Different Types of CNC Machines – Great Precision and Accuracy
An excellent example of the miracle created by today’s technology is CNC machines. Computer Numerical Control or CNC machines are automated machines that are controlled by computers and are used to accomplish different types of industrial tasks without the need of human intervention. These machines are programmed to perform a series of steps which result into excellent precision and accuracy. CNC machines are used for a wide range of industrial applications, including mining industry, metal fabrication industry and automobile industry. Here are some major types of CNC machines.
These are highly automated devices that are used for cutting more complex shapes and sample models of metal, wood and plastic sheets. The commonest type of CNC router used today in various industries is a 3-axis machine. 4-, 5- and 6-axis CNC routers are available too and are used to perform highly technical and complex tasks.
CNC Plasma Cutters
These are very similar to CNC routers, barring that they don’t need a setup as powerful as the one needed by a CNC router. They make use of plasma to cut 2D moulds and shapes of metals.
Plasma is the 4th state of matter that is gained by heating gas or exposing it to strong magnetic forces. Plasma is made use of to melt metal sheets so as to cut it into preferred shapes and sizes. It even eliminates the excessive metal being melted away due to its high pressure.
CNC Milling Machines
CNC milling machines are perhaps the most commonly used CNC devices nowadays. Their basic job is to drill and turn various metals. They are designed to move cutters and many other tools in a way to turn metal pieces into desired shapes and sizes. There are again various types of CNC milling machines based on the number of axes they have.
CNC lathe machines have now mostly replaced traditional lathes due to their precision, ease of operation and repeatability. They are the automated versions of manually operated lathes and designed to automatically change the tools. CNC lathes are used to make 3D moulds and shapes of metal, wood and plastic products.
CNC laser cutters are extremely useful when plasma cutters cannot do the job. E.g. a finely detailed saw blade cannot be cut by a plasma cutter, but it can be cut by a CNC laser cutter. Laser cutters offer such a high precision and repeatability that if you cut a piece today and the next after a year, you get the same precision and dimension. CNC laser have two types in them, viz. fiber laser cutters and CO2 laser cutters.
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