Monday, December 8, 2008

basic machining practice with cnc

Many forms of CNC machines are designed to enhance or replace what is currently being done with more conventional machines. The first goal of any CNC beginner should be to understand the basic machining practice that goes into using the CNC machine tool. The more the beginning CNC user knows about basic machining practice, the easier it will be to adapt to CNC.

Think of it this way. If you already know basic machining practice as it relates to the CNC machine you will be working with, you already know what it is you want the machine to do. It will be a relatively simple matter of learning how to tell the CNC machine what it is you want it to do (learning to program). This is why machinists make the best CNC programmers, operators, and setup personnel. Machinists already know what it is the machine will be doing. It will be a relatively simple matter of adapting what they already know to the CNC machine.

For example, a beginner to CNC turning centers should understand the basic machining practice related to turning operations like rough and finish turning, rough and finish boring, grooving, threading, and necking. Since this form of CNC machine can perform multiple operations in a single program (as many CNC machines can), the beginner should also know the basics of how to process workpieces machined by turning so a sequence of machining operations can be developed for workpieces to be machined.

This point cannot be overstressed. Trying to learn about a particular CNC machine without understanding the basic machining practice related to the machine would be like trying to learn how to fly an airplane without understanding the basics of aerodynamics and flight. Just as a beginning pilot will be in for a great number of problems without understanding aerodynamics, so is the beginning CNC user have difficulty learning how to utilize CNC equipment without an understanding of basic machining practice. 

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