CNC stands for ‘computer numerical control’, and quite simply refers to the fact that these kinds of routers follow computer code when they cut, rather than being physically manned by a person. They’re extremely useful in numerous applications, because they’re extremely accurate and versatile – they’ll follow a design to incredibly high levels of detail, and they can cut all manner of materials into components for all manner of products.
The process of using a CNC router is more complex than manually cutting an object into the shape you want, but it allows for much more control as a result. Once skilled in the use of CAD (computer aided design) software, an operator is able to achieve the desired shapes much quicker and more consistently. They create the design they want in CAD software, which shows them what the finished object will look like, and then translate this into code (usually known as g-code) that the machine can then understand and follow. This method of manufacturing is becoming increasingly common because of the power of using CAD software. We are of course even seeing 3D printers used in the home, and the principles are very similar.
CNC machines can be found in many areas of manufacturing, and can be used with numerous materials, depending on which cutting tools are used. Some of the most common applications are in carpentry and the making of wooden furniture, but things like outdoor signs are also commonly cut using a CNC router.
In terms of size, you can find this piece of equipment making things as large as aerospace panelling, but also small enough to be placed on a desk. The concept is completely scalable, so the chances are that you’d be able to use a CNC router in just about any manufacturing application.
What are the major benefits?
If you’re operating a business that you think might benefit from the use of a computerised router, then companies such as Biesse Group offer a range of high quality products. One of these pieces of machinery could be suitable for your business and you’ll be interested to know that they improve the following main areas:
• They reduce the frequency of errors
• They are almost completely automated
• They are flexible in that they can produce a one-off or multiple designs with ease
• They are extremely precise
• They reduce the time it takes to make a product