Advantages and Disadvantages of CNC Machines

Thinking about creating your product? A CNC machine is probably one of the first things that come in mind. But just like any other device those machines also have their ups and downs, let’s dive right in:
Advantages
Working Hours
This one is pretty obvious – It is a machine! And because of it the machine can work non-stop for 24 hours straight! It’ll be quite surprising to see someone making the exact same product for 24 hours straight.

Consistency
Another comparison to humans – Even the most skilled artist or engineer can make a nearly perfect product, but when you inspect it closely you will notice small differences between units. But a machine can make the EXACT same thing over and over again without making a single mistake. If you want to mass produce anything a CNC machine will probably be a better choice the handmade production.
Ease of Use
If you want to create anything you would probably need to know how to do it right? Although it does take some skills to learn how to program and master a CNC machine, 9 times out of 10 it would be easier than learning how to do the exact same thing by hand. Let’s take a simple wrench – if you want to create it yourself you would need to know how to cut through the metal in the right shape, and how to mold it in the way fitting for the job. But when the creation process is automated, all you need to know is how the product needs to look like and the machine will do the rest!

Training
Even if you are not too sure about your skills with the CNC you can practice on it without spending any valuable resources. Software like CNCSimulator allow you to practice different CNC devices until you perfect your control over it.

Disadvantages
The Price
Although at some situations CNC machine usage might be cheaper than hand-crafting the machines themselves are usually more expensive the manual ones. A professional CNC machine can cost around 4000$ to 20000$ when manual usage machines cost much less. It is true that the price is slowly dropping but that is because the technology is becoming outdated, and is replaced by newer, more expensive machinery.

Sophistication
Sometimes you want to know exactly how something is made, but as CNC becomes more and more complex and smart you might not even know how your product is made! That also gives a lot of trouble when trying to fix a problem: You might encounter a malfunction with the smallest component there is and have no idea where it is located, at that point you would probably be better off buying an entirely new machine for 10000$.
The Bottom Line
Although expensive and hard to understand, using a CNC machine is still usually the easier and better option than creating something by hand, so the CNC machine gets a thumbs up from me!

Source: inc software

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