Latest Developments in CNC Machining: February 2024

12 March 2024
CNC Machining: February 2024

Delve into the dynamic landscape of CNC Machining: February 2024, where significant growth is forecasted from 2023 to 2032. Allied Market Research reveals a surge from $66,535.6 million in 2020 to a projected $130,136.7 million by 2032, boasting a robust CAGR of 5.6%.  Despite challenges posed by the global manufacturing slowdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, the market is witnessing transformative changes.

 This article explores how opportunities arise from technological advancements, rising demand for factory automation, and the adoption of Industry 4.0 principles. Additionally, we delve into groundbreaking stories from Sunlight-Tech’s micro-laser machining to CloudNC‘s AI strategies for 3+2 axis CNC machines, Mapal’s innovations in aluminum machining, and Coast Runner‘s Kickstarter campaign aiming to revolutionize metal CNC with 3D printing simplicity. 

Join us as we navigate through these transformative narratives and the evolving trends shaping the CNC Machinery Market.

AMR CAGR

CNC Machinery Market Predicted to Grow at a CAGR Of 5.6% from 2023 to 2032

 

According to Market Allied Research the CNC machinery market, valued at $66,535.6 million in 2020, is expected to surge to $130,136.7 million by 2032, with a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.6% from 2023 to 2032. 

The market’s expansion is driven by various factors, including the growing popularity and technological advancements in additive manufacturing, boosting the demand for CNC machinery. Additionally, the automotive and aerospace sectors’ growth, along with the advantages offered by CNC lathe machines, further propels market expansion. Smart machine tools integrated with automation systems not only enhance operational efficiency but also contribute to energy conservation and sustainability.

 Despite challenges posed by the global manufacturing industry slowdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities arise from advancements in manufacturing technology and the rising demand for factory automation. The adoption of Industry 4.0 principles fosters the need for interconnected machinery, leading to the proliferation of CNC machinery conducive to predictive maintenance. Moreover, increasing demand from sectors such as electronics, construction, and automotive also contributes to market expansion.

CNC Machining: February: 2024
Image: Opt Lasers

Sunlight-Tech: From Consulting Firm to Micro-Laser Machine Shop

 

Sunlight-Tech Inc., based in Mokena, Illinois, has transitioned from a consulting firm to a successful micro-laser machine shop specializing in intricate parts that defy traditional CNC capabilities. Grzegorz Nowobilski, the company’s owner, recognized the potential for growth in micro-manufacturing and equipped Sunlight-Tech with advanced micro-laser machines, including the GF Machining Microlution ML-5 femtosecond micro-laser machine. These machines, boasting five-axis scan units and 3D positioning, empower Sunlight-Tech to produce complex, tiny parts in materials such as stainless steel and ceramics.

The micro-laser machines, particularly the ML-5, provide Sunlight-Tech with unique capabilities, such as cutting 5 to 10 microns deep for blind features and crafting intricate shapes challenging for traditional CNC methods. These machines, designed for maximum thermal and inertial stability, deliver burr-free micro features with tolerances between 1 to 5 microns. Sunlight-Tech employs its micro-laser machines across various industries, from medical and watchmaking to automotive and aerospace.

Sunlight-Tech’s micro-laser machining process brings notable advantages, including increased speed, high accuracy, repeatability, and a cleaner finish compared to conventional machining. The absence of metalworking fluids within the machine ensures clean parts, making it suitable for applications with stringent cleanliness requirements. Leveraging these advancements, Sunlight-Tech has not only reduced manufacturing costs and entered new markets but has also ventured into military and aviation engineering fields.

5 axis machining

CAM Assist: AI Machining Strategies 3+2 Axis CNC machines

 

CloudNC, a manufacturing technology company backed by Autodesk, has unveiled a significant enhancement to its CAM Assist solution. CAM Assist, available as a plug-in for Autodesk’s Fusion software, initially provided AI-generated machining strategies for manufacturers utilizing 3-axis CNC machines. Now, with its latest upgrade, CAM Assist extends its capabilities to include 3+2 axis CNC machines. This expansion broadens the applicability of CAM Assist, making it even more valuable for manufacturers globally. The company estimates that this upgrade allows CAM Assist to benefit around two-thirds of the CNC machining market.

