Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining was invented more than 50 years ago, and since then, its high capacity for precision and automation has helped create countless products.
CNC Machining performs the same function as traditional machining — metal cutting, drilling, milling, boring, grinding, and other metal forming and removal functions — but it uses a computer numerical control rather than manual control by a machinist.
CNC machining is versatile — and can be used with different materials, including metals, plastics, wood, glass, foam, and other composite materials. This versatility has helped make CNC machining a popular choice across industries, enabling designers and engineers to fabricate products with efficiency and precision.
Being lightweight and strong, plastics are considered as low cost replacements for metal parts. Plastics are versatile and serve most industrial applications. With the plethora of plastics available, the appropriate plastic can be selected for the properties desired.
Aluminum is highly regarded for its strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. It also exhibits good thermal and electrical conductivity.
Brass, Bronze, and Copper
Pure copper is a soft malleable metal with a very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Both brass and bronze are alloys of copper. Brass is a combination of copper and zinc, and bronze is mainly copper with tin. In general, brass is valued for its machinability and high strength retention. Bronze has low-friction properties with high resistance to corrosion. Brass, bronze and copper are all often selected for their durability, aesthetic appearance.
Arguably offering the widest variety of CNC machining materials, steel is available in stainless, alloy, tool and mild varieties. Generally speaking, steels have good mechanical properties and are easy to machine.
Although heavier than aluminum (but still lighter than steel), titanium is also known for its exceptional weight-to-strength ratio. Due to its hardness, many varieties of titanium are deemed difficult to machine.