Rapid Product Development – CNC

Design and Development - Comments Off - Posted on January, 28 at 8:08 pm

CNC_Machining_metalCNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machining is a subtractive process used to create both small and large parts, prototypes, and master patterns from a wide range of materials. Solid Concepts can machine virtually any engineering material including foam & tooling board, plastic, and metals. While SLA patterns are often selected for complex designs or when time is critical, CNC master patterns can offer increased accuracy and unlimited pattern life. CNC is ideal for situations where physical prototypes are needed for demanding functional tests, for short & long-run production parts using production materials, or when the physical size of the parts makes other prototyping and manufacturing methods cost prohibitive. Solid Concepts can create large parts with a single build envelope reaching 8’ x 10’ x 4’ and can break up complex designs into multiple components that can be accurately reassembled.

Unlike the layer additive processes previously discussed in the Solid Concepts University 101 series, CNC machining creates parts with a subtractive process. Starting with a large block of raw material, CNC machines “mill” away at the material block with a variety of cutting tools until the final product is revealed.

CNC machining begins when 3D CAD data is formatted and transferred to the CNC machine. The raw material block is then secured to a movable platform within the machine. Above the platform, a fast rotating “tool” is secured to a stationary spindle that cuts away the material as the platform moves below it. The platform movement in the X and Y plane and the tool movement in the Z plane are dictated by the CAD data. When cutting metal, a steady stream of oil is poured on the tool to act as a cooling agent and lubricant.

Although speed is not typically associated with CNC, Solid Concepts has developed a way to consistently deliver high-quality CNC service in a matter of days rather than weeks. Numerous finishing options are also available with CNC machining including Vapor Polishing, Painting, Anodizing, Chem Film, EMI/ RFI Shielding and other special coatings to assure production quality parts.

source: www.solidconcepts.com

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