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CNC Machining: What It Is and How It Works

What is CNC Machining?

CNC machining is the process of machining tools from an automated control of a computer. In this process, a code of specifications with specific instructions is entered into a computer by a manual operator.

CNC simply stands for Computer Numerical Control, try saying that ten times fast. CNC Machining is a long-used manufacturing process that replaces much human interaction and replaces it with automated programming and software. Although, live human interaction is needed to input controls that give the machine its specific movements and dimensional commands to shape and create its final production.

Types of CNC Machines

  1. CNC Router: Similar to a milling machine, CNC routers use a cutting tool that is programmed to specification on the depth, angle, and directions from the desired print. While milling machines are used for creating smaller and more intricate parts, CNC routers produce a final plastic component at a much larger scale, typically 4 feet by 8 feet in size. Routers work at a high operational speed and use rotational speed to make cuts on a larger workspace.

  2. CNC Lathe: This machine operates by holding the material in place and rapidly rotating it on a spindle. While the material is being spun, the machine uses its cutting tool to shape it to specifications. Lathes are a great option for parts that require a quick, repeatable, and symmetrical parts. This machine gives customers the option to create parts with a more cylindrical design.

  3. Vertical Milling Machine: The CNC Milling machine is a machine that allows the material to remain stationary while a cutting tool is lowered to shape it from programmed specifications. Specifications for this machine include depth, angle, and directions of the cutting tool. CNC milling machines move in an X-Y configuration, providing a clearance on the Z-axis allowing it to perform thick cuts. While 3-axis CNC milling machines are great for basic geographical shapes, there are also multi-axis CNC milling machines that allow rotational and diagonal cutting operations, such as arches.

CNC Machining with Gemini Plastics, Inc.

At Gemini Plastics, we offer precision CNC plastic routing and shaping to fabricate custom components for customers across a spectrum of industries and applications.

Our state-of-the-art equipment features 3 and 5 axes, CNC control, CAM programming, dual spindles, and automatic tool changers. Our experts create parts to exacting specifications from materials including acetal, nylon, PTFE, polyethylene, and polycarbonate, in sizes up to 324" (8,299.6mm) in length and up to 72" (1828.8mm) in width, maintaining tight tolerances of ± 0.001” throughout production. We also offer the design and manufacturing of vacuum-formed tooling and ancillary bonding assembly services.

Are you interested in learning more about our CNC Machining Services? Reach out to us through our contact form or email us at!



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