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The Evolution of CNC Machine

Date Added: March 22, 2014 11:47:46 AM

Computer Numerical Control, or CNC machines, have been around in some form since the 1940s, but have evolved to be much faster and efficient today with programs and parts easily obtained online at In the very beginning, there was a more rudimentary numerical control (NC) system from which today's CNC machines evolved.

Metal Working and Other Industries

CNC machines revolutionized the metal working industry, first with the use of punch-tape applications that programmed instructions for manufacturing components. This simplified process controlled items like textile looms and player pianos. The punch-tape process was the industry standard for a decade or more, until more advanced computerizations become possible. Following World War II, the aircraft industry, in seeking a way to produce more accurate and complex airplane parts, helped develop the CNC process we know today, which eventually led to machines, programs and parts being easily obtained at - folowing this link

Military Involvement

Although in the early years of CNC, the technology helped curb manufacturing costs, companies were still slow to use the new computerized methods for mass-production. In order to help promote more rapid adoption of CNC machines, the United States Army purchased 120 of the older version NC machines in the 1950s, and loaned them to various manufacturers, allowing them to try the machines out and become familiar with their functions. Toward the end of the 1950s, NC machines became much more widely accepted; however there still existed the lack of a universal computer language. Consequently most manufacturers had to develop their own languages for the programs they used.

Changes in the 1960s

Important strides were made in CNC machining in the 1960s, which eventually led to manufacturers being able to easily order machines and parts online through, and have them delivered to their doors. In the 60s, a standard programming language was developed. Known as G-code, the language greatly simplified manufacturing processes in a number of industries where CNC methods were being used. Also in the 60s, computer aided design, or CAD drawings replaced paper drawings, and mini computers were developed that made the operation of CNC machines more powerful and less expensive.

CNC in the 70s

As employment costs rose in the 1970s, CNC technology helped companies cut their operational costs by replacing older manual machines and hydraulic tracers that required considerable human intervention, with the CNC machines. Today the use of CNC machines have significantly reduced workplace injuries, sped up manufacturing processes and made end products more precise with fewer variations that are caused by human error. Keeping the machines running optimally is made easier by the quick and easy availability of parts at
CNC machines continue to evolve today with enhanced accessories readily available through The high-density integrated circuits used today can create 3D shapes in a wide array of designs and dimensions. Quality assurance features in the programming monitor the quality of the CNC machine's work letting the operator know if there is a deviation in the product or a dull tool that needs to be replaced.
From rudimentary punch-tape applications to the advanced computer programs used today, CNC machining has revolutionized the world of manufacturing. CNC machine operators can stay on top of their inventory of parts, fuses and accessories by using to place orders.