A Brief History of CNC Precision Machining

Precision machining has been around for more than 100 years, dating back to the industrial revolution that allowed manufacturers to produce extremely precise parts. This precision machining technology allowed the Victorians to manufacture sophisticated equipment, ships, and machines for farming. One of the key benefactors was the famous mechanical and civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel who designed docks, bridges, ships, and railways.Kindly visit CNC Precision Machining to find more information.

Although Brunel had to contend with faulty calipers and heavy machinery to create his masterpieces, the workplace of today’s precision machining is very different. Technology has changed to the point where the invention of computers, water cutters and lasers from the Victorian era makes a laboratory more like a Bond villain’s base of operations than an industrial plant.

Lasers are used both as incredibly accurate measuring devices as well as for cutting and shaping the metal. Laser cutters work by heating or melting the material until it forms the correct shape while water cutters direct a high-pressure jet that cuts without damaging the structure and leaving behind a high-quality finish.

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough has been computers that power the lasers. Precision machining of quality means following extremely precise and unique designs made by either CAD (computer-aided design) or CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) programs and CNC machines. The systems generate detailed 3D diagrams or drawings that are used to make items like vehicles, devices, winches or any other artifacts that the consumer needs. The method is more regulated and precise by using CNC machines, and thus helps to achieve better results when machining metals. It’s the use of these programs throughout the cycle these days that helps make machining so accurate and precise. As in the design stage and the machining stage computers are used throughout the process to construct extremely detailed and precise products and components, the former human error hazard is now eliminated.

The first introduction of CNC and modern precision machining shortly after the Second World War resulted from the need of the aviation industry to manufacture more precise and complex components. The ability to effectively and efficiently produce those pieces helped nations recover after the war’s devastation.

Over the years, the cost of precision machining has also decreased, now that designs can be stored on the computer, the cost of setting up the process is reduced allowing professional machine operators to manufacture products of high quality cheaply and efficiently. This means a long life ahead of precision machining technology as it continues to deliver large volumes of precision parts at low prices. It is likely that more and more items will be manufactured with this machinery, particularly computers, phones and tablets, rather than typically used plastics that are prone to breaking, e.g. MacBooks are milled from a solid aluminum block.