Machining is an act that encompasses a wide range of techniques and technologies. This process involves removal of unwanted material from a work piece to create a certain desired shape. However, machining can get very broad. It exists from the DIY procedures in homes to onsite machining processes in large companies. So if you want to start machining, whether as a hobby or business, here are a few types of machining you should know.
This kind of machining uses computer software to guide the machining tools in creating the desired effect on the work piece. The advantage is that this process is automated and when properly coded, the machine generates high uniform production.
These kind of technologies use heat to get a piece into its desired shape. You can have laser cutting machines that use a high-energy beam of light to effectively melt and vaporize metals. They are best used in cases where you are looking for high quality finishing and precise cutting.
Oxy-fuel cutting uses highly flammable gases mixed with oxygen to achieve the high temperatures needed to cut metals. You'll benefit from increased portability and won't need any electrical power sources for this.
Plasma cutting involves converting inert gases to plasma which elevates to extremely high temperatures. This plasma is then used on the work piece, mainly the ones that require a high precision due to its accuracy.
These kinds of machining techniques use electric or water supplies to erode off unwanted materials from the work piece. Water jet cutting is one example, and it uses a high pressure stream of water to shape materials. You can choose to add abrasive powder to boost the erosion properties of the water jet.
Spark machining uses electrical arcs to create complex cuts in materials. However, this method can only be used on materials that are good electrical conductors because they are the ones affected by the electric arc.
This kind of machining involves creating pieces with small cutting tolerances. When dealing with this kind of machining, watch out for factors like geometric accuracy, dampness and stiffness. All these determine the quality of the cut and ensure the machine you use can respond at rapid feed rates. Choosing a machine with motion control is an added advantage in precision cutting.
Those are the major types of machining to help you figure out which areas of specialty you will be working in.