CNC technology is always advancing year by year. There will always be upgrades and changes in how you perform the CNC prototyping process, especially with how fast companies are trying to integrate new technology into the current manufacturing operations.
CNC prototyping can also get plenty of benefits from the advancements in technology that will be applied in the future. What can you expect from future advancements in CNC prototyping technology?
Here are the expected future advancements that can help improve the overall quality of CNC prototyping:
More Robotics Integration
CNC prototyping has been linked with robotics for quite a long time, but in the future, robotics should have more dominance in the overall process of machining operations. The use of robotics should become even more widespread in the prototype machining services around the world, and more complex robots should become even more apparent in these services.
The more robotics integration will also increase the efficiency of the prototype production by increasing the automation level and keeping the error level to a minimum. More human-like robots that use the AI technology might also be employed to help with operating the CNC equipment.
Increased Accuracy for Deep Internal Features
One of the drawbacks of CNC prototyping today is that you often can’t get the best accuracy when you perform the machining operations for deep internal features. These are the features for your prototype that you put inside the internal components, which are often out of reach by the CNC machining tools. Because it is out of reach, it’s getting more difficult to make accurate prototypes that carry these deep internal features.
In the future, it would be best to address this issue and increase the accuracy for deep internal features for the prototypes or product samples you are making. It can improve the overall quality of CNC prototyping considerably.
Better Precision for More Complex Design
Although CNC prototyping can offer the best accuracy for various types of prototypes you are making, the accuracy for complex prototype design might still be off the mark sometimes. So, when you create a prototype that uses a complex CAD design or design requirements, you will often need to decrease its accuracy level.
This is because if the complex design involves applying various types of intricate machining processes, it might be even more difficult to achieve precision when you have a complex design blueprint in your hand. So, another expected future advancement would be to improve the CNC prototyping accuracy for more complex prototype designs.
The Use of AR or Augmented Reality Technology to Train CNC Operators
Nowadays, training your CNC operators becomes very important to ensure that all your machining operations will go smoothly and without hassles. Incompetent CNC operators will only hurt your manufacturing company in the long run, as you don’t want to risk getting more product defects and operational problems down the line.
In the future, you can expect the use of AR (Augmented Reality) technology to train your CNC operators to learn their CNC operating skills. This technology will become a valuable addition for your manufacturing company, as it can help your new staff or workers learn about how to operate CNC machines by simulating these machines using the AR technology.
Better Waste Management
As a subtractive manufacturing process, CNC prototyping will leave a lot of waste materials in each production cycle that you perform. This can be problematic for the environment if you don’t manage your waste materials well in your manufacturing facility. Thus, waste management is crucial to help you with the success of your manufacturing while keeping the environment as healthy as possible.
The future advancement you can expect for CNC prototyping is in the aspect of waste management. A better waste management for today’s CNC manufacturing facility is needed to ensure that all waste materials get processed or recycled for the betterment of the environment.
More Efficient Power or Electricity Usage
With the various types of CNC machining equipment that you can use, your electricity or power bills can go through the roof sometimes. Not all of today’s CNC equipment or hardware uses the energy-efficient technology for all their machining operations. It means that sometimes, when your production cycles get higher, you will need to pay significantly more for the electricity or power bills.
Another future advancement you can expect, which can improve the overall quality of CNC prototyping, is the advancement in the power or electricity usage. More efficient power or electricity usage will allow you to complete high-volume productions with much lower electricity or power. This can in turn help you save a lot of money in running your production process, which also makes CNC prototyping even more affordable to use.
Increased Usage of Non-Metal Materials
CNC prototyping has been well-known as the rapid manufacturing process you can use to create prototypes or product samples using metal materials. You can use a wide range of metal materials for the CNC prototyping operations, starting from aluminum to titanium, but that is not all that CNC prototyping can do for you.
There’s also a wide range of non-metal materials you can use with CNC prototyping. For example, you can use plastics, ceramics, glass, wood, and other non-metal materials to create prototypes or product samples using the CNC technology. This is another advancement you can expect to improve CNC prototyping in the future, which is the increased usage of non-metal workpiece in this process.
Conclusion on CNC Prototyping
These expected future advancements can help improve the overall quality of CNC prototyping operations in most rapid prototyping services around the world. The implementation for all these advancements might take some time, but we will eventually get to the point where CNC prototyping can be done with the best efficiency and best accuracy regardless of your design complexity.
Also, these advancements can help keep the CNC prototyping process relevant in the modern manufacturing scene, especially when you consider the increasing popularity of 3D printing as a viable alternative to the CNC prototyping technology.
TEAM Rapid provides the state-of-the-art CNC prototyping and other rapid manufacturing services that are suitable for any industrial project. We can follow your design guidelines to produce the best prototypes or product samples that will meet your quality expectations.