CNC Machining Process - Turning Design Into Finished Product

Published Thursday, October 14, 2021

Turning thoughts and designs into finished products requires an extensive process. The CNC machining process can be difficult to understand for those who aren’t familiar with this type of technology and its capabilities. To start off from the very beginning, what is CNC machining? Computer numerical control machining is a manufacturing process that requires pre-programming from computer software to direct the movement of other tools and machinery. CNC machining is used to control a number of complex machinery including grinders, lathes, cutters and mills. It allows for three-dimensional cutting tasks to be completed through a single set of prompts. Due to these capabilities, CNC machining has defied the limits of manual control but what does the actual process entail? Let’s continue to discuss in detail the overall CNC machining process and how designs get turned into actual structures.

From Designs to CNC Operations

To begin the CNC machining process, 2D vector or 3D solid part CAD designs have to be created first. Whether that means getting your designs created in-house or by an external CAD/CAM design company. A computer-aided design (CAD) software is used by designers and manufacturers to produce a model or a rendering of parts along with important technical specifications to produce the structure. However, keep in mind designs are of course restricted by certain CNC machine and tool capabilities. Different tools will have different limitations.

These designs once created, are then converted to a CNC-compatible file format like STEP or IGES. The compatible file format will run through a CAM program that extracts the part geometry. The CAM program will then generate a digital code that will control the CNC machine to manipulate the tools into producing the custom-designed structure or part. As soon as the CNC program is generated, the operator loads the programming into the CNC machine.

Operating the CNC Machine

Before the operator starts the program, the CNC machine has to be prepped for operations. That could mean placing the parts directly into the machine or attaching the required tools to complete the task. Once the machine is set up, the operator will run the CNC program. CNC machines use multiple programming languages, but the most common language is general or geometric code. It pretty much controls where, when, and how the tools move from one point to another. The program activates the machine commands while essentially giving instructions to dictate the movement of the machine. Initiating the program will indicate the start of the machining process and will guide the CNC machine throughout the duration of the operation to produce the custom-designed structure.

CNC Machining Needs – Contact VeriForm

If you’re looking for someone to meet your CNC machining needs, find a reputable and experienced company. CNC machining can be a difficult and delicate process that should only be handled by trained professionals. At VeriForm, not only do we have experienced professionals with at least 20 years under our belts, but we also get the job done right the first time while focusing on energy conservation and waste reduction. VeriForm is currently the greenest fabricating company in North America. We have state-of-the-art technology including 25-foot-long CNC capabilities specialized in drilling, tapping, countersinking, boring and more. We’ll work with you to ensure we deliver results that surpass your expectations. If you need fast and reliable metal fabrication work done, contact VeriForm today to learn more.