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Benefits of CNC Prototyping
CNC (computer numerical control) prototyping is a comparatively new process in the machining world that allows for greater efficiency through higher levels of automation, and by having the machine and its computer controls perform all the work. While CNC prototyping machines are complicated and pricey, they almost instantly pay for themselves by decreasing the workload and controlling errors.
The first main advantage of CNC prototyping is that it improves automation, removing the need of an operator for all but a few parts of the work. CNC prototyping machines can be left to itself for hours or even days if needed, allowing operators to perform other tasks. This also allows a company to employ fewer operators, therefore saving on overhead expenses. Without an operator, safety is increased as no one will be holding the tool, and in the event of a potentially hazardous machining error, only the tool will suffer damage. CNC prototyping machines can also work considerably faster than human machinists, being stronger and able to continue without breaks. They can also be operated late at night, when most of the workers would have gone home, since machines do not need to be bothered about being sleepy or getting paid for overtime.
The second most significant benefit to CNC prototyping is that it produces the same exact result each and every time. Even the best human operator will have slight variations among finished results, while a CNC machine will come up with exactly the same result each time. This is extremely important in the modern generation of homogeneous and compatible parts, where one defective cut can make an entire machine totally unusable. All that is needed is for one program to be developed as well as installed into the machine. Then the machine can toil away at however many work pieces are needed, producing an exact replica down to thousandths of an inch each and every time.
The third substantial advantage to CNC prototyping is the flexibility offered by the machine. Even as humans are way more flexible and trainable compared to machines, a CNC machine can be entirely reprogrammed in a matter of hours to churn out a completely different product. It is therefore possible to return to old programs or install new programs each time a different product is needed. This gives CNC prototyping machines a large advantage over other machines, as they are quick to shift to producing an entirely different output without needing new part installations or an overhaul of key components. This also ensures that CNC prototyping machines will be able to keep up with customer demand, knowing how they can very quickly switch from producing a part in surplus to one that is lacking, if ever there is a need.
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