What are the Benefits of CNC Machining over Conventional Machining?

CNC machining stands for computer numerical control. It differs from conventional machining through the use of computers to control machine tools. CNC machining units use the same lathes, grinders, mills, and routers that conventional machining uses. Let’s explore the main advantages of CNC machining over conventional machining.

CNC Machining Benefits

CNC Machining Vs. Conventional Machining

1. Repeatability

Any automated manufacturing process has a high degree of repeatability. Variability in the end result is now down to environmental factors you can also control, gradual wear and tear that should be monitored for, and variations in the material that exists with conventional machining. The reduced variability means that if you have a good design and correct program, your product will be consistent and will likely fall within very tight tolerances, if not Six Sigma levels of quality. You cannot get this same level of repeatable consistency with conventional machining operations.

2. Precision

Computer control gives you far greater precision than even a skilled human operator. CNC machining can give you ten-thousandth of an inch or fraction of millimeter tolerances that human operators cannot deliver. CNC machines can also create very precise 3D carving and drilling that humans may not be able to do.

3. Versatility

CNC machines can work with a variety of materials. They can work with any type of metal, and many CNC machines can manipulate plastic pieces as well. Plethora, for example, can machine more than twenty materials. Some even machines and handle wood.

And, you can integrate a 3D printer with a CNC machine to finish printed polymer products. Another benefit of CNC machines is the fact that you don’t have to waste time and money creating prototypes. You can design items to be made from a single piece of raw material instead of creating several parts to be attached to each other, eliminating potential failure points.

4. Lower HR Costs

Specialized programs are used for CNC machines programming, but they can work from the 2D and 3D computer models of your design. The CNC machining operation itself relies on far fewer people than the conventional machine shop since each machine can do so many tasks in sequence with minimal supervision. You can even automate the hand-off between different CNC machines so that a human only has to ensure the raw materials are properly fed in, the equipment works correctly, and handle the final product. You can run a machine shop with far fewer people, the remainder consisting mostly of mechanics and engineers who you’d have on staff anyway. You’re less likely to be adversely impacted by wage increases or union strikes. Labor costs for those who support CNC machines are often lower because they don’t have to be as skilled as conventional machinists.


CNC milling and machining has many advantages over conventional machining that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you need a large number of exact duplicates or need to provide precise, tiny, and awkward angles, a human operator would have trouble creating; then you want to use CNC machines.

6 thoughts on “What are the Benefits of CNC Machining over Conventional Machining?”

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    Tiffany Locke

    Thanks for explaining how CNC machining can create very precise 3D carving and drilling that humans aren’t able to. This would be a great option if you need more intricate and detailed work done. If you want CNC machining for a project, it would probably be a good idea to hire a skilled professional so that they can provide the most precise detail and provide you with the best results.

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    Tiffany Locke

    It’s great that this article explains how CNC machining can help you get tolerances that are a fraction of a millimeter, making them more precise than what human operators deliver. Since this is the case, you’d probably want to make sure you hire a professional in order to get the best results. When choosing a professional for your CNC machining, you’d probably want to find one who is experienced with the materials you’re using so that you can ensure they have the skills and equipment to provide the most accurate results for the work you need.

  3. The most important aspect of working in CNC machine center is that you gain industrial grade precision under allotted time frame. It is great to see such advancements in the industry. Great work. It is a nice piece written.

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    Kit Hannigan

    Thanks for explaining how CNC machining will offer you the peace of mind that the machine shop will be able to produce and repeat processes on a level of consistency that is ideal. A good friend of mine works in robotics, and he rolls out new creations almost every two months. I think having access to custom-made parts that are of the same level of integrity with the rest of the materials will allow him to create more products that are consistent and reliable for the end user.

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    Dave Anderson

    That is nice that machining operation relies on far fewer people. This is something I am sure someone would want to look into getting. Then they would be able to have machining to help them when it comes to making products.

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    Thomas Jameson

    It’s cool that CNC machines can work with a variety of materials. I appreciate when machines have a large degree of versatility. I will be looking more into CNC machines in the future.

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