CNC Machining vs Manual Machining
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CNC Machining vs Manual Machining

Views: 1370     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-05-30      Origin: Site


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Nowadays, CNC machining has been extremely useful in some industries, especially in manufacturing. Compared to manual machining, CNC machining has many positive points as well as some weakness. In this article, we aim to show you the differences between CNC machining and manual machining briefly from three aspects:

1. what is CNC machine?

2. is CNC machining better that manual machining?

3. when manual machining is better than CNC machining?


What is CNC machine?

CNC machining is the process that manufacturers use primarily to produce machined parts, products and items. CNC machine is a machine that use computer numerical control of machine tools such as lathes, milling machines or grinding machines. The programming of the CNC machine contains all the rigorous high-speed movements required to produce the object and can be customized in detail. As a way to make metal parts and plastic parts, CNC machining is becoming more and more popular because it allows manufacturers to produce complex shapes that are almost impossible to create manually. Many industries, especially manufacturers, are looking for the advantages of CNC machining, including metals and plastics and any processing they may need. The manufacturing industry has found that CNC machining is particularly useful because the industry requires large quantities of metal and plastic parts, often in complex shapes. The advantages of various CNC machines are that they have multiple axes that can be adjusted to difficult angles and help manage materials that are difficult to cut.


Is CNC machining better than manual machining?

  • CNC machining and conventional machining aim to achieve the same purpose, starting with a large piece of metal or plastic and forming it into a part. Speed, productivity and precision are some of the main advantages of CNC machining over traditional machining.

  • If you are looking for high yields that require thousands of pieces in a short time, CNC machines can handle your problem. They are also highly scalable for fast-growing businesses.

  • CNC machines are very precise and can be used to repeatedly measure multiple parts of the same thickness. They rely heavily on automated processing to eliminate human error.

  • Through the CNC, skilled employees write software to cut parts. Whereas, for traditional machining, skilled employees take all steps to set up and operate the machine.

  • The cost of manual machining is usually low for small batch projects. But CNC machining is often used for high volume machining and is not effective for smaller processes.

  • CNC machining uses computer-aided design (CAD) software to generate 2D or 3D models of the final assembly. The prototype image of the component is then entered into software that is operated by a computer to command the processing tool to produce the same project as the model. With no doubt, it could save more time.

  • There are many good points for manual processing, but it is still always affected by human factors. You may be familiar with the financial and cultural issues that may arise when you have a shortage of staff, people who are sick or on vacation, and who do not meet the expectations of the operator. CNC machining almost eliminates those kind of problems.

  • Although operators are involved in the operation of CNC machines, they are at a distance from sharp tools, while operators of traditional manual lathes, drills, punches and other tools are in direct contact with the machine.

  • Software based on G code will be automatically updated as needed, and CNC machines typically do not require much service other than replacing the cutting tool at appropriate intervals and doing some minor cleaning. Regular maintenance does not require professional services, which can save money.


Although CNC milling is the preferred method for most companies and some customers, there are some applications and situations that are best suited for manual machining, so it also has a fair share of benefits.

  • Unlike CNC milling machines, the cost of manual machines is not high. They don't need as many components or spaces to run, making them the first choice for a start-up business.

  • Manual machining is a good backup for CNC machining. When working with large projects on CNC machining, manual machining can be used to handle smaller projects.

  • To make a CNC lathe work, a lot of programming is required to get the machine to work properly. With manual machining, you don't have to worry about the time required to program or ensure the details are correct.


When manual machining is better than CNC Machining?

  • Your CNC machine doesn't have the right choice to compete with my manual machine.

  • The manual machine is cheaper and you cannot afford CNC machine.

  • CNC machines are busy making money in some production runs, so you go back to the old manual machine to do simple work or a second operation.


So far, we have mentioned several differences between CNC machining and manual machining by introduce what is CNC machining and the strong points of CNC and manual machining. Hope this short article could provide you a useful help. For more information, please contact us.


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