Mechanical Knowledge

CNC Machine Definitive Guide: 11 different CNC Machine Type

In this article, we will discuss what is a CNC machine, how the CNC machine works, different types of CNC machine, and the advantages of CNC machine.

What is a CNC machine?

"CNC" stands for computer numerical control. A CNC machine is an electromechanical device that can control the movement of cutting tools through computer programming input.

CNC machine was first developed in the 1940s and have been used in manufacturing worldwide since then.

How does CNC machine work?

Industrial CNC machines usually have dedicated on-board controllers to perform programmed movements. The computer controller communicates with the drive assembly and the motor to move and control the axes of the CNC machine, while the feedback system monitors the speed and position to adjust as needed. The term “CNC” stands for computer numerical control. CNC machining is the process of making solid materials into parts with different shapes using a computer-driven machine tool

What are the types of CNC machines?

All CNC machines can work with most materials (such as wood, metal, fiberglass, foam and plastic). The following are some of the most common types of CNC machines:

• CNC lathe

• CNC milling machine

• CNC horizontal machining center

• CNC vertical machining center

• Five-axis CNC machining center

• CNC horizontal boring and milling machine

• CNC vertical boring and milling machine

• CNC Electronic Discharge Machine (EDM)

• CNC laser cutting machine

• CNC plasma cutting machine

• 3D printer

CNC Machine Type

1. CNC lathe: CNC Lathe clamps the workpiece through the clamping disc and rotate the workpiece to perform circular cutting. The material rotates on the spindle and presses against the grinding or engraving tool that forms the desired shape. Lathes are used to make symmetrical objects, such as spheres, cones or cylinders.

2. CNC milling machine: CNC moves the high-precision ball screw to the programmed precise coordinates. Milling CNC machines come in a variety of sizes and types and can operate on multiple axes.

3. CNC horizontal machining center: The CNC machining center works by clamping the fixed material and rotating the drill bit to contact the material. The horizontal machining center has a horizontally oriented spindle.

4. CNC vertical machining center: CNC vertical machining center has a vertically oriented spindle, so that the tool can adhere vertically downward and cut through the top of a piece of material. Vertical machining centers use rotating tools to remove material from the workpiece. This process is also commonly referred to as milling.

5. Five-axis CNC machining center: 5-axis CNC machining center can move cutting tools in five different directions. These tools can either move along the X, Y, and Z linear axes, or rotate on the A and B axes to contact the material from any direction.

6. CNC horizontal boring and milling cutter: CNC boring and milling machine punches (or punches) a piece of material. The table type is considered to be the most common and versatile type of boring and milling machines, but there are also planer and floor types. Horizontal boring and milling cutters drill holes horizontally.

7. CNC vertical boring and milling machine: vertical boring machines are also called vertical lathes, they punch holes in the vertical direction. These machines usually include a rotating horizontal table and a beam installed above the table.

8. CNC Electronic Discharge Machine (EDM): EDM has many names, such as spark corrosion, die sinking, spark machining, combustion, welding wire burning, etc. The EDM process is defined by performing a series of rapidly repeated current discharges between two electrodes to remove material from the workpiece. These electrodes are separated by a dielectric fluid that boosts the voltage. The main difference between welding wire and sinker EDM is that in sinker EDM, the material is immersed in the insulating liquid, while in the welding wire EDM, a single strand of brass wire is immersed and used to cut the workpiece.

9. CNC laser cutting machine: It refers to "laser cutting", which means that the cutting operation is performed by laser, and the operation code will be automatically sent to the machine to run, which is called CNC laser cutting machine.

10. CNC plasma cutting machine: The plasma cutting machine is defined as a method of accelerating the jet using thermal plasma through the reduction of conductive materials.

The CNC plasma cutting machine is defined as the cutting operation is completed by the computer digital control system

11. 3D printer: The 3D printer uses this program to tell it where to place a small amount of material to build the desired shape. 3D parts are built layer by layer using a laser to solidify liquid or energy as the layer grows.

The advantages of CNC machines:

The following are the advantages of having CNC machines:

1. The CNC machine provides higher precision and accuracy for the workpiece.

2. Fewer workers are needed, which helps save labor costs.

3. No highly skilled operators are required, and trained workers can also operate these CNC machines.

4. CNC Machine can generate complex designs with high precision in the shortest time.

5. The conversion of units (SI to English or SI to SI) can be easily completed by this machine.

6. It can easily diagnose its own faults

7. Reduce the change of settings over time.

8. CNC machines have higher production capacity.

9. It can run 24 hours a day.


In this article, we introduce what is a CNC machine, how the CNC machine works, CNC machine type, and the advantages of CNC machine.

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