CNC machining is the term used for Computer Numerical Control in engineering. CNC machining is available to any company looking for precision engineering at a reasonable cost. The process is commonly used in manufacturing, and involves computer assisted machine tools. These tools then create a precise replica of the design, and are particularly favoured in areas such as grinding, gear making and creating internal IT pieces. The computer is not there to control the machine, but it is instructed on the design by computer software which already has a 3D image of the piece to be reproduced.
When an item is to be engineered through CNC machining, the computer program is fed the information which details the size, shape and measurements for the item. This program then turns that information into a code which is used by the CNC program, known as G-code, which allows the programmer to handle all of the controls of the machine, including location, feed rate and speed. The program tells the machine the exact position and velocity of each action, so that the final product is made exactly to the specifications of the 3D design.
CNC machining is commonly used for intricate work where human skills are not able to make the small movements required. The CNC system can be much more precisely calculated than with a manual system, and can also be reproduced as many times as is needed to make replicas of the item. Each item will be exactly the same, with no flaws or problems in the design. This means that when machines are put together, all of the parts will act in the same way, as they are identical. CNC is also used when constructing complicated 3D shapes and designs, for example in artwork or in aeronautics.