CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, allows us to control the movements of machines using a computer system in such a way that we can augment materials to create something new through subtractive manufacturing. Prior to the automation of machining, the process to create a mold, or a molded product would have to be done by hand. You can imagine how time consuming and difficult that task would have been! There are many reasons why CNC machining is necessary, but the biggest reasons are because it's convenient, efficient and accurate!
What does it mean to be efficient? Efficiency is defined as achieving maximum productivity levels with the minimum amount of effort or expense. Instead of manual labor, computers are used to control the machines that work on the mold. This computerization means that most of the operations of production can be automated. In turn, this automation provides an increase in the speed and quality of manufacturing. The reduction of effort coupled with the increase in speed or productivity equates to CNC being a highly efficient way to work on molds when compared to more manual ways.
What does it mean to be accurate? Accuracy is defined as being exact or correct in all details. When producing a large number of molds, accuracy becomes incredibly important because flaws can heavily impact the molded product which would then result in a decrease in functionality and profits. Where a person gets tired and makes mistakes, a machine does not deviate - so long as it's upkept! With use, you'll get normal wear and tear and have to service the machines to keep them in good, running condition.
By using CNC to program machines that then create molds, it reduces the amount of error and at the same time ensures that the mold is the same each and every time. The other benefit to CNC machines are that they are able to produce molds and products that otherwise may not have been possible to produce using manual methods & tools.
CNC machining is very convenient! Manually sculpting metal or wood is time consuming, intricate and difficult. CNC machines make this process much easier. Once G-code is written and fed into a machine, it will immediately start on the task. No matter how intricate, the machine, given the right instructions, will execute the instructions with ease! The machines are also reprogrammable and flexible making them very versatile.
CNC machining may not be necessary but if we want to maintain the levels of accuracy, efficiency and convenience that we have become accustomed to in the industry then they are extremely necessary! If production were to slow down due to the non-use of CNC machining, the cost of everyday goods would rise and put a strain on consumers. You can learn more about the CNC machining industry as it relates to tool and mold by reading more of our articles.