Multiple tools are used to make the desired cuts. CNC Machines mostly combine these tools into cells that allow the machine to operate. While the more basic, low cost machines move along two different axis, the more advanced and expensive machines will move across 3: the x,y, and z-axis. Another benefit of the higher cost CNC machines is their ability to move rotationally around these axis; this manipulation allows for less user input, and a more fully automated system. This automation is what allows precise cuts that would otherwise be impossible without the aid of a machine.
Now, even after all of this there’s another important distinction that has to be made between CNC machines; Conventional, or Novel? Well, as with most things, the answer is entirely situational. Both require computer based software, both are more precise than their manual counterpart, and both are able to mass produce machine parts. However, novel machines are more geared towards specialisations, utilised for particular parts, and can use different mediums for the actual physical act of cutting.
Conventional technologies are thing like, drills, lathes, or milling machines – the most common CNC machine around. Novel technologies are the electrical/chemical counterpart, like laser cutting machines, oxygen-fuel cutting machines, plasma cutting machines, or even water-jet cutting machines.
In short, the difference lies in the fact that conventional tech is physical, tried, and tested. Whereas novel is technological, new, and specialised.
One of the best features of CNC Machines is also just how versatile they are. No matter the project, CNC Machines offers wide variety of materials, including: wood, fibreglass, foam, plastics, aluminium, copper, brass, steel, and titanium, to name a few.
Invariably, CNC machines are also going to be compared to 3D Printing due to both performing similar tasks. And – as we said previously – the differences are highly situational, taking into account things like cost, complexity, and economic factors. The biggest benefits of CNC machines lie in the sheer variety of materials that can be manipulated to create specific parts and pieces. Almost anything can be used here, whereas only certain materials have been adapted for 3D printing.