What is CNC engineering is a good question and one that can be answered by understanding the terminology CNC. CNC stands for computer numerically controlled, and this in turn means that the machines used for engineering in CNC are controlled by a computer. CNC machining is used in industries all over the globe, and it allows for a precision of engineering that could never be gained when the human eye were to be used instead of a computer.
What is CNC Engineering? The History of CNC
Before CNC there was NC, machines being numerically controlled long before the introduction of the modern computer. The first numerically controlled machines were invented in the 1940’s and 1950’s, these machines now being obsolete and having been replaced by computers. CNC first came about in the late 1950’s, the first CNC engineered parts being manufactured for the aerospace industry after the Second World War. These first computers were very rudimentary when compared with the computers we find today, a slow but steady progression over the decades seeing more and more computers being used in everyday industries all over the globe.
What is CNC Engineering? Modern CNC
Modern CNC engineering is a specialty that is found within the field of mechanical and precision engineering, and nowadays it accounts for the production of a hugely wide and varied range of parts for hundreds of different industries. Modern CNC can mass produce parts to a very high level of precision, CNC lathes, cutters, milling machine, and plasma cutters being used.
When you consider how a factory floor looks today in comparison with what it looked like half a century ago, you will notice a stark contrast from one that was brimming with human activity to one that has relatively no human presence at all. Manpower is no longer used to mill or turn parts and components, CNC machines being programmed to do the job to a much greater level of accuracy and to a much increased speed.
CNC machining can include the production of anything as simple as a nut and bolt, to anything as complex as a metal part for a modern aircraft. The machines used to mill and turn these parts are advancing in technology on almost a daily basis, and the real masterminds behind these machines are the CAD software specialists.
Although the factory floor may nowadays have far less human workers on it, behind each and every machine that is working is a CNC expert who is experienced in CAD technology. CAD stands for computer aided design, and the design for all the parts produced on the factory floor will have been designed by a CAD expert. CAD design allows for not just 3 dimensional but 4 dimensional images to be displayed on the computer screen, software then being used to convey messages to the CNC machines which in turn produce exact replicas of the image displayed on the screen. By altering the image on the computer, one single CNC machine can produce an unlimited number of different parts, made from metal, wood, glass, and other materials. These machines make no errors, are controlled by highly trained CNC and CAD experts, and allow for the mass production of the very highest quality of precision engineered parts.