By: Patrick Szczecina
The CNC machine (Computer Numerical Control) is a way to manufacture components that are made for all disciplines. The CNC machine acts in 3 axis system, XYZ (Some instances more are available, Adjustable for rotation) by cutting (milling) excess material out of the object. A Bit is used to mill out the material, and these can range from 1/32” to 1” Bits all based on how clean the cut needs to be, how quick, and how much material to be cut out. The main materials used for on the CNC are foam (easy site cuts, quick), Wood (longer cut time) and metal (longest cut time). CNC is used mainly in Industrial Design where manufacturing parts and prototyping items are needed. The machine allows for prototyping small or large scale objects based on the size of the bed and the item to be milled. When talking about Architecture, the CNC is used for site milling, models and sculptures. The way that a site is used is with a 3D file of a site (Almost any Architecture program can be used but needs to be in .STL format). The user then inputs into the CNC program the file, material, type of Bit to use to mill and speed of rotation. Then the CNC runs and cuts based on the topography changes put into the program (From STL file), this allows for smooth transition between topography rather than the stacking method of material. Another use for CNC is that of models or sculptures where the bed is used in vertical or horizontal where the bit rotates around the material and eats away at the material. This technique allows for precise cuts where the bit drills only at the spots where it needs to be cut. In this method multiple passes may be needed to get the desired openings and angles to be cut out. CNC also allows the creation of customizable furniture such as chairs and tables, these would take more time due to the facts that it would have to be cut out of a large block. A resemblance to the CNC machines is Ice Sculpture Carvings, where the artists chisels away the ice to create a sculpture, however the CNC is machine operated allowing for quicker completion time and more accuracy. A CNC machine has multiple uses, however the most beneficial use for it is to cut a site from foam or wood allowing to show small scale buildings and topographic changes.