Selecting the Right 3D Printer

Discover how to choose the right 3D printer for your needs and the key performance attributes to consider.

Essentials of Manufacturing

Information, coverage of important developments and expert commentary in manufacturing.

Injection Molding Design Guide

Guide for high quality and cost-effective plastic injection molding.

Metal 3D Printing Design Guide

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printing for parts with reduced cost and little waste.

more free publications
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Drilling
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Drilling is commonly implemented for mass production. The drilling machine, however, is often a multi-function machining center that also mills and sometimes turns. The largest time sink for CNC drilling is with tool changes, so for speed, variation of hole diameters should be minimized. The fastest machines for drilling varying hole sizes have multiple spindles in turrets with drills of varying diameters already mounted for drilling. The appropriate drill is brought into position through movement of the turret, so that bits do not need to be removed and replaced. A turret-type CNC drilling machine is shown below.
 
A variety of semi-automated drilling machines are also used. An example is a simple drill press which, on command, drills a hole of a set depth into a part set up beneath it.

In order to be cost-effective, the appropriate type of CNC drilling machine needs to be applied to a particular part geometry. For low-volume jobs, manual or semi-automated drilling may suffice. For hole patterns with large differences in sizes and high volume, a geared head is most appropriate. If holes are close to each other and high throughput is desired, a gearless head can locate spindles close together so that the hole pattern can be completed in one pass. For further reference for CNC processes, please refer to the CNC, metal forming section.
 

 

 

Selecting the Right 3D Printer

Discover how to choose the right 3D printer for your needs and the key performance attributes to consider.

Essentials of Manufacturing

Information, coverage of important developments and expert commentary in manufacturing.

Injection Molding Design Guide

Guide for high quality and cost-effective plastic injection molding.

Metal 3D Printing Design Guide

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printing for parts with reduced cost and little waste.