- About CNC Wood Design Technology
- Types of CNC Machine
- Advantages of CNC Machines Over Conventional
- Future Scope of CNC Machines
About CNC Wood Design Technology
The art of woodworking originated as a means of making useful items out of wood. Over the centuries it gradually developed into a specialized craft, practiced mostly by men. Nowadays, woodworking has advanced to a higher level with the advent of CNC (computer numerical control) technology. What it basically means is using today’s computer technology and applying it to the craft of woodworking. Welcome to the world of CNC wood design!
CNC in Woodworking
CNC was once an unmentionable subject among woodworking hobbyists and professionals alike. However, it has become a major asset in the world of carpentry, woodwork and related fields. CNC makes it possible for wood craftsmen and women to produce amazingly sophisticated and complex designs to complement their work.
In simple terms, computer programs control and automate the workings of the various CNC machines. They can produce results from very simple to very complex. The computer files are programmed by the users themselves.
Some CNC woodworking machines have built-in design programs which allow the operators to make changes on the fly. Today, it’s not only furniture and millwork companies that are adopting the CNC technology; master craftsmen and amateurs are also enjoying the advantages.
Advantages of CNC in Woodworking
One of the main reasons why artisans adopt CNC methods into their craft is that the technology offers so many advantages and possibilities, without tarnishing the authenticity of their work. In fact, some of them cheerfully declare that the innovation only added to the uniqueness and fine quality of their projects. They don’t hesitate to add that their personal touches are still intact in their work, albeit accomplished in much less time than before.
In the past, precise-fitting assemblies such as inlays, bas-relief carvings, arches, rabbets and dados were difficult and time-consuming to produce using traditional woodworking tools. CNC technology now enables one to do the work speedily and efficiently.
Watch this video to see how a CNC program can transform a piece of wood into a beautifully-carved door!
CNC Templates and Versions
Ready-to-assemble furniture items are well-known for being very time-consuming in designing and getting the parts to fit together perfectly. However, with CNC, digital versions of the engineering and design are first tested before any actual cutting of material takes place.
One can quickly modify a design on the computer to adjust the fit. You can also make new shapes, sizes or versions of an existing design. You can even make a completely new version of the product.
CNC Starter Equipment
It’s difficult to advise specific CNC machines and tools because each person’s needs are different. Do some research on the Internet regarding the various types and models of CNC woodworking machines. You can also consult woodworking magazines, journals and experienced woodworkers for advice. Who knows, you might even decide to build your own CNC machine!
Decide what your requirements are, if you are a beginner. The equipment that you acquire should be able to satisfy your specific needs. If you are familiar with CNC wood design, you would know by now what you need for your projects.
Types of CNC Machine
CNC woodworking routers are machines that you can program to “cut” or shape wood into precise and specific sizes and shapes. These functions are controlled by CAD/CAM computer programs. Old-style woodworking routers are generally supervised by humans but CNC routers are fully automated.
A CNC router has a much bigger work area than a CNC mill. Also, the spindle of a CNC router spins much more rapidly than that of a milling machine. However, to cut hard materials such as steel, a CNC milling machine should be used.
CNC Milling Machines
If you want to cut hard materials such as titanium, heavy aluminum or steel, a CNC milling machine is the type of machine you should be looking for. You need a heavy, rigid, powerful machine to cut hard materials. A CNC router would not be rigid enough to handle such materials.
Some CNC milling machines have vertical-oriented cutting tools, others are horizontal-oriented. In CNC milling, both the tool and the material move. This arrangement allows for greater precision and superior quality in the finished products. It’s also possible to produce more complex items.
These are specialized machines that spin or rotate a piece of wood or other material in order that a specific finished product can be carved, or other various forms of work.
You can program a CNC lathe to perform various functions, such as woodturning, glass-working and metal-working.
CNC Laser Cutters
CNC laser cutters can be programmed to cut materials such as metals. Laser cutting generally produces a much finer and more precise cut than other mechanical cutting tools.
CNC Drilling Machines
These programmable and completely automated machines can drill holes into various types of material. They can be used wherever holes need to be drilled.
Advantages of CNC Machines Over Conventional
Improved productivity, accuracy and precision are major advantages of using CNC machines. The arrival of CNC technology in the woodworking industry has also resulted in a considerable decrease in the occurrence of mishaps that were prevalent in manual machining. Furthermore, the products produced by CN-controlled machinery are exact copies of each other.
The program ensures that the items come out the same every time. As long as there are no mechanical problems, there should be little or no need for human intervention.
Future Scope of CNC Machines
We now have different levels of CNC machines for a wide variety of uses. There are machines with standard controls that accept G code (the most widely used numerical-control programming language) to lathes that can cut at any angle. There are even sophisticated programs that can produce items in 3D.
What will be the next advancement in CNC wood design? It’s an exciting thought!