CNC or Computer Numerical Control is a machining process that provides encoded instructions to a machine to move around the material to cut a precise part.
CNC machining provides additional capabilities beyond manual machining allowing for increased precision and complexity. Machines are capable of cutting a variety of rigid materials such as metals, woods, plastics and foams. From simple 2D contours to complex multi-surfacing, CNC machining is used in many prototyping scenarios including sketch models, volume studies, appearance prototypes, proof-of-concept, mold patterns, compression molds and engineering prototypes. CNC machining can produce a huge variety of high-tolerance parts from smaller than a penny up to five feet long for a single part.
CNC machining uses an encoded set of instructions to communicate coordinate values, speeds and feeds to a machine. Data can be entered manually at the machine interface, but in most cases a programmer will employ a CADCAM system to generate the machine code. CNC machines use a rotating spindle, laser or high-powered water jet as the machine moves around the material cutting the programmed part. To cut parts, a variety of materials on one of our shop’s three, four or five axis mills. A three-axis machine uses x, y and z coordinates to cut lines, arcs or curves. For more complex geometries, the five-axis mill is used to produce extremely precise parts.
For machine details, you can review our machine list and specifications.