Watching a CNC machine at work is actually really cool. In the day to day grind of grueling shop work it can be easy to forget that fact, but it's true, and it's probably why many of you got into this trade in the first place. So in the interest of paying tribute to the machines that got us here, kick back and enjoy 6 great videos of machines doing their thing.
6. Machining a Metal Pig (Hermle C40U)
With the kind of work CNC machines are typically put to, you get used to harsh mechanical parts, so there's something quaint about seeing a milling machine make a little pig. Seeing how quickly it is shaped from a solid block of metal is a sight to behold. Plus the little model spinning looks like he's on a rotisserie, so that's fun.
5. CNC Lathe Turning a Chess Rook (Mori Seiki NL2500SY-700)
While mills usually steal the show in regards to fascinating to watch machine tools, CNC lathes are certainly no slouch. The camera angles and lighting on this one give it a cool, futuristic look, and the intricate tooling of the chess piece is almost hypnotic. We also get to see the entire process with no cuts, which is a nice bonus.
4. Cutting PU Foam with CNC Milling Machine (Datron)
In a change of pace, this video features a foam cutter as opposed to your typical metal or wood cutter. How quickly the cutter glides through the foam, and how efficiently it moves is almost more reminiscent of a laser cutter than a typical milling machine.
3. 5-Axis Machining a Motorcycle Helmet (Daishin Seiki)
While it skips a bit much of the process for my liking, this job is a marvel. This video more so than any other, really showcases the power of its machine, with the 5-axis mill here making dozens of intricate cuts. This helmet actually won the Mori Seiki Dream Cutting Contest in 2009, and its not hard to see why.
2. Slow Motion Machining (Various Machines)
While most of what makes a typical CNC video so cool is watching a block of metal quickly and smoothly melt away, the opposite might just be even cooler. Watching a cutter sheer off bits of metal shaving at a time is just mesmerizing, and the excellent camera work in this video showcases it beautifully.
1. Precision Machining a Pumpkin (Tormach)
As we saw with the foam video, often machining an unusual material can yield fascinating results, and nowhere is this more true than with this video. Watching a mill work a pumpkin just shows the versatility of the machine, and that there may be a future for such machines in the world of jack-o-lantern carving!
...okay so maybe this one's a bit silly. Still, fun to see an experienced machinst throw caution to the wind and try something totally out there like this.
So, any time the daily drudge of work starts to wear you down, check out these videos again. Remind yourself that machining is pretty damn cool.
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