Computer Numerically Controlled machines have helped companies enhance their production processes. It is now easier than ever to have a design made and then have the plan turned into a product. As with anything else, a few misconceptions about CNC machining have cropped up over the years. Some of these myths have to be debunked using facts.
1. CNC Machining Is Fully Automatic
A lot of people have this notion that companies that offer CNC machining services load designs into their machines and then let them work. The truth is that the process is not as automatic as that. Yes, there are some aspects of the process that are automated, while some are not. For example, you never know when a tool will break down during a rapid machining process. You might never know if a product shifted out of position during sheet metal fabrication if you do not check on the machine regularly. Some machines have built-in fail-safes to let you know if any of these things happen, but there is still a level of supervision that is required when providing CNC services.
2. Anyone Can Do It
This goes hand in hand with the “fully automatic” myth. It is also perpetuated by machine manufacturers who claim their machines are so safe that there is no experience required to operate them. This is false.
If you want to provide injection molding services, for example, you have to understand how the machines work, both from a safety and a quality control perspective. If you are not trained on how a machine behaves and how its products should look, how will you tell if it has done a good job or even if client expectations have been met?
3. CNC Machines Are Always on Time
This is another talking point from managers and machine manufacturers. Yes, if you provide online CNC machining services, you have to give estimates on price and estimated time of completion. CNC machines can now give you an estimate on how much time is remaining for a particular run. That said, it is impossible to know when a CNC prototyping machine will break down. There are so many things that can cause a delay in the provision of prototype manufacturing and other CNC related services that CNC machines cannot be said to be on time, every time.
4. CNC Machining Is Expensive
Yes, that used to be the case when services such as injection molding services were costly. With the fall in the price of machines, companies can provide rapid prototyping services, or even any other services, at a fraction of the cost.
The use of software in processes such as prototype machining has also drastically driven the costs of these services down. Built-in tools allow the fast loading of materials during sheet metal prototyping, and better and faster-cutting tools, as well as high-speed machine operations, have cut down on the time it takes to have a product ready, thereby helping reduce the price of online CNC services further.
5. CNC Is Not for Small Businesses
It used to be that CNC services China was just for big businesses that had large projects that needed to be completed. Because more and more CNC machining companies are competing for space, the equipment has gotten smaller and more accessible. This has led to the growth of companies of all shapes and sizes, offering CNC services.
This growth has further been strengthened by machine manufacturers offering an alternative, smaller models of their larger machines. These smaller models come with optional features like prototype molding so businesses can get the machine they need with just the features they will use.
6. A CNC Machine Can Make Anything
Internet videos have made people think that a CNC machine can make anything. This is partially true. Most people think they can find a company that offers CNC services online, send in their design, and the designs will be done. That is not entirely true. A CNC machine and the products it produces are limited by the machine’s capabilities and the skill level of the operator. Also, the range of motion of the machine or its cutting envelope can limit what it can create. For simple designs, any rapid tooling tool can create almost anything, but for intricate, more significant models, this is not true.
Even with all that said, this is rapidly changing. Newer machines can manipulate objects in different axes and can, therefore, produce very intricate designs. As operators become more skilled in using these machines, then this myth might turn out to be true.
7. CNCs Can Last a Very Long Time
CNC machines operate under great vibrations, stress, and pressure. They are also subject to a lot of tears and wear, meaning that they might not last as long as you think they could. Even though skilled operators can repair a CNC machine when it breaks down, it will eventually reach its end of life, making a company get a new one if they would like to continue offering CNC services online.
8. CNC Machining Is Nearing Its Death
That is not true. Even though CNC specialists might have created everything you can think of, the industry is still growing. Companies like rapiddirect.com are still creating amazing products quickly and effectively. They have been in the industry for a long time, can work on large orders using different materials, and produce products of the highest quality. The firm has added many unique features to its service over the years, including real-time order tracking and immediate quotes, meaning that you can get the best of their longtime expertise combined with modern support. If you are looking to have a design made, do get in touch with them.
9. CNC Machines Do Not Make Errors
Most people think that once one product has been made without errors, a CNC machine can continue this process indefinitely. That is not true. There are so many things that can introduce errors in the process, including:
- The operator’s skills
- The quality of the material they are using
- The environment they are working on
- The state of their machinery
- CNC Machining Has a Long Lead Time
Lead time is the amount taken between placing an order and having your products delivered. Most companies that do CNC machining China have a reasonable lead time. They can now source materials fast and have your design on their manufacturing schedule in as little as three days.
Because of technological innovations, CNC machines are also faster now, and therefore you will get your product faster than you did in the past. If you have a small project and are worried about the lead time, there are so many smaller companies that can handle your project in a short time.
10. G-programming Is Not Necessary
Modern CNC machines have CAM systems. What a lot of people forget is that the CAM system outputs G-code. Because of this, companies need programmers who understand G-code, because if anything unwanted happens during a run, it will take too much time to reprogram the CAM system. In contrast, it would take a shorter time to edit the G-code, send it back to the program, and have the run continue.
Programmers must also understand G-code, so they know if the G-code output by the CAM system is the most efficient way of doing a particular run.
There are so many myths swirling around in the CNC machining world. Some of them come from machine manufacturers, others from operators and others from the public. Understanding these myths would be beneficial to everybody.