What Is CNC Manufacturing and What Is It For?

Computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing combines software code with advanced machines to create intricately customized fittings, connectors, engine, and structural components and other products. Used in transportation, the medical field and a wide range of other industries, CNC manufacturing turns computer-coded instructions into commands that control grinders, mills, lathes, and other cutting and shaping tools to create items that traditional manufacturing processes can’t generate or can’t make quickly and effectively. Here are four of the fields in which CNC machining is making the most difference.


Quick creation of customized parts is crucial in today’s high-tech medical field. CNC machining creates implants, orthotics and other devices used by patients as well as parts for MRI machines, monitoring devices, and research equipment that helps treat patients. This manufacturing method can also improve hygiene and treatment by generating custom shield enclosures, sterile packaging, and medical instruments.


Precision is important in aerospace because devices may be subjected to stressful extreme conditions including high speeds, rapid pressure changes, and swift air currents. Small mistakes can create drag or cause wear. CNC production techniques are used to make airfoils, manifolds, bushings, electrical connectors, antennas, landing gear components, and other aerospace components where quality could make the difference between success and failure.


In transportation, longevity is often the most important quality required of parts and devices. Vehicles need components that are robust for heavy hauls and can travel many miles without failure. You will find parts created with CNC manufacturing techniques in trains, ships, trucks, and passenger vehicles. Brakes, engine components, and even tools benefit from the precision quality available through CNC manufacturing.

Oil and Gas

Large machines with complex parts are required for oil and gas exploration and production, but petrochemical processes grind to a halt when valves leak, cylinders malfunction, or pistons fail. Replacement