CNC is one of the most impressive technological developments of the century. While many individuals are more conversant with 3D printing as a way of producing physical parts, CNC machines have been around for a long time and are still used widely today.
From its prevalent use by many manufacturing companies to a lot of applications in the electronics sector, technology is still evolving and growing as more companies discover CNC machines’ effectiveness.
History of CNC Machines
A CNC machine uses machining techniques that were developed in the 18th century. As a matter of fact, the first CNC machine with a metal frame got invented in 1751. This basically marked the start of industrialization.
But this wasn’t until the Cold War as automation development got addressed. At the time, Parsons Works was commissioned by the US Navy to increase the productivity of parts manufacturing, like helicopter blades.
Evolution of CNC
The highly automated control systems brought upon by programs such as easel CNC software still depend on three major components of their predecessors. They need a command function that involves the use of a motion/drive system, like a clutch, valve, cylinder, or motor.
Modern CNCs are controlled electronically. So the end products are more predictable. Plus, they use about any type of materials, including:
CNC Machines by Industry
CNC Machined and CNC machining parts are more prevalent in the majority of industries. Sectors, which depend on CNC machining include the medical sector, robotics industry, and aerospace industry.
This trend is basically set to proceed, with initiatives, as Green Energy is set to boom in a few years to come. As machines and products need reductions in size and ever-increasing efficiency, CNC machining offers designers and engineers high-precision parts, which meet the required demands.
CNC Machine Types
Today, there are countless CNC machine types. The type of cutting may differ from laser cutting to plasma cutting, lathes, routing, and milling.
A CNC machine might even move and pick up items on an assembly line. Some of the basic types of CNC machines include:
- 3D printers
- Plasma cutters
Inventions in the CNC Machining History
Every CNC machine uses the same technical innovations regardless of its complexity or size. By tracing the history of the following trends, you can follow the trends which resulted in the development of the first CNC machines in the late 1940 and the high-speed and precise equipment now used today for low-volume manufacturing and rapid prototyping:
1. Automatically Programmed Tools (APTs)
APTs were computer programs that Douglas T. Ross and his team credited at MIT. They wanted to look for a way to position early NC (numerically controlled) machines more efficiently and quickly by combining them with evolving capabilities of computers.
2. Number Controlled Machines
John T. Parsons created these devices in 1952 since he was the first person to register a patent. During those days, the machines were created through templates, prone to errors.
Turning is among the pillars of the production sector. Getting accurate results for axisymmetric parts is achieved through the fabrication method. The production capacity and flexibility allow large-batch production with almost the same results.