5 Myths about CNC machining you need to understand

August 14, 2017

Every profession has its myths and misconceptions. CNC machining is no different in that regard.

What are some of the most common myths? Find out below:

CNC Machining is Easy

This one has a little truth. CNC machining can certainly be easy. In fact, the whole concept behind CNC is to make machining parts easier, faster, and more consistently accurate.

But at the same time, it’s infinitely complicated. You can always learn more. Programming, setting up your workspace, and making adjustments can almost always be improved – even if you save just a few seconds. The benefits are faster production and improved product quality.

Anybody Can Run CNC Machinery

This one again is partially true. While you can’t grab the first random person on the street and turn them into a CNC machinist, CNC machining does require only minimal training to get started in some cases. But there’s many types of production that require much more than just basic skills.

Loading workpieces, activating and monitoring cycles, measuring workpieces, evaluating workpieces, and recognizing and replacing dull tools takes skill. Experienced operators make a huge difference in any CNC machine shop.

You Can Run the Same Job Without Thinking About It

CNC machining isn’t totally automated. It’s not like your employees can just push a button and watch the machine do all the work.

CNC does make consistency in product speed and quality much easier. But it’s not perfect, and it does require some thought. Your employees do need to analyze the workpiece setup and process prior to executing the job to make sure the part gets produced in almost exactly the same way.

You Can Easily Predict Job Completion Time

If everything goes smoothly and you have an experienced CNC machinist, you can predict, with a fair amount of accuracy, when your job will complete.

But, you also need to account for:

  • How long your cutting tools will last
  • How long it will take to replace dull tools
  • The operator’s ability to keep up with the machine

Predicting repeating jobs can be done consistently. But with new jobs, this can be next to impossible.

G-Code Doesn’t Get Used Anymore

Nearly every CNC machine uses a CAM system. But, every CAM system outputs the G-Code your CNC machinery needs to run. CNC machinists have an easier time modifying G-Code than changing the CAM system.

Code still matters a ton. And the skill and experience of the CNC machinist matters even more.

When you understand those five myths of CNC machining, you’ll realize how valuable it is to have an employee skilled in CNC.

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