- Rapid Prototyping.
- Safety: Placement/ Removal/ and Viewing of things that may Harm or Destroy Life.
- Repetitive Manufacturing.
- Industrial Automation.
CNC'd devices of today include Drones, Autonomous Robots, SLS and Filament 3D-printers ,and a large number of different Cutting machines, Pick and Place Machines for building Circuits, even Vending machines are CNC'd, some of these machines do jobs humans should not and can not. Computers today are getting smaller and smaller, but still faster and faster making home hobby CNC projects more reasonably priced. An example of this miniaturisation is a micro-controller called Arduino this Re-Programmable Micro-Controller (PLC) can run a 3D-Printer with the help of your Laptop or Desktop PC.
The same Integrated Circuit that powers the Arduino also powers a micro sized Computer called the Raspberry PI; Intel even has something small, Intel competing with ARM now has a mini Computer called the Galilao, a 512MHz quad core Credit card sized computer, and yes others can be found.
Stunning advancements are taking
place every day because of SMD (Surface Mount Design) Electronic Components,
these Components make the
computers and controllers much smaller; the ideas
generated by driven people with problems, along with new technology like the
3D-Printer make new advancements available to more and more people everyday.
Not all machines are created equal, some interface in different ways, some Cut material, some Print material and create 3D-Objects, some Robotic-Arms and are used to assemble things, Pick and Place machines assemble PCB/PBA's (Printed-Circuit-Boards/ Printed Board Assemblies) by the thousands, even millions per day.
CNC is used widely today in manufacturing for many different reasons, the
following are some of the important fields where the manufacturing processes has
improved greatly and continues to improve today:
Machines that perform Drilling operations, Boring, Tapping, Reaming, and Counter tapping, are classed in this category, in addition to turning operations other Material Removal applications include Facing, Knurling, Threading, and Pocketing.
Grinding operations such as ID (Internal Diameter) Grinding and OD (Outside Diameter) are also carried out using Material Removal machines, Contour grinding was an operation that couldn't be done until CNC technology came into play.
An example of where a Material Removal Machine might be used can be found in the Sheet Metal industry where thin sheets of metal is used to produce Cabinets or even a Car Body; holes are drilled at specific locations (Removal of Material), the sheets are then bent and folded to fabricate various finished shapes with varying strengths.
The filing cabinet as noted is an example, in order to fabricate one a CNC aided machines cut sheets of thin steel using Water, Laser cutters, or Plasma cutters, then a Drill press is used for the holes, they are drilled very precisely in predetermined places, finally the sheet is bent to a specific shape and assembled using a Robotic Arm.
Electrical Discharge Machines (Plasma), Machines work by removing metal with
electricity, some even call the process "burning the metal" but
that's not the case, these machines come in two forms.
The Wood Working Industry:
The same way CNC
machines are being used in the metal removal industry they are also used in the
wood working industry, Drilling and Routing are the two most common CNC
operations that are being carried out in this industry.
There are wood working machines that are able to carry out any number of other operations by the use of ATC (Automatic Tool Change) devices, and machines with many axis.
There are various types of engraving machines that use CNC technology, Water jet CNC cutting machines that use Water Streams at very high pressure cuts material, some other CNC machines are used for the manufacture of electrical components, for example a Coil winders, Wire stripper, or advanced Pick and Place machines.
Research and development is pricy business, one off items are very expensive for
a wide range of reasons, from material costs being high from not buying in bulk,
to investing in tooling and the manufacture of some not so common if not never
invented parts, this is why people and companies are investing in, even building 3D-Printers.