Precision Machining is a process to remove material from a workpiece during holding close tolerance finishes. The precision machine has many types, including milling, turning and electrical discharge machining. A precision machine today is generally controlled using a Computer Numerical Controls (CNC).
Precision machining contributes parts and pieces from space shuttle pencils. Almost all metal products use precision machining, as do many other materials such as plastic and wood. These machines are operated by specialized and trained machinists. In order for the cutting tool to do its job, it must be moved in directions specified to make the correct cut. This primary motion is called the “cutting speed.” The workpiece can also be moved, known as the secondary motion of “feed.” Together, these motions and the sharpness of the cutting tool allow the precision machine to operate.
Quality precision machining requires the ability to follow extremely specific blueprints made by CAD (computer aided design) or CAM (computer aided manufacturing) programs like AutoCAD and TurboCAD. The software can help produce the complex, 3-dimensional diagrams or outlines needed in order to manufacturer a tool, machine or object. These blueprints must be adhered to with great detail to ensure that a product retains its integrity. While most precision machining companies work with some form of CAD/CAM programs, they still work often with hand-drawn sketches in the initial phases of a design.
Precision machining is used on a number of materials including steel, bronze, graphite, glass and plastics to name a few. Depending on the size of the project and the materials to be used, various precision machining tools will be used. Any combination of lathes, milling machines, drill presses, saws and grinders, and even high-speed robotics may be used. The aerospace industry may use high velocity machining, while a woodwork tool-making industry might use photo-chemical etching and milling processes. The churning out of a run, or a specific quantity of any particular item, can number in the thousands, or be just a few. Precision machining often requires the programming of CNC devices which means they are computer numerically controlled. The CNC device allows for exact dimensions to be followed throughout the run of a product.