There are a few things that come our way that shake things up in the manufacturing world. There was the cotton gin and the decorating before it. There was Karl Benz’s harnessing of the combustion engine and Henry Ford’s innovation in assembly. All of those contributed to the world a great and wonderful piece of modern life. This day and age, we have new players. As much as we all tend to focus on the app and the software side, manufacturing is still king. Nothing gets made unless someone decides to physically make it. In between those two concepts is CNC.
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, and it’s going to have a huge impact on manufacturing as we know it. It’s the guide system for machines. It’s the specific impulses akin to our human neurotransmitters. Not convinced yet? Here are the 6 ways in which the CNC cutting machine is going to change the face of our world.
The way we see CNC now, it’s like a blueprint. It’s the master plan of where to cut and how given a piece of material. But with more and more advancements in complexity, that level of accuracy will go above and beyond what we currently think possible. The beauty of CNC machined parts is that they’re fine-tuned mathematically before any cutting. The adage of “measure twice, cut once” is expounded on and taken to a whole new level. It’s not only measured twice, it can be adjusted and readjusted an infinite amount of times before a single physical resource is used.
Because of this computer-mediated accuracy, your overall quality assurance plan is nothing short of iron-clad. It allows you to make a reproducible product with little to no variation. That’s quality precision that very few mechanical processes can promise. Of course, you need to think about the physical maintenance of the cutting unit. But that’s outside the CNC. The code itself is a fortune-saver in terms of the reliable manufacturing practice. There are few things other than this tech that can deliver the same way.
Personalization is huge. There is a budding industry of custom parts and products that have played niche roles in big markets. Things that you can’t get anywhere else. CNC machining services open that possibility to the masses. It cuts out the middleman and puts the power in your hands. If you’ve got a problem that needs solving with a custom-made part, CNC is the kind of service you need. This can be anything, from steel, treated wood, and even hard plastic molds. The possibilities are endless.
As we go forward into a more automated world, our means of manufacturing will continue shifting. Our current globalized landscape has it so that certain countries produce, and other countries consume. Local products, with the wide distribution of CNC, could be made with the same quality as export products. Places such as The Philippines and parts of Europe can ramp up their production, creating independent leverage within the region. The less reliance a nation has on another in terms of goods, the more they can build up certain sectors and ultimately choose which markets to appeal to locally, and which ones to import.
3D Printing and Home Projects
In the past decade, we saw a massive shift in how people make money. The Gig Economy boomed. It was the hoards of independent contractors that set the entire logistics, hospitality, and food business on its head. When we think of that as a precedent for things to come, manufacturing and 3D printing comes to mind. What we have now is a relatively good set of machines for 3D printing. They are okay in terms of how well they perform. But with CNC technology, the expansion of use is inevitable, and suppliers for raw materials will open up to individual buyers. We already see this with Alibaba’s business model. Imagine being able to build a modular refrigerator? Maybe your electric fan? Expansion of such tech inevitably moves toward either the practical or the comforting. CNC-mediated goods are no different.
If you need a custom part, who’s to say that somebody else won’t bump into the same problem and need the same solution? With access to white-label machining, you can market goods the way you want to, specifically through the niche you work in. With online tools and SEO products, you can combine all of them and be in business.
CNC manufacturing and goods have the potential to change how we make things. It’s the key link to a fully automated world. With increasing complexity and better manufacturing, we’ll be able to design, make, and market our stuff. That’s not world-changing, what is?