CNC Precision Turning In Injection Mold Making-Awesome!
A Plastic mold company & A plastic molding Company that have included CNC precision turning in their arsenal of precision machine tools have a real advantage over the competition. Unless your volume is very low, or you just do not use many round components, it is well worth your time to investigate this powerful tool.
My first experience with CNC precision completely amazed me. I was in the process of making a core for a lens for a flashing police light; the kind you don’t like to see in your rear-view mirror!
CNC precision turning is very fast
I was having a difficult time figuring out how to turn all the angular facets on the core and our wizard CNC machinist said he could probably do it in the small CNC lathe. At the time, the only programming was done on a very primitive “Tandy” gizmo from a local Radio Shack.
To my amazement, he returned about two hours later and it was finished. Even the threads were done! Plus, the surface finish was so good that it required very little polishing. I was impressed, to say the least.
Getting the right CNC lathe tooling is critical to achieving the results you expect. I have worked in a shop where the CNC lathe operator was limited to almost no tooling and he had to spend many, many hours tweaking in his projects. He was incredibly skilled, but very slow! It seems so odd to spend a great deal of money on a high-end machine and skimp on the essential tooling.Since that time I have watched the evolution of the CNC lathe to include milling operations and C axis machining. To me, live tooling is incredibly powerful. Plus, now that hard-machining is becoming commonplace and the tooling is improving all the time, another avenue has opened up to improve mold making productivity. This is a great source of information about hard-turning.
In many ways the CNC lathe is a lot like WEDM in mold making applications. Many plastic mold factory shops are reluctant to invest in them because they seem hard to justify. However, those after a short time of using it, the applications just seem endless. WEDM was once considered useless for mold making because to the “blind” cavities required. As we well know, WEDM is indespensable in any modern toolmaking shop.
EDM and CNC Precision Turning
Imagine how much time and effort could be saved if you could manufacture all those round electrodes on a CNC lathe! The hours spent indicating a spin fixture for the surface grinder, the manual labor required to produce multiple copper and graphite electrodes could all be minimized by using this amazing machine tool.
With the proper EDM tooling, you can easily maintain the close tolerances required for precision EDM electrode manufacturing. Your toolmakers can be put to better use as well! Plus, the programs can be saved, or easily re-written, in the event that you need to make them again, later on.