CNC machining (Computer Numerical Control) covers 3D printing, drilling, boring, and lathes.

As with almost every manufacturing method these days, the world of CNC machining is rapidly changing as technology develops. CNC machining allows for unprecedented precision and accuracy for every single iteration of a design. 

cnc machining

CNC machining techniques have been used since the 1940s and have continually developed every since. New understandings of computers, materials, and more are allowing for rapid pace innovation in CNC innovation. Here’s an overview of some of the CNC news this year:

Trace-A-Matic Adds CNC Machining Capacity to Texas Facility– Recently, Trace-A-Matic Corporation, a major CNC manufacturer, installed two Toyoda FA1050S heavy-duty horizontal centers in at their Houston, TX location. This is a major move for the company, a sign of their growth and continuing commitment to CNC manufacturing development. 

Manufacturer dials into workforce training– Autocam Medical, a Kentwood-based contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, sends entry-level workers to attend a CNC Machinist Apprentice Program at Grand Rapids Community College to receive formal and thorough instruction in modern CNC manufacturing. Students will complete 728 hours of classroom instruction in 91 weeks to receive a journeyman certification, aiding them in their future career in this growing industry.  

Machining Design Associated Adds on to their 5-Axis CNC Machining Capabilities– The precision CNC manufacturer Machining Design Associated Ltd. completed a major expansion of their 5-axis machining capabilities in March 2019. Some of the company’s specialties include CNC lathing, milling, screw machining, and metal fabrication. This expansion represents their expanding capabilities and readiness to match developing machining industry trends. 

Positive Changes in the Precision CNC Machining World– Production Magazine, a professional resource for manufacturing news, has undergone many new changes this past spring, including a new editor. They have recently moved the location of their biennial show, the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTX) from Columbus, Ohio, to Cleveland, Ohio to better present their growing number of exhibitors. These efforts are part of their desire to remain one of the most useful and up-to-date resources for the manufacturing industry.

CNC machining debut for CLT wood building construction– SCM outlined its CNC machining center for the timber construction industry at the International Mass Timber Conference. Their state-of-the-art tech developments include Oikos X, a CNC machining center for manufacturing structural beams, X-lam/CLT wall panels, and insulating panels that uses a 6-axis machining head unit that requires no rotation or repositioning. This allows for more efficient work to be completed in a smaller space, all with high quality, precision, and speed.

Renishaw collaborates with University Dental Hospital of Wales to produce unique surgical implants– Renishaw, an international engineering company, has partnered with the Dental Hospital of Whales to produce custom surgical implants. These implants are designed specially for every patient and have posed a challenge for manufacturers for years. They require extreme precision  and, in the past, may have required patients’ bone to be trimmed, increasing risks. With new CNC technology, Renishaw is able to craft extremely precise surgical implants that improve the quality of life for patients and make surgery safer. 

Autodesk Invests in Factory_OS to Advance Modular Construction– Autodesk is one of the industry leaders in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. In July, they announced their investment in Factory_OS, a housing manufacturing company that is taking a new, industrial modular approach to building housing. By utilizing CNC machining and other manufacturing techniques on a single shop floor to build homes, Factory_OS hopes to reduce costs and maximize efficiency in a way never seen before. Partnering with Autodesk opens up new possibilities for this up-and-coming company and technology. 

Autodesk Collaborates With Volkswagen Group on Generative Design in Electric Showcase Vehicle– In July, Autodesk and Volkswagen revealed a retrofitted vintage VW Bus that featured some of the technology that Volkwagen believes will be important to future vehicle design. The car’s unique weight-saving and highly-efficient features were created using Autodesk’s fusion 360 software’s generative design, where an algorithm generates much of the design output based on set parameters. The result is a car that is highly unique and may point towards the future use of generative design in CNC manufacturing.

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