Few breakthroughs in manufacturing have proven as world-changing as computer numerical control, or CNC. By automating cutting processes and removing manual controls from the equation, we can shape materials with unmatched precision. Of course, moving parts aren’t flaw-free, and even a technological marvel like CNC technology can suffer from worn-out parts or mistakes in the instructions. If you’re a first-time CNC operator in a professional setting or a beginning CNC hobbyist, you should know what can go wrong with CNC milling processes and what to do when a complication arises. As a CNC machine user, you should also know where to purchase used quality equipment. At Revelation Machinery, they offer top-of-the line CNC milling machines from leading brands like Haas, Cincinnati, Hurco, and more and you can find their listing here.
Worn-Out Cutting Tool
All blades need sharpening. Cutting through common CNC materials such as plastic, wood, or metal can take its toll on the integrity of a cutting tool over time. As a cutting tool incurs damage, it can harm the material you’re working with, leaving unwanted cutting marks and dangerous rough edges. When you start to see these scratches on your finished product, you should recognize that your tool needs sharpening or replacement.
Malfunctioning Spindle Drive
If your computer system is the brain behind CNC, its spindle is the muscle. The spindle motor powers the cutting tool at speeds that surpass 10,000 RPM, and the spindle drive manipulates the voltage and frequency of an electric signal to manipulate that motor. If your drive fails, your CNC mill will come to a screeching halt. Fortunately, it won’t take too much to get it up and running again—dedicated repair services can repair a faulty spindle drive with quick turnarounds.
Turning machining operations over from human hands to electronics isn’t foolproof. Glitches and errors in computer programming will manifest themselves physically—garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. Materials, time, and equipment are expensive, so you want to keep your garbage to a minimum. Make sure that you’re skilled in the programming side of CNC before going forward to minimize what can go wrong with CNC milling.