CNC machining is a computer-controlled manufacturing process that utilizes subtractive manufacturing technology to produce complex parts for high-powered machinery, vehicles, equipment, and more. Unlike additive manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing and injection molding, a CNC machine utilizes subtractive manufacturing technology to create parts by making reductive alterations to a block of material, also known as the blank or workpiece. These alterations can be made by chemical, electrical, and thermal machining processes; however, some of the more common processes include drilling, milling, and turning.
In drilling, a CNC machine uses multi-point drill bits to produce cylindrical holes in the workpiece. Drilling operations include counterboring, countersinking, reaming, and tapping. Milling employs rotating multi-point cutting tools to carve channels, slots, and grooves into the workpiece. Face milling and peripheral milling are the two ways in which these alterations are made. Face milling is used for cutting shallow, flat surfaces, and flat-bottoms cavities into the workpiece, while peripheral milling is used to make deep cavities. Turning involves feeding a single-point cutting tool along the circumference of a rotating workpiece to produce round or cylindrical parts. Boring, facing, grooving, and thread cutting are considered turning operations.
Precision CNC machining services are unrivaled when it comes to achieving high accuracy. As one of the most accurate manufacturing technologies, CNC machines are capable of machining details as small as 25 microns. For reference, 25 microns is about a quarter of the width of a human hair. This makes CNC machining especially sought after by industries that require mass production with consistency that is imperative to a product’s function.
Precision CNC machining services are suitable for a wide variety of industries, especially those that require parts produced with highly accurate details. For instance, CNC machining is especially common in the medical field, as the parts for things like surgical operation tools, equipment, and diagnostic radiology machines must be produced as precisely as possible. Other industries that often rely on the accuracy of precision CNC machining services include the agriculture, space exploration, automotive, petrochemical, computer technology, and aerospace industries.