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You may know a thing or two about Computer Numerical Control (CNC). If not, don’t worry because you’ll soon be hearing a lot about this technology, given its global acceptance by a variety of tech-savvy manufacturers.
CNC enables machines to be supervised by easy-to-navigate applications, using nifty controls that integrate perfectly in a PC. A usual CNC machine can be used for milling, cutting, routing, and drilling of almost all materials, for whatever reason. It can also be used for projects that require precise, repeatable, and effective mechanical movements for longer periods.
The only limitations to CNC capability would be the users’ programming abilities and imaginations. As more and more people adopt this technology, it becomes rapidly beneficial, even for novice users—this acceptance is what continues to push its evolution.
So, how will this CNC evolution affect the way we work and live?
The Future of CNC Machine Technology
Any time access to industrial technology or equipment goes from specific use by big-name manufacturers to independent users, it grows in surprising ways.
A decade ago, you’d find general use of CNC machines, as well as other kinds of automation by high-end factories, fab shops, and government contractors across the world. You could say it was almost equivalent to the initial use of the Internet by the military complex.
Yet, once CNC hit PCs, its capabilities and uses seemed unlimited. When we all take hold of modern technology, we keep pushing it to the point where we end up shaping the entire world as we know it.
Similar to how the Internet has evolved, we’ll soon see the same level of impact on CNC technology. Millions of people have already started using the technology. It has provided the option to do things that you’d only see in sci-fi movies.
80 percent of aspect and mechanical parts today can be CNC milled within a matter of seconds by optimizing the tool paths and using advanced cutting tools. With automation set up, CNC milling can be super cost-effective for mass production in comparison to additive manufacturing in the majority of cases.
Because it doesn’t cost a fortune, we see several different uses of CNC that the originators themselves didn’t envision. Small organizations can now tinker with the technology that even five or six years ago would have been cost-prohibitive.
As more and more users “play” with the technology, a developed form of CNC will not only increase the manufacturing speeds but also give rise to an industry of convenience, accuracy, and efficiency for automation of tasks previously performed by hand.
Here are our predictions for the uses of CNC technology that will evolve in the upcoming years. We cannot guarantee these concepts will eventually come true. This is to help you understand the true potential of CNC and how it may impact our future.
Prototyping is crucial in the manufacturing world. It serves to avoid errors later on in the production process. It also helps to understand the product better.
That said, many companies skip the prototyping part or do not invest enough time and effort into it as it is considered time-consuming and costly.
This is where CNC technology comes into play. CNC machining makes prototyping a breeze, and it is affordable. Today, manufacturers are able to make mock-ups and get a better sense of the further steps in the process. You can click here to learn more about Rapid Prototyping with CNC machines.
The new technology makes manufacturing easier to attain and allows developing more extensive designs.
Precision Mechanics for Day-to-Day Convenience
CNC-based applications will not particularly build new objects. Instead, they will automate processes, which is something that was previously done by humans.
CNC paint spray machines or etching tools can be moved with precision humans cannot achieve. More and more industries today are making use of these applications. You can now draw something with a pen and paper and then have it painted or etched on a PC, or cut from vinyl to stick on your car’s window.
These technologies are also making their way into our homes. In the past few years, CNC was adopted by multiple cake decorators and egg printers at expenses that make customized processes accessible every day. CNC will soon allow us to automate and mechanically regulate everyday tasks, including preparing meals, styling hair, cleaning the house, all with the push of a button. That spells convenience.
CNC machining inspires sustainability in many different ways. The technology does not require any additional materials, thereby leaving as little waste as possible. Also, with CNC, the odds of making mistakes are fewer, saving from throwing parts and materials away and wasting precious production hours.
Moreover, CNC machining does not require a ton of additional parts (e.g., separate drills, sanders) as it has everything included in the core body.
As mentioned earlier, CNC will soon emerge to the point of full mobility, just like the Internet. Many affordable CNC tools are already being used at home for cutting metal, plastics, wood, etc. They fit seamlessly on a tabletop. You can even carry them around effortlessly.
Soon, we’ll be carrying a CNC machine in our pocket for drawing or writing, as well as tackling large projects, with tons of them working in harmony, like ants. We can see this idea in place in factories that are fully automated. However, like standard CNC, it’s only a matter of time before this nifty technology makes its way into our everyday use.
Creating and doing something mechanical, on-the-go, is likely to become more efficient and effortless. It would be safe to say that fully mobile CNC machines will soon be as powerful as regular CNC machines and perform completely similar or more advanced tasks.
All things considered, you cannot help but agree that when it comes to CNC, the possibilities are endless. CNC evolution will ultimately bring us into an environment where service robotics and instantaneous gadget creation will be a regular thing. It will change the way we think and see the world forever. What we know about mechanical labor now will soon emerge into something extraordinary.