Prototypes are an important step in the manufacturing process. It is in this process that we will encounter computer numerical control or CNC prototyping. In CNC prototyping, a computer controller basically translates the design data and produces a 3D output of that data through a mechanical device.
This whole process has revolutionized the manufacturing process because previously, prototypes were difficult to produce because it consumed a lot of time, effort and cost to make. Now with CNC prototyping, complex 3D virtual designs by design engineers are easily translated actual 3D models with straight and curved lines easily replicated automatically. With CNC prototyping machines, producing prototypes are fast, easy and cost effective.
Now that CNC prototyping processes are available for most prototyping problems, the manufacturing process is greatly sped up. The savings in time and effort allow greater productivity by allowing design engineers to work on more with less time needed. This means a greater and faster turn over within a shorter amount of time. This of course then directly translates into the bottom line and profits for the business.
Sometimes, there is need for more than one CNC prototyping machine to produce the various components of a prototype. In this case, a series of CNC prototyping machines are grouped together and in most cases, these CNC prototyping machines are controlled by computer aided manufacturing or CAM software packages.
It is this CAM software package that aids the design engineer in deciding what types of tools, processes and paths in manufacturing are to be used. After this, the process becomes almost completely automated.
With continuous technological advancements in this area of CNC prototyping, it won’t be long before the whole process is made even easier and more convenient. Thanks to the aid of machines run by computers, there won’t be much need for too much human interference in the prototyping process. This in turn, speeds up the actual manufacturing process. Which in turn, makes things easier for everyone.