Week 7: The Machine Behind the Machine

Nathan S -

This week, I got to watch a programmer design programs for the CNC machines. In order to create a program, you have to pick the drill bits, lateral speed, and rotation of the bit. While the machine always has certain drill bits, some need to be changed out for every part, and there were so many drill bit options that I have no idea how you could be able to pick the perfect one for a job. Speed and rotation just depend on what type of material and what type of drill is being used. After deciding drill bit, speed, and rotation, you still have to outline a path for the tool. While it is not so hard to create a program to machine a part, the difficulty comes in making it accurate and repeatable so every part comes out of the machine the exact same. The program can overlay the complete part over the starting block of material, and the programmer just has to get the starting material to match. One thing that surprised me was that while the machines are useful, because of their limited movements even simple parts may need multiple operations to finish them. The program has helpful tools to ensure the part is made right, and can even run simulations of the machining process and tell how far off from the specified dimensions it would be. One thing I do not understand is that if the program can tell you exactly how the part will come out of the machine, what you did wrong, what you did right, and how to fix it, why can’t it just create the program itself? I’m sure there is some very good reason as to why it can not that I missed. Next week I will be learning about and helping with the shipping Process, as the Amazon project will be transported to its site next week. See you all then!

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    Hi Nathan! It sounds like you are learning a lot. That is so fun that you will help and learn about shipping, can't wait to hear how that goes! :)

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