History Of CNC

How Long Has CNC Existed?

The first numerical control machines originated in the 1940s. Largely different from CNC equipment as we know it today, these early models included tools with motors attached that relied on punched tape, an old form or data storage.

By the ’60s, the invention of the minicomputer led to a drop in prices, which allowed CNC machines to flourish. Over the years, the affordability continued to rise and the accessibility broadened, making CNC machines popular among domestic toolmakers by the ’80s.

Today, as technology continues to develop, both hobbyists and large industrial operations utilize the efficiency of a CNC machine in a myriad of applications.

Definition

What Does CNC Mean?

The acronym “CNC” stands for “computer numerical control.”

A CNC machine is a computer-controlled device that can cut, carve and mill programmed designs from wood, MDF, plastics, foams, and metals.

In the process, a variety of tools are used, often with a wide range of cutting capabilities.

Application

How can CNC apply to you?

From Arts and design to machine parts, a CNC machine can be used for almost anything you want to cut from a wide variety of materials.

The most popular industries for CNC machines:

  • Art (33%)
  • Prototyping (25%)
  • Cabinetry & Furniture (17%)
  • Machine Parts (17%)
  • Signage (8%)
Bottany Cutout

"Anything you can draw, anything you want to put together,
it can cut"

Mark Gomez
CEO Botany Unlimited Design System

CNC ANAtomy

Components Of A CNC Machine

There are many types of CNC machines for different purposes;
these are the most common components on CNC machines

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Controller

Laguna utilizes cutting-edge CNC and motion control systems for a wide range of applications – from basic high-volume, high-repetition commodity production, to unique, highly complex parts that require the highest precision and advanced machining techniques. We have controls, software, motion controllers, drives, and motors to meet all machining needs and budgets.

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Gantry

Laguna CNCs provide up to 12 inches of clearance and construction with heavy-walled welded tubular steel that has been designed to achieve the highest cutting forces and vibration reduction.

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Spindle

HSD quick-change air-cooled and liquid-cooled milling motor spindles are world leaders in the machining of wood, aluminum, and plastics. The spindles, produced in their thousands, are characterized by their extremely high reliability and the wide range of powers and operating speeds available.

Controller

Laguna utilizes cutting-edge CNC and motion control systems for a wide range of applications - from basic high-volume, high-repetition commodity production, to unique, highly complex parts that require the highest precision and advanced machining techniques. We have controls, software, motion controllers, drives, and motors to meet all machining needs and budgets.

Vacuum Table

Laguna CNC machines offer both Hi-flow and Pod-ready vacuum tables that outperform the competition and provide more flexibility, allowing you to choose how best to hold your material.

Drive System

For accuracy and long-term durability, Laguna CNCs are equipped with helical racks and pinions on the x and y-axis. Helical rack and pinion drive systems are the industry standard on ALL high-end CNC machines. Don’t be fooled by the small majority of CNC manufacturers that still use antiquated ball screw technology on a moving gantry machine.

Spindle

HSD quick-change air-cooled and liquid-cooled milling motor spindles are world leaders in the machining of wood, aluminum, and plastics. The spindles, produced in their thousands, are characterized by their extremely high reliability and the wide range of powers and operating speeds available.

Gantry

Laguna CNCs provide up to 12 inches of clearance and construction with heavy-walled welded tubular steel that has been designed to achieve the highest cutting forces and vibration reduction.

CNC Efficiency

What makes CNC so efficient?

Maximizing resource usage with nested manufacturing

Nested manufacturing maximizes the number of parts that can be machined from a single piece of material by mathematically programming the cuts.

By arranging the cuts to minimize empty space, overall waste can be significantly reduced. Nested machining is the same concept as arranging cookie stamps on rolled out dough to make the most cookies from one roll.

This efficiency in material usage also promotes environmentally-responsible manufacturing.

CNC Machines

What types of cnc machines are there?

A variety of machines for a variety of uses

CNC Routers

  • The most common type of CNC machine
  • Router-based milling machines
  • Dynamic machines capable of drilling, pocketing, edging, 3D cutting and more
  • Capable of cutting at up to 1200 IPM (inches Per Minute) with rapid movements up to 3000 IPM
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CNC Turners

  • Highly precise cuts at a high velocity
  • Spinning you workpiece against a cutting tool
  • Cuts are made as the machine moves the drill bit laterally until it touches the workpiece

CNC Plasma Cutters

  • Combines compressed-air gas and electrical arcs
  • Primarily for cutting metals
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CNC CO2 Lasers & Fiber Lasers

  • Two types: CO2 and Fiber
  • Can cut, engrave and etch – Fiber is primarily for engraving on metal
  • Can be used for a variety of materials: wood, acrylic and leather

CNC Cost

How Much Do CNC Machines Cost?

Prices vary greatly depending on capabilities and size

Since prices vary according to capabilities and size, the best way to get pricing according to your needs would be to talk with a CNC specialist.

Most home-oriented CNC machines, like the IQ, are a few thousand dollars. High-end production, or “large industrial” CNC machines can be as much as $100,000, even over that, after all accessories.

The average price sold, though, is right around $15,000. Though this number is high, there are several ways to off-set this cost through financing, government funding, and very low operating costs per hour.

Interested in more information about a cnc?

Fill out the brief form to receive more information from a CNC Specialist. Laguna Tools will never sell or distribute your private information.

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