why is CNC Machining Better Than Traditional Machining: An Overview

CNC Machining

We, humans, are driven by the urge to enhance our existing technology and processes. CNC machining is just another part of that attempt to improve and innovate. CNC, an abbreviation for Computer Numerical Control, is an integral part of our manufacturing industry today. Operations that engineers previously carried out are now replaced by CNC machines, mainly because of the perks it brings along.

Further, CNC machines offer many production and financial advantages over traditional machining. For instance, manual lathing is not possible without having a well-skilled engineer or technician for each machine. In contrast, in CNC lathing, one skilled operator is more than enough to operate all the machines at once. This is one of the main reasons why brands such as Mazak lathe by Prestige Equipment have gained popularity over time.

Numerous industries use CNC machines to produce various plastic and metal elements used by every average individual at some point or the other in their lives. The consistency, accuracy, and ability to perform complex cuts make CNC machines the go-to choice for industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, military, transportation, and many more.

What is CNC Machining?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is an overall process used by manufacturers today! The process is beneficial for producing different machined products, parts, and items. The innovative computer numerical control approach is used in CNC machining to operate various machine tools such as routers, mills, lathes, and grinders.

Unlike conventional computer software, CNC machining uses a highly customized G-Code machine language that enables the operator to gain precise control of different factors such as location, feed rate, speed, and coordination. CNC machines are prevalent among manufacturers as these machines are equipped with different axes that can be adjusted to reach the hard-to-reach angles on a workpiece.

Why is CNC Machining Better than Traditional Machining?

Both CNC and traditional machining are used to give a workpiece a desired shape and size. Therefore, the only distinction between these machines is the manual nature of conventional machines and the automated nature of CNC machines. Take the Mazak CNC milling machine by Prestige Equipment, for example; the efficiency and precision offered by this machine are far better than any other manually operated milling machine.

In the case of CNC, a single skilled operator is enough to program the software and cut the part; whereas, a traditional machine requires many operators to carry out all the steps to set up and operate the machine. Further, CNC machining does not use any gears, whereas a manually operated machine requires a skilled operator to set the gears.

While manual machines are perfectly suitable for carrying out projects of smaller quantities with less cost, CNC machines provide the best outcomes when used for huge quantities and are also not very cost-effective for smaller projects. However, both CNC and traditional machining is used for different machining jobs such as lathing, drilling, and milling. CNC machines are ideally suited for completing cutting chores such as boring, drilling, shaping, threading, welding, grinding, punching, and more.

To top it all, we now understand that CNC machines are a better option for large-scale manufacturers mainly because the machine’s precision and efficiency remain uncontested by the traditional manually operated machines. The only case where CNC might not be suitable for a manufacturer is if they operate on a small scale and need to carve metal in simple shapes.

CNC Milling and CNC Turning

CNC Milling and CNC Turning

A short description of these machines would be that a CNC turning machine uses a rotating part for cutting, whereas a CNC milling machine uses a rotating tool.

But we are not here for the short description, right? Therefore, let us dig a little deeper. So as we have established above, both of these machines operate using different techniques. While turning machines are commonly used to create cylindrical parts, milling machines create intricate parts by carving the excess materials from a block of metal.

What is CNC Turning?

As discussed above, CNC turning machines are used to create parts with cylindrical shapes such as custom hollow tubes, shafts, axially symmetric parts, or even parts with a conical shape. And of course, even milling machines can create cylindrical parts, but it’s just that turning machines are far better at their job of creating cylindrical parts with enhanced efficiency and less cost.

In CNC turning machines, the chuck of the machine holds the workpiece in place and then spins at a very high speed along with the spindle. The maximum speed that a Turing machine can reach might vary from machine to machine as different factors can influence the speed. Further, the cutting tool of the machine is attached to the turret. The machine then spins the workpiece while the turret moves with great precision to give the workpiece the desired shape, size, and structure.

What is CNC Milling?

The most frequently used CNC milling machine is the one with 3-axis where the cutting tool can work in three different directions with the X, Y, and Z-axis. Even though this sets in a few geometrical limits, it is still more than enough to carry out most tasks that require milling. Various milling tools can bring out various cutting methods, such as hollow milling, end milling, face milling, and more.

But there’s also the multi-axis milling that allows four or more axis, such as the rotation of the work table and the tool providing an extra dimension of flexibility. However, the most commonly used milling machine is the one with a five-axis, as they can create almost anything that requires milling.

Milling machines can provide precision on every side as the dimension of the initial block is often larger than the dimensions of the final part. The tight tolerance offered by the machine makes it possible to achieve an excellent finishing on the surface

Final Thoughts

Today, CNC machines are readily available in the market with different specifications and functionalities. There are various vendors dealing in used industrial equipment by Prestige Equipment who can help budding manufacturers get hold of used Mazak machines for sale at affordable prices.

Among all the manufacturers of industrial equipment, Prestige Equipment are known for their quality and service. Therefore, experts suggest always choose Prestige Equipment for industrial equipment as this company has managed to pass the test of time