A CNC machine in your home workshop
Computer started making their way into factories approximately 40 years ago. This change was seen due to advent of science and technology. Computer numeric controlled or CNC machines, that ran off a stack of punch cards with intricate patterns of holes punched into them, ran huge milling machines lathes. Each of the machine cost more than a fair house. The technology used in CNC machine was fast but cumbersome.
But those were the old times, in present modern times for you as a home craftsman, it is now easily possible to afford your own CNC router, CNC mill, CNC lathe, CNC laser cutter or CNC plasma cutter. You can have your own CNC machine in your home workshop with only most basic PC computer, a couple of hundred dollars worth of software and a similar investment in hardware and electronics.
A CNC machine is not just for your home workshop, but it can be a great supplement to a hobby that you already have like- building model airplanes, model railroads, or wood working. A small CNC router can etch and drill printed circuit boards if you are into electronics. Also, a CNC machine can be a great way to help your kids (if you are a parent) with science fair projects, robotic projects or making arts or crafts projects.
CNC machines can cut or machine intricate detail, and do it very quickly. Everyonehas, at some point of their life admired some of those intricate wall hangings that are cut with the help of jig saw. A CNC router can do the same work in a fraction of time, where the craftsman spend literally hundreds of hours drilling through the work piece, detaching saw blade, threading the blade through a hole, reattaching the blade, making the cut and repeating the entire process again and again. A CNC router can do all this with much more accuracy.
Another advantage of CNC router is its versatility. It can not only make heavy cuts and do sculpting in 3 dimensions but you can also put swivel knife cutter into the route chuck and do vinyl sign graphics cutting. With a proper software, you can simply digitize(or “reverse engineer” a part) using a probe mounted in the router chuck to trace the contours of the part.
Hence, following benefits of CNC router can be said as follows-
- A CNC router can be the start of a part-time or even a full time business.
- As stated above, you can carve beautiful wooden signs, cut wooden toys or model airplane or railroad components.
- You can also carve original patterns, and make moulds from them, to produce figurines, plaques picture frames or other caste parts.
- CNC router can also make wooden clocks which you have admired since ages.
- You can also cut mechanical parts for prototypes, from wide range of materials including wood, plastics, aluminum and composite materials like carbon fiber laminate, or printed circuit board material.
- Last but not the least, CNC router can do everything which a craftsman can with more speed and accuracy.