Top 4 Mistakes in CNC Machining Explained

Top 4 Mistakes in CNC Machining Explained

CNC Machining

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a process that allows manufacturers to machine parts to the exact specifications of the CAD model. Think about it for a moment. CNC machining allows you to use machines in place of people to make things. That’s a pretty powerful concept. It has been around for decades and is one of the most advanced manufacturing techniques on the planet.

However, CNC machining is not a simple process where you just draw up a part and then push the button and wait for the machine to finish. The process of creating standard or custom CNC machined products is quite complex. It involves several steps, including drawing up the CAD drawing, setting up the toolpaths, running the program, monitoring the machine and doing all of this without mistakes. To succeed in custom CNC machining, one needs to be aware of the common mistakes that happen frequently. This post is thus intended to list the top mistakes that CNC machine shop usually commits during the machining process.

What are the Common Mistakes Happening During CNC Machining?

When it comes to making CNC machined products, there is a lot of room for errors. This is particularly true if the CNC machine operators are not fully educated and experienced in their trade. Here are some of the most common mistakes that happen in CNC machining:

  • Improper CAD program
  • Using too large of a cutter
  • Not setting the proper tool path parameters on the CNC machine
  • Not using the proper type of cutting fluid
  • Incorrect feed parameters
  • Incorrect positioning of the tool in relation to the material being worked on
  • Incorrect or missing setup codes

Besides the ones mentioned above, other common errors can be due to:

  1. Wrong Material Selection:
  2. A costly failure in custom CNC machining operation can result from the wrong choice of material. The accuracy of machining depends on proper material selection. The material used for CNC should be chosen according to their hardness, shape, roughness and other factors. It is easy to overlook the need for proper material usage while running a machining job especially if operators are new to machining, or haven’t done it in a while.

  3. Improper Tool Usage:
  4. For superior quality and precision-made CNC machined products , it is vital to use the right tool for the job. However, there are some common mistakes that CNC machinists make due to improper tool usage, which can compromise the quality of your work. Burn marks on work pieces, scratches, and edge distortion can happen if the tool is slow, dull, improperly positioned or does not have enough cooling liquid flow.

  5. Lack of Maintenance:
  6. Although CNC machines help to save time, several factors must be considered to ensure smooth machining operations. It is essential to know how to maintain CNC machines to get quality work done. A CNC machine has many parts that need to be maintained properly as recommended by the manufacturer. The most important part to maintain is the tooling which includes the cutters, end mills, drills and cutter bits. The importance of maintaining these tools cannot be undermined as they play a crucial role in the machining process. Many CNC machine shops face frequent downtime due to a lack of proper machine maintenance. Hence, it is critical to check the parts regularly and replace them to keep your machines operating at peak performance levels.

  7. Ignoring Safety Precautions:
  8. CNC machining is a mechanical process that requires accuracy, precision and patience. However, this does not mean that the operator should not pay heed to the safety procedures that needs to be followed while operating these machines. The machine tools are dangerous and a slight slip can lead to severe injuries or part damage.

Operating a CNC machine is an art. There is no denying that the best machinists are a rare breed. However, to get the most out of your CNC, you should know these common mistakes and avoid them at all costs. The importance of avoiding mistakes in custom CNC machining cannot be overestimated as it results in wastage of resources and time. This is why it is important for a CNC operator to understand all the steps involved in the process and ensure that there are no mistakes made at any point during the process.

Princeton Industrial Products, Inc. is a CNC machine shop committed to pay utmost attention to machining process. This ISO 9001:2015 certified company has a team of skilled and experienced CNC operators who work dedicatedly to provide precision machined CNC machined products to the customers’ specifications.


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