CNC punching stands for Computer Numerically Controlled punching which is a common sheet metal manufacturing process.
CNC punch presses are electro-mechanical devices that use computer programming inputs to manipulate tools and generate patterns from a software file.
Common Questions About CNC Punching
How Does the CNC Programming Work?
The programming of the punch press relies on a few different factors. The Computer Aided Design (CAD) file is the desired pattern that is either presented in a 2D DXF or DWG file format, or a 3D format. This information is then used for the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) side of the cycle, to identify the best suited tooling and to create the flat sheet metal component. The CNC nest will aid in determining the most efficient layout for the size of the sheet metal.
The CNC punching machine will then be able to move the sheet metal to accurately position it under the punching ram, so the desired pattern can be punched and formed. Some machines only move in one or two axis whereas some have the ability move along the x, y and z axis.
What Can Be Created Using CNC Punching?
There are no limits to the materials that can be CNC machined; from stainless steel to brass, plastic to wood, they can all be punched. The thickness that can be machined ranges from 0.5mm to 6.0mm, so as long as the material falls within this range, it can be machined.
The choice of design and pattern also has no limits. You don’t have to stick to the regular circle or rectangle, designs can also be cut out to your specifications. CNC punching machines can utilise single hits, overlapping geometries and multiple different tools to produce the most complex shapes.
Advantages of CNC Punching
- Increased Productivity
Once a design has been chosen and created, it can be used over and over again – This repeatability increases productivity by removing technical and intensive manual processes.
- Speed and Accuracy
This automation and repeatability also makes this method fast, no matter how complex the design, the overall production time is reduced. Accuracy is not compromised either, in fact CNC machines are commonly used for the most precise and complicated shapes and machining.
CNC punching machines reduce the amount of waste that is produced whilst being fast and accurate. With an internal quality detector installed in many machines, when a deficiency is detected, the machine will stop punching to avoid any further wastage.
- Safe and Cost-Effective
As the waste is kept to a minimum, this saves money in the long run as no raw materials will be thrown away. Also, as the whole process is automated, the operator is kept safe providing a hazard-free environment.
What Other CNC Machines Are There?
Laser cutters, plasma cutters and EDM machines all utilise computer programming to produce prototypes. Our sales and production teams have skills including CNC milling and other CAD design, so contact us today to find out more and enquire about our sub contract manufacturing.