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Types of CNC Machines
Types of CNC Machines

Types of CNC Machines

Lathes, drills, mills, and other machining tools have been around for a long time. Added to these incredibly useful machines are 3D printers. What gives them the ability to make high-precision parts for scores of applications is the fact that they are controlled by computers. 

CNC Machines

CNC stands for computer numerical control. These machines would be used by say a CNC machining manufacturer Pittsburgh PA. Many industries require machined parts with extremely low tolerances and these machines provide that. There are a number of different types of machines that can be controlled by computers. Some of them include:

  • Lathes – A lathe spins a piece of metal and cuts it using various tools. A CNC lathe can form the piece into any size or shape, depending on the needs of the customer. Older lathes only had two axes, but the latest models have three.
  • Mills – Mills have 3-6 axes and can perform a variety of functions. They are able to cut facings and shoulders, as well as perform drilling can tapping. There are even some that can do turning like a lathe. Mills are versatile machines.
  • Punch Press – Punch presses punch out holes in wood, metal, or plastic according to a pattern they are programmed for. They can also cut thin materials that a lathe would not be suitable for.
  • Plasma Cutter –  A plasma cutter, as its name implies, cuts metal with a plasma torch. This type of tool blows compressed gas through a nozzle where it is ignited by an electrical arc. This heats the gas to a plasma state that can easily cut through any metal.

Machining tools have been around as long as there have been machines. With the advent of computers, CNC machines were developed and allow for far greater precision in machined parts.

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