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Common Myths associated with CNC machining

by Randall Edwards
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CNC machining is a popular manufacturing process used in several industries. For those who don’t know what CNC machining is, it’s simply a manufacturing method that controls the movement of machining tools through pre-programmed software. It can be used to control several complex processes, from grinding, milling, to routing, and lathing.

If you’ve worked in a CNC machining company (or any manufacturing company at all), you’ve possibly encountered a lot of problems. Beginners often find it difficult to understand what’s going on initially, especially when it comes to handling a CNC machining quote. It takes some time before they make adjustments.

This is completely fine.

There are certain myths and misconceptions that you may have initially. Here are some of them and reasons why they aren’t true.

Popular myths associated with CNC machining

1. Anyone can handle the CNC machine

This is so not true.

There are variations to this. As emerging technologies come into play, there is no doubt the CNC machine becomes less complicated to operate. The machining process has been set up and designed in such a way that anyone can LEARN to handle the CNC machine if he/she puts her mind to it.

But not anyone can handle the machine, especially if the person is a beginner. It requires technical skills and expertise. The operator is charged with several activities from dull-tool recognition, cycle activation, loading and unloading, cycle monitoring, sizing adjustments, workpiece measurement, etc.

These are activities that require time and practice to master. If you haven’t gotten the technical knowledge, please stay away from the CNC machining process entirely.

2. It’s a simple job

Now, this is a two-way thing. It can’t be entirely classified as right or wrong. Some people (who are naturally gifted at manufacturing and designing things) think it’s easy, while others think it’s not.

The main idea is that machining parts makes things easier, faster, and the output is more accurate. But that’s not all there is to it. Once you delve deeper, you’d realize that there is more to it like setting your work area and making measurement adjustments.

All these lead to enhanced production rates and improved product quality.

3. Nobody uses G-code anymore

This is the most popular misconception people have about CNC machining.

A lot of people believe that CNC machining doesn’t use G-code, that they purely depend on the CAM system. Not only do most companies use it, but the result of the CAM system is G-code. The manufacturers and designers operate the G-code manually. This is the code that runs the machines. They are only powered by the CAM system.

If the G-code runs into a hitch or has a problem, the manufacturer can easily fix it at the computer with ease without having to tamper with the CAM system.

4. It’s easy to know when the production is completed

Theoretically, this is possible. But several factors can hinder this.

In CNC machining, the production engineers and manufacturers only know when the production cycle will end. For instance, a machine can have a 10-minute production cycle but can use up to 2 minutes just to load and unload. This may prolong the completion time.

Also, cutting tools may take varying times depending on the type of material it’s working on.

Conclusion

So here are some of the myths in the CNC machining world. Knowing them will help you understand CNC machining much better.

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