A CNC production facility needs three pieces of equipment:
A Computer. The computer is used to draw the design.
CAD - Computer Aided Design software is used for this purpose. However, the design is only a picture and the CNC machine cannot use
this to manufacture the product. The computer software must also convert
the drawing into numbers (coordinates) that the CNC machine can use when
it starts to cut and shape the material.
A computer cannot be directly connected to a CNC machine. The computer
is connected to an interface. Modern CNC machines have a ‘built in’ or
integral interface, which appears part of the CNC machine. This circuit
converts the signals from the computer to a form that the CNC machine
understands. Older CNC machines have a separate ‘box’ called the
interface. The signals are in the form of digital signals when they are
sent to the CNC machine.
CNC (Computer Numerical
Control) Machine. The signals from the interface control the
motors on the CNC machine. The signals determine the way the vice moves.
The vice moves in three directions X, Y and Z. (Horizontally, vertically
and depth). The signals also control the speed of the cutting tool.
process of designing and making an item on the CNC machine can be split
into three aspects INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT. The diagram below explains this
Draw the systems diagram shown
above and explain what happens in the INPUT, PROCESS and OUTPUT