Dr. Andy Cheadle, Chief Technology Officer at CloudNC, highlighted the significance of this advancement, emphasizing its technical complexity. The introduction of 3+2 axis support poses challenges due to the increased complexity involved in making various features for components. CAM Assist employs advanced computer science techniques and AI to swiftly generate intuitive machining strategies, a process that traditionally took CNC machine programmers hours or even days. This reduction in programming time addresses a significant bottleneck in manufacturing, enhancing productivity and shortening lead times. On average, workshops using CAM Assist can save over 300 hours of programming and estimating time annually, providing substantial efficiency gains.

Mapal
Image: Mapal OptiMill-Alu-Wave and the NeoMill-Alu-QBig

Mapal: New dimensions in Aluminium Machining

 

Bavius Technologie, a CNC machine tool manufacturer, has successfully tested Mapal’s new generation of aluminum high-volume milling cutters at its facility. Bavius Technologie achieved impressive material removal rates exceeding 20 liters per minute on its high-end model HBZ AeroCell 160. The new generation of milling cutters includes the OptiMill-Alu-Wave and the NeoMill-Alu-QBig, designed for high-volume machining of aluminum. The tests showcased the tools’ capabilities, with the OptiMill-Alu-Wave achieving a material removal rate of 20dm3/min, setting a new benchmark in aluminum machining.

Bavius Technologie specializes in CNC machining centers for high-speed machining of large aluminum workpieces and focuses over 80% of its work on the aerospace industry. The company recently expanded its high-end series, introducing the AeroCell 160 with enhancements in dynamics, automation, and reduced non-productive times. The collaboration between Bavius and Mapal is marked by a long-standing relationship, and the successful testing of the new milling cutters further strengthens this partnership.

Mapal’s OptiMill-Alu-Wave and NeoMill-Alu-QBig offer a comprehensive range of products for high-volume aluminum machining, showcasing stability, smooth running, and low cutting forces. The tools demonstrate cost-effectiveness, with the NeoMill-Alu-QBig featuring indexable inserts, making it an economical solution for larger diameters. This combination of the AeroCell 160 and Mapal’s aluminum high-volume tools represents a significant advancement in machining structural parts.

Screenshot 2024 03 08 092544

Coast Runner Revolutionizing Metal CNC with 3D Printing Simplicity

 

Coast Runner recently launched its Kickstarter campaign for the CR-1, a compact three-axis metal CNC milling machine that aims to simplify the process akin to 3D printing. With dimensions of 425 x 270 x 380 mm, the CR-1 can handle hard metals, offering capabilities like full slot cutting, drill cycles, and thread cutting. The company claims to address the complexity associated with CNC machining through its software, CRWrite, featuring a user-friendly walkthrough wizard for newcomers. Additionally, Coast Runner plans to introduce CoastCAD, a model repository, simplifying model discovery and sharing, akin to the success seen in desktop 3D printing.

Pricing for the CR-1 on Kickstarter starts at $2,399 for early backers, with an aluminum clamp kit included. The campaign emphasizes accessibility to CNC work, providing a lower barrier to entry. Notably, professionals utilizing CloudNC’s CAM Assist AI in CAD/CAM software like Siemens NX or Fusion 360 can benefit from a profile for one-click code generation specific to the CR-1. Despite potential associations with Defence Distributed and Ghost Gunner 3, the campaign focuses on making metal CNC machining more accessible, with intentions to open-source the CR-1.

The Coast Runner CR-1 Kickstarter campaign rewards are slated to ship from September 2024, and the final retail price is expected to be $3,000. The campaign aims to fill a void in beginner-friendly desktop CNC machining, offering a portable and user-friendly solution for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Conclusion

Embark on a journey into the world of precision and innovation with CNC machinery, as exemplified by the remarkable stories in this compilation. The future of manufacturing is undeniably dynamic. 

As we anticipate the industry’s growth, fueled by technological advancements and market dynamics, stay informed and inspired by the evolving landscape of CNC machinery. The possibilities are vast, and the future is bright for those navigating the ever-expanding CNC Machinery Market.

 

Report by Danny Weller

 

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