A complete guide to CNC machining services

What is CNC machining services and how does it work? Learn everything you need to know about it in this ‘FAQ-style’ guide.

CNC machines are electro-mechanical devices that recreate the job of machine shop tools but with the help of computer programming. First developed in the 1940s and 50s, CNC machining services have continued to evolve from decade to decade.

Having previously relied on a common telecommunication data storage technology called “punched tape” or “perforated paper tape”, CNC machines soon transitioned to analogue and then digital computer processing in the 50s/60s. With the first machine developed by a man called John Parsons.

Since then, the technology has been used by businesses in the UK looking to bring their one-off or large batch production project to life.

What does a CNC machine do?

The name CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and is a method that generates prototypes from a digital software file. In layman’s terms, CNC machining services enable you to turn a piece of material (usually wood or plastic) into a finished product or part by cutting and shaping it.

CNC cutting is very similar to other prototype development technology like FDM (3D printing), as it uses digital instructions from a Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) file.

The CNC machine will then use the computer design to operate machine tools, such as a lathe, mill or router to cut/shape the prototype parts.

What are the benefits of CNC machining services?

Using CNC machining services for cutting comes with a lot of benefits. For instance, being able to program computer devices to control machine tools automates and speeds up the process.

It also largely eradicates human errors, due to the technology taking all of the technical and labour intensive elements away from the process.

The CNC cutting process itself is more accurate too as the machinery is designed to be precise. This is particularly important when you’re dealing with small, yet integral, parts of a project.

What’s more, CNC machinery doesn’t require the use of multiple tools to make certain cuts. The technology we use at Midlands CNC combines them into units or cells which the machine can draw from. It allows the machines to move across the material in several different axes of motion – including laterally, longitudinally and even rotationally.

It means we don’t have to waste time flipping the materials to cut on different sides too, which removes human error and speeds things up. Above all, CNC machining services are repeatable. So, if you need a batch production of a part, this process is the perfect solution.

What materials can a CNC machine cut through?

In a nutshell, pretty much any kind of sheet material, apart from steel or extra thick aluminium. This includes MDF, plywood, acrylic, foam, thin aluminium, chipboard, di-bond and composite panel. We can even source the material if you need a hand.

What’s the CNC machining service approach?

Each company will adopt a different approach to a CNC cutting service. At Midlands CNC, we follow a strict framework to ensure we deliver quality results every time.

Our team of experts will create a concept and start the design process based on your initial idea and budget. Once we’ve developed a prototype and you’re happy with it, we’ll start the production process.

And hey presto, we’ll deliver a quality final project you’ll absolutely love. To see our CNC cutting services in action, take a look at the miniature aeroplane we designed and built.

Or for a quote on our CNC wood cutting and machining services UK, get in touch with us today.

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