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The 5 Basic Types of CNC Machines

CNC machines have gained popularity in the tooling industry over the years, attracting hobbyists as well. CNC machines depend on computers instead of humans in performing tasks. With the use of software programs, breakout boards, drives, and actuators, these machines can produce a myriad of products. Here are different types of CNC machines.

1. Router

A CNC router can engrave plastic, metal, or wood and is a very common type of CNC machine. These are built exclusively to be operated by CNC technology, with no human interface apart from through the computer. The user doesn’t control the router, only inputs information into the computer.


2. Plasma

CNC plasma cutters cut 2 dimensional wood and metal and do not need as much power as CNC routers. They may have similar size and setup with routers but they fly above the table with a plasma torch instead of grinding around a spinning tool in material. These machines use the plasma torch to penetrate sheet metal or wood.



CNC laser cutters work like the plasma cutter but these use a laser to do the cutting. These laser cutters are often great for cutting metal, plastic, and wood. Each of these materials require a different strength of laser suitable for the material’s thickness and hardness.


4. 3D Printer

3D printers makes use of CNC technology and operate with identical technology as CNC lasers, however it performs additive machining as opposed to subtractive machining. Other previously mentioned machines require a solid piece of material and remove bits of it to produce a desired part. The opposite happens with 3D printing as it starts with a blank canvas and builds a part layer by layer.


5. Pick and Place

These CNC machines consist of numerous nozzles that pick up electrical components for electronic equipment and put them in the preferred location. Pick and Place CNC machines are frequently used in the construction of computers, tablets and mobile phones.


When in need of CNC equipment, it is best to seek out trusted professionals equipped with knowledge on the different types of CNC machines. The experts at N&S Flame Spray use state-of-the-art CNC machines in our operations and production of high-quality oilfield and pipeline machinery needs. Contact us today!