CNC router or computer-numerical control machining is metal fabrication method industrial manufacturers use to produce various metal materials. These machines operate with engineered equipment such as shaping machines, vertical millers, center lathes, and routers. The many advantages of the CNC router pushed manufacturers to replace most operator-required devices. Metal fabricators and companies in various industries utilize these metal fabrication machines for their manufacturing applications. CNC machines provide efficient, precise, and practical production with ideal capacity for producing large quantities of products with a router, center lath, grinder, vertical miller, or shaping machine.

Can CNC Router Cut Metal?

One of the best advantages of the CNC router is that it can cut metal. Although these industrial machines are primarily designed to cut materials such as wood, plastic, and aluminum composite panels, they can also fabricate metal materials. This particular process is called CNC milling, which involves removing materials from a workpiece by utilizing rotary cutters such as the CNC router.

During the milling process, the CNC router utilizes the cutting tool in the direction of the tool’s rotation. Metal milling with these machines was introduced to replace classic and traditional machining, which was slower and labor-intensive.

CNC Router Applications and Industries

The financial and production advantages of the CNC router over traditional methods made them the most used devices in the metal fabrication industry. For instance, manual lathing requires a skilled technician, while the CNC machine only needs one experienced person to operate it.

CNC router and machining produces a vast range of metal items and products that have become a part of industrial businesses and the metal fabrication field. Most industries require precise, consistent, and complex fabrications. A few of these industries are as follows:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Dental
  • Electronics
  • Firearms
  • Hospitality
  • Metalwork
  • Decorative Metal Fence (building materials)
  • Cladding Systems
  • Transportation

Advantages of the CNC Router

Anyone who wants to plan for metal fabrication or production of metal parts should know the primary advantages of the CNC router. While the business type and metal products differ, the benefits of CNC machines are clear.

Here are the 12 advantages of a CNC router:

  1. Precision: CNC machines’ digital templates and autonomous milling eliminate human error and achieve high precision and accuracy. For maximum accuracy, modern manufacturers offer laser cutting services with CNC machines.
  2. Reliable Persistence: One of the advantages of the CNC router is that it works around the clock daily, on weekends, and even on holidays. Manufacturers stop the process only when they need maintenance or repair.
  3. Scalability and High Production: Once the specifications and design parameters are entered into the machine, the CNC router consistently executes tremendous quantities and provides flexible scalability.
  4. Capability: CNC routers create unbeatable outputs by manual machines when used with professional designing software. Even the most experienced engineers cannot do with traditional machines what advanced software can do with these industrial devices. CNC machines can produce products in any desirable size, texture, or shape.
  5. Less Labor: Automated CNC routers require fewer operators to operate the production process. Only one skilled operator can run several machines, and one experienced programmer can load them with the demanding designs. Traditional metal fabrication methods require at least one experienced operator per machine.
  6. Uniform Products and Parts: When manufacturers choose the advantages of CNC routers over traditional machines, the modern CNC machines produce exact output matches. Even the most experienced engineers that work with manual metal fabricators will have products that vary slightly.
  7. Lower Cost: The efficient results of CNC machines, due to their high speed, precision, specialization, and fewer labor hours, make the metal fabrication decrease the metal fabrication costs.
  8. Fewer Human Issues: Traditional and manual metal fabrication services are susceptible to the human element. For example, operators can get sick or go on vacation, which can cause issues for the manufacturing process. Thus, one of the advantages of a CNC router that makes it perfect for industrial production is that this machine eliminates almost all human issues.
  9. Safety: With practical production processes and consistent workpieces comes a safe environment. While operators are involved in CNC machining, the machine provides a safe distance from sharp tools.
  10. Design Retention: After loading a design into the CNC machining software and creating a perfect prototype, the program can retrieve the configuration to run and produces the object.
  11. Low Maintenance: Industrial CNC routers do not require much maintenance services other than changing or replacing implements at the proper interval and some simple cleaning.
  12. Versatility: The machine itself can produce any component designers imagine, making it the most versatile metal fabricating device.