The 4 Most Common Types of Precision CNC Machining

A Closest And Clear View Of CNC Machine
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: November 15, 2022
  • Updated On: December 7, 2023

A broad phrase for a range of machining applications is CNC machining. The term “CNC” alludes to the machine’s programmable feature, which enables the machine to carry out a variety of tasks with little to no human intervention.

CNC stands for “Computer Numerical Controlled.” The manufacturing of a component utilizing a CNC-controlled machine is known as CNC machining.

The phrase refers to several subtractive manufacturing techniques where the material is taken out of a stock workpiece or bar to create a final part. Four different types of CNC machines can carry out the five typical forms of CNC machining.

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1 – CNC Lathes and Turning Machines

The capacity to rotate (turn) materials while milling is a distinguishing feature of CNC lathes and turning machines. These machines feed their cutting tools around the revolving bar stock in a linear motion, removing material from the circumferential until the desired diameter (and feature) is obtained.

CNC Swiss lathes are a subset of CNC lathes (which are the type of machines Pioneer Service operates). With CNC Swiss lathes, the material bar rotates and enters the machine by sliding axially via a guide bushing (a holding mechanism).

As the tooling shapes the features of the item (leading to better/tighter tolerances), this offers considerably greater support for the material. Drilled holes, bores, broaches, reamed holes, slots, tapping, tapers, and threads are just a few of the internal and external features that CNC lathes and turning machines can add to the component.

2. CNC Milling Machines

The capacity of CNC milling machines to rotate cutting tools while retaining the material workpiece or block motionless is one of these machines’ distinguishing features. They are capable of creating a variety of shapes, such as face-milled features (thin, flat surfaces and cavities in the workpiece) and peripheral-milled features (deep cavities such as slots and threads).

The shapes and features of components made on CNC milling machines are typically square or rectangular.

3. CNC Laser Machines

To precisely cut, slice, or engrave objects, CNC laser machines use a pointed router with a highly concentrated laser beam. A cut is made in the material as a result of the laser heating it to the point where it melts or vaporizes. Usually, the material is in a sheet format, and a precise cut is made by moving the laser beam back and forth over the material.

Compared to traditional cutting machines (lathes, turning centers, mills), this approach can create a larger variety of designs and frequently results in cuts and/or edges that do not need additional finishing procedures.

4. CNC Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM)

A CNC electric discharge machine (EDM) shapes materials into the required shape using carefully regulated electrical sparks. It is also known as wire burning, dies sinking, spark machining, and spark erosion.

The machine is designed to emit an electrical discharge from the electrode wire that generates a great deal of heat, and a component is positioned underneath the electrode wire (up to 21,000 degrees Fahrenheit). To generate the desired shape or feature, the material is melted or washed away with liquid.

How to Choose A CNC Machine 

When choosing a CNC machine supplier, determine the quality of the product they’re offering. If you need to do extensive jobs, choose one with more horsepower. Hydraulic motors are more powerful, durable, and efficient than electric motors. 

If you’re into woodwork, use a machine to mill furniture parts for carving signs. Furthermore, the work capacity is critical because some CNC machines are intended for mass production.  

Some laser cutters, such as air compressors and auxiliary air tanks, need additional equipment. Moreover, ensure your workshop has enough space for your projects and equipment.  

Work with an Experienced Metal Fabricator 

Laser-cutting technology offers precise and intricate results for various materials. However, not all suppliers have the same experience and capabilities. Thus, you should choose your laser cutting company according to your needs. 

Check the metal fabricator’s online reviews before committing to a contract. Ensure that the company has good support to resolve concerns and issues promptly as they arise. Don’t hesitate to ask for a service guarantee and inquire about the company’s fee structure, project timelines, and portfolio.


You’re now knowledgeable about the various types of precision CNC machining. Carry on with your project by choosing the right machine that aligns with your requirements. Just ensure that you procure this equipment from a reputable supplier.

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.