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What Industries Use CNC Routing?

By ShopBot Tools, Monday, August 30, 2021

Computer numerical control machines, or CNC machines for short, have completely changed the way people make mechanical components. New feats are possible that transcend what hand-operated machines could previously achieve because of the capabilities of computers. They contribute greater accuracy and speed, as well as a method to virtually design parts inside software. Many modern advancements in technology have undoubtedly been brought about with the help of CNC routing. So, what industries use CNC routing today? We explore just some of them.

Medical Industry

The medical industry requires highly specific products to meet the needs of patients. Often, pieces made for medical use must be kept sterile so that people are not exposed to harmful biological or chemical substances. To this end, items may also need to be disposable or require protective coverings to keep them clean. CNC machines offer the most help here because they can create many parts with relative ease, so components can be thrown out after use.

Additionally, items such as orthotics and surgical implants necessitate individualized composition to optimally fit each patient’s body. Since CNC machines employ computer-aided design (CAD) software, engineers can use the software to customize parts to meet the conditions of a given instance. Rather than separately formulating the schematics for components and then making them, CNC routing allows for all steps to be streamlined into a single process. This simplification in production also means that medical instruments may be improved upon quickly, as engineers can devise prototypes and test them rapidly.

The medical industry is subject to strict regulations. With the precision that computers afford the production of parts, the possibility for grave errors in those parts reduces. Computers can also record and track all points along the way automatically, which allows engineers to easily identify and correct flaws.

Electronics Industry

As time passes, there’s a greater need for smaller, yet more capable components in the electronics industry. Many companies seek reduced bulk in their products while continuing to improve the user experience. Parts can only be made so small, however, when confined to the limitations of the human eye and hand dexterity.

This is where CNC routing comes in. With its micro machining abilities, the care required to create small electronic parts is achievable without any loss in quality or speed. An example of this application is the making of small circuit boards, which are installed in many electrical products.

CNC machines can also create parts of communication equipment, including radio frequency interference shielding, amplifier chasses, and electrical insulation.

Aerospace Industry

Flight is not a natural state for human beings, and therefore, there’s a natural opposition to such movement. Aircrafts must have the ability to stand up to air pressure, air currents, and great velocities. Due to these forces, a seemingly insignificant flaw in any section of an airplane may cause it to deteriorate quickly or increase drag when in flight. As a result, building an aircraft demands the utmost care and attention to detail to minimize the risk of catastrophic accidents. Audits are a fundamental aspect of the design and construction procedure. The maximum allowance for error is generally in the order of 0.0001.

CNC is instrumental in the advancement of aircraft technology due to how they make designing and testing key components more straightforward. With the ability to work with a range of materials like aluminum, titanium, plastics, and alloys, CNC machines can produce everything from structural components to more technical ones. They can craft airfoils, pieces of landing gear, and electrical connectors.

Water Transportation Industry

Marine and freshwater vessels alike should naturally withstand constant subjection to humidity and water. Marine boats must also resist the metal-consuming quality of saltwater. Once many vessels leave their docks, they cannot readily receive maintenance. This makes the water transportation industry’s material composition and protective considerations unique among all other transportation industries.

CNC routers can work with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), in hard, soft, and foam forms, all of which are impervious to water. Furthermore, TPU is hardwearing and lightweight in general, which makes it suited for water transportation applications. As with aerospace, CNC machines may be used to make structural and technological components. On the structural side, they can produce items like molds and propellers. On the technological side, they can fabricate housings for electrical parts that protect them from water, the electrical parts themselves, and components of the engine. 

Defense Industry

Whereas other fields are narrower in focus, the defense industry involves a broad spectrum of technology that’s all unified under the purpose of providing military security. This encompasses land, sea, and air transportation, medical care, and electronic communication. A common theme with all of these is that their components need to be highly durable and reliable in all kinds of rough circumstances far from easy access to repair services. They must also meet government regulations.

This is where CNC routers’ precision and prototype-friendly implementation speeds come into play. All the parts they construct will not go outside the bounds of regulation, even when requested in high volumes, due to the accuracy and fidelity with which the automated machines function. Since several design revisions can be run through at a fast pace, CNC routers aid the military in staying at the top of their game when it comes to cutting edge technology.



After learning about some of the applications of CNC routers, it’s easy to see why they have become such an irreplaceable contributor to industry. If your company could stand to gain from the use of CNC, or you’re an educator who seeks to bring students valuable experience with computer numerical control machines, ShopBot provides industrial CNC routers that you can rely on to get the job done well.

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