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A Guide to Precision CNC Machining

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining describes a set of material removal manufacturing techniques that use computer-guided tools to shape raw materials. Examples include CNC milling, which uses multi-axis with cutting tools to achieve desired part geometries, and an array of specialized tooling to create a variety of machined features (i.e. drilling, reaming, boring, and tapping).

Compared to traditional machining, CNC machining is both more efficient and more accurate, allowing manufacturers to create higher quality parts in less time. The process also allows for unparalleled precision, which is ideal for industries such as defense, medical, and electronics. Precision CNC milling accommodates the most exacting product specifications, consistently achieving tolerances as tight as ± 0.001 inch or better.

Types of CNC Precision Machining

CNC machining encompasses many specific processes, each with a specialized purpose:

Milling: Milling is sometimes used synonymously with machining, but they are not the same. So, what is CNC milling? CNC milling uses rotating cutting tools that travel along various axis to mill or cut away materials from the workpiece.
Turning: Like milling, turning uses a variety of cutting tools to remove material from the workpiece. The main distinction is that precision CNC turning processes rotate the workpiece around the axis of a spindle and move a turret of stationary cutting tools (non-rotating) across multiple axes to produce various shapes or features in the final product.
Drilling: CNC drilling makes precise cylindrical holes in a workpiece. It uses drill bits of various sizes and configurations to create the desired sizes.
Reaming: CNC reaming is used to make precision holes in a workpiece. Often used to modify drilled holes, CNC reaming improves hole tolerance and finish, or both. The process uses rotating cutting tools to enlarge existing holes until they meet feature specifications.
Boring: CNC boring is a process that is done in both milling and turning applications. It is a process that forms internal features, and it can be used in CNC turning to remove large amounts of material. Like reaming, boring is used to bring internal features to their final sizing while improving surface finishes.
Tapping: Tapping is performed in both CNC lathes and mills, using specialized cutters known as taps to create threaded holes for use with fasteners.
Slotting & Pocketing: Slotting and pocketing are processes that are primarily used to shape a workpiece’s internal profile.

CNC milling and turning are the most common processes, but a combination of these other machining techniques may be required to shape certain components. A skilled manufacturer will work with you to develop the most efficient and cost-effective machining plan for your project.

CNC Machining Advantages & Materials

The advantages of CNC machining extend to many diverse components, including both metal and nonmetal parts.

The team at Solutions Manufacturing, Inc. can help you identify the right materials for your CNC machining project.

Whether or not your application is listed here, the expert team at Solutions Manufacturing, Inc. can advise you on the most appropriate manufacturing technique for your project.

CNC Machining at Solutions Manufacturing, Inc.

CNC machining is one of the most versatile techniques available in modern manufacturing, offering unmatched precision, efficiency, and value. At Solutions Manufacturing, we do more than just machine workpieces—we offer value-added finishing services so that we can deliver parts ready for assembly. As an ISO 9001:2015 manufacturer, we use the latest precision CNC milling and turning equipment to produce machined components to our customers’ specifications.

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