We use Hurco 3-axis CNC machines, no manual milling for us. Our Hurcos provide the level of accuracy and control we need over our machining operations and improve efficiency 100x over manual milling. With spindle speeds of 12,000 rpm, machine time is limited which translates into lower costs to the consumer.
CNC Stands for “Computer Numeric Control”
CNC milling requires additional steps in the milling process over that of manual milling. First, the slide to be milled needs to be built in 3D CAD. This is a labor intensive process that requires accurately measuring (reverse engineering) the item to be milled. Second, the desired milling pattern (slide cuts, optics cuts, etc.) need to be engineered on the 3D CAD model with the same level of precision and accuracy. Third, a computer program (CNC code) needs to be written. The CNC code tells the CNC machine what cutting tools to use, the proper feeds and speeds of those cutting tools, and the X,Y positions of each slide cut being made. Fourth, the slide is placed in the CNC machine. Each cutting tool is calibrated so that the CNC machine knows where to position the cutting tool on the “Z” axis (height). Fifth, the CNC program is loaded and run.
The outcome of CNC milling is highly precise and reduces the risk of operator error significantly.
“The CNC preparation process is laborious but the results are glorious.”