CNC routing is among several advanced machining applications operated by a computerized, automated process that controls the motion of tools for shaping, machining, cutting, or subtracting material used in manufacturing products. CNC is the acronym for Computer Numerical Control, a platform that controls machine tools via a computer program. CNC programming of machines offers advantages of computer precision over manual control. Live operators control input commands throughout the process.
CNC routers are one popular application for CNC machining platforms. As an advanced type of tooling method, CNC routers operate with CAM software programs, a visual programming tool used to create geometric code or simply, g-code, the CNC computer language that operates the CNC machines. G-code controls the basic movement, time, and direction of the tool heads of the machines.
CNC Routers have similar functions as handheld routers—they are tools used to cut various shapes into various materials for different purposes. Though similar to handheld routers, CNC routers are a more robust and versatile machine that can cut many more materials with precision. A CNC router can use computer numerical control to automate the route of the tool paths that enable the machine to function. With such capabilities, CNC routers offer much more effective cuts than manual controlled routers with a marked increase in productivity and efficiency.
Like other CNC machine applications, CNC routers can produce an exceptional variety of customized parts with precision. Once programmed, a single set of prompts can accomplish three-dimensional cutting tasks for a range of materials. Such ease of operation that automation provides results in increased production capacity, less waste, repeatability, and safety.
Ease of operation is a significant advantage of CNC routers.
CNC operators require computer training to implement routing programs and knowledge of the material, and a degree of creativity. A combination of technological advancements and computer processes has reduced the time and amount of labor required to produce finished parts and increased output. In turn, ease of operation has increased production capacity. Parts are produced with precision, increased efficiency, and speed at an exponential rate.
Because of the increase in the production speed and capacity, resource consumption is greatly reduced, which, economically and ecologically, is cost-effective and environmentally responsible. The chance of human error is negated by computerization of the operations, further saving on time and valuable resources. It also greatly contributes to repeatability—the ability to mass-produce precision parts without variation. Finally, because workers are removed from the operational areas of CNC routers, from the vicinity of sharp tool heads and dangerous components, CNC production environments are far safer for workers.
Applications for CNC routing support several industrial markets.
Chief among them are such manufacturing sectors as aerospace and defense, textile, automotive, HVAC systems, laundry, cryogenics, refrigeration, renewable energy, medical, lighting, technology, and electronic sectors.
Material selection is substantial and diverse.
Plastics like acrylic, polycarbonate, HDPE, LDPE, PVC, ABS, or nylon, and materials such as plywood, foams, fiberglass, cork, foil, Nomex, metals, and synthetic rubbers like silicone, neoprene, and urethane are used for CNC routing processes.
With the advent of CNC automated machines, production capability for manufacturers has radically increased. Traditional methods of routing simply cannot compete with CNC routers. Today, it is the dominant method of fabricating parts and components used for the assembly of goods and products, and it is also used to create one-offs and for repair and prototyping work.
At H. Loeb, high-quality CNC cutting and routing services are designed to meet our customers’ needs, large and small. We recognize that manufacturing and production goals vary. CNC routing services can produce a single prototype and provide low-to-high volume runs, small-to-large runs, and high volume, large scale production runs. Contact H. Loeb today for more information on our CNC routing services.