Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) Machines: Your Comprehensive Guide to Picking the Right One

17 March 2021
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Whether you are in the manufacturing business or thinking of venturing into the industry, CNC machining is a manufacturing process to consider in your operations. It entails the use of computerised controls and tools to transform materials into the desired finished products. CNC machining has many benefits compared to conventional manufacturing methods. First, since the process is computerised, it allows for high precision levels, leading to high-quality products. It is also fast, ensuring a quick turnaround.

Further, it is suitable for various materials, including composites, metals, glass, plastics, and woods, making it versatile for many applications. However, CNC machines come in different types. As you decide which one to use for your application, here are some of the essential considerations you must consider.

Feed Rate

A CNC machine's feed rate describes how fast it can work. Essentially, a machine with a higher feed rate gets the job done within a shorter period. Such machines are ideal for large applications where a speedy turnaround is necessary for increased production. However, they are not without a few downsides. First, they tend to be pricier than models with slower feed rates. Also, higher speeds often translate to higher consumption of power, consequently resulting in increased operating costs. Nonetheless, your choice will often come down to what you need to achieve with the machine. Some applications may require more precision than others, and in such cases, a slower machine would be the perfect solution.

Working Radius

The working radius refers to the largest or maximum required area for the items you intend to cut. For instance, if you wish to laser cut materials, your CNC machine's working radius should be large enough to cover the largest piece of material that needs cutting. And for the best results, it's often recommended to go for CNC machines whose working radius is slightly larger than what you think you will need.

Materials Being Machined

Your CNC machine's intended application can also lead you in the right direction when it comes to selection. Therefore, it's always best to look at the materials that need to be machined. Different CNC machines work best on different materials. For instance, a CNC laser cutter should work on various materials such as wood, plastics, and even metal. However, if you intend to shape or bend large-scale sheet metal pieces, a CNC press brake would be a better alternative. Therefore, knowing what you need to achieve with your CNC machine will always go a long way in narrowing your options to those relevant to your intended use