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Why You Should Use CNC Machining for Medical Products

CNC machining is a very versatile manufacturing process. It can produce many types of parts, use different materials and produce high volume. And when it comes to manufacturing medical products, CNC machining is fast and inexpensive. Read on to discover all of the benefits of using CNC machining for making medical products.

No Fixed Tooling

Using a mold tool can take an additional 3-4 weeks compared to CNC machining. With a mold tool, you not only have to make the mold, but samples have to be approved and molding parameters have to be optimized. This just adds time and more costs to the process whether it’s a small or big production run. This includes single one-off parts, too. With CNC machining, there is less investment and fast turnaround.

No Volume Limits

Once a digital CAD file has been created, the cutting program gets generated fast. This coding program can be easily utilized to make both multiple parts or a single part. Just push the button. This ability gives an upper edge when making one-off custom parts or single parts. That’s why CNC machining is often used for things like prosthetics and specialized medical parts. Other processes require a minimum order volume, which makes some projects undoable.

Works With Many Materials

CNC machining can work with many different materials, including tools, rigid materials and end-use parts. Other materials that it can work with include engineering-grade plastics, aluminum stainless steel and titanium.

Fast

CNC machining is fast. Going from a digital CAD file to the finished product is quick. It may only take a few hours. This works well in situations where supplies might be needed at a moment’s notice. This has been done for personal protective equipment due to corona. The demand was able to be met with CNC machining.

Portable and Local

Many big industrial machines take up a lot of floor space when manufacturing. CNC machines are smaller and can actually fit right on top of a desktop. Their smaller size and minimum power requirements made it perfect for rural areas and emergencies. CNC machines are also very capable of producing fixtures, simple parts, appliances and other components.

Tight Tolerance

Most advanced medical devices need very tight tolerances. This can easily be accomplished on CNC machines. Its surface finishes need little post-processing. In this manner, CNC machines save both time and money. Medical products must be fit for purpose. Any deviation can result in disaster. CNC machining reduces the risk.

Portable and Flexible

Digital CAD files are both portable and flexible. These attributes allow manufacturing pros, medical specialists and product designers to move digital programs from one location to another location fast and without any problems. This ability delivers specialty solutions and is not dependent on a geographical location.

As you can see, there are many, many benefits of CNC machining for the manufacturing of medical products. And that’s why it’s the first choice for many companies who make medical products. Time is money when it comes to business operations, and CNC machining is a great choice for medical product manufacturers.

 

3 Benefits of Utilizing CNC Machining For Your Production Process

The modern factory was first invented, or at least credited, to the work of Richard Arkwright. Arkwright patented a water frame in 1769 before building the Cromford Mill, one of the first prototype manufacturing facilities as well as the first successful cotton-spinning factory on the planet.

Nearly 200 years after Arkwright would help to pioneer manufacturing warehouses, the world would be introduced to Computer Numerical Control Machining, otherwise known as CNC Machining.

Understanding CNC Machining

CNC Machining is a popular form of manufacturing relied upon for quick, accurate, and high-level material production. The process of CNC machining was brought to fruition by Richard Kegg in 1952 during a project in collaboration with MIT.  Kegg and his team at MIT would work in concert to develop the Cincinnati Milacron Hydrotel, the first of many prominent pieces of CNC Machining technology. Now, decades later, that same model is utilized by manufacturing facilities around the world

CNC Machining can be accomplished in several different ways. With that being said, there are three core types of CNC machining to be made aware of.

  1. CNC Milling – This form of machining was brought to life by Richard Kegg. CNC Milling is a process that involves mounting and mixing with rotational cutting tools. Materials are cut and removed by the rotating tools to craft many shapes at a rapid pace.
  2. CNC Turning – CNC turning is a manufacturing process that involves bars of material held in place by a chuck. This material is turned by the chuck in a rotation whereupon it is fed into the tool until the desired shape has been crafted.
  3. EDM   – Also known as Electrical Discharge Machining, EDM is a type of metal fabrication process that leans on electrical sparks to shape the targeted material. Typically, this involves voltage being released between two electrodes until an electric arc is produced.

3 Key Benefits to CNC Machining

If you are looking for a reason to add CNC machining processes to your manufacturing facility, you can take your pick. CNC machining took hold in the 50s and still exists to this day. There are a variety of reasons that warehouses are continuing to turn to professional CNC machining solutions, including the following three reasons.

  1. Highly Efficient – CNC Machining requires fewer steps in the production process, thus allowing for a quick turnaround on all production processing.
  2. Advanced Software – Put control into the hands of your computer. CNC machines use CAD software that provides a multitude of functions and options that other processes cannot match.
  3. Automated System – Fully automated systems mean that your operators don’t have to expose themselves to the job. Step back and watch over the machine from a safe distance as the process handles itself.

Working with CNC machining processes allows individuals to manipulate a variety of common and popular materials including aluminum, stainless steel, and brass among others.

 

Pros and Cons of Plastic vs. Metal Fabrication

Fabrication entails the process that includes the cut or shape of a material for an end product. Before deciding whether to fabricate using metal or plastic for a job, it’s wise to know the pros and cons of each material. Both materials entail cutting, forming, machining and welding. But, choosing the right fabrication is important for your project. Here’s an outline of some of the pros and cons of both plastic fabrication and metal fabrication to help you in your decision process.

The Pros of Plastic Fabrication

Whether you use nylon, plexiglass or acrylic plastic, there are several advantages. Plastics have a low melting point and are very malleable. With ease, it can be fashioned into complex or simple geometries. It can also be colored before the fabrication process. This eliminates the need for post-treatment methods. Plus, plastic fabrication is fast. It entails quick turnover rates and fast cycle times. Generally, plastic weight less than metals, too. Plastics have a strong chemical resistance. They are less reactive to rusting and oxidation.

The Cons of Plastic Fabrication

One of the downsides to plastic fabrication is that it’s limited to the fabrication of certain parts. It also has limited wear resistance, since it’s vulnerable to acidity and temperatures. Plastic also has a structural weakness. Many plastics are not strong enough for items that require strength, such as heavy equipment.

The Pros of Metal Fabrication

The common metals used for fabrication are steel, copper, iron, aluminum, iron and nickel. Compared to plastics, metals have high heat resistance, more strength, versatility and cost-effectiveness. Generally, metals have a higher melting point and tend to be stronger and more durable than plastics. Plus, they can be fabrication using a wide variety of processes like chipping, casting, welding, soldering and deep drawing.

The Cons of Metal Fabrication

Although metals have advantages to plastics, there is a downside. Metal fabrication comes with high start-up fees, design limitations and secondary operations. Metal tooling costs are more expensive than plastic tooling costs. Due to viscosity, some metals are not well suited for complex shapes. Metal fabrication is likely to need post-fabrication processes. This includes deburring, painting and finishing. All of these processes tally up to more time and money.

You really need to determine the pros and cons of each and decide which is best for your project. Likely, your decision will be based upon available budget, product purpose and product appearance. Just make sure you know all about both types of fabrication before making your decision.

After you decide which is best, then it’s time to choose a forming process. Common applications for forming processes include lathing, drilling, honing, grinding and milling. It’s up to you to determine which is the appropriate forming process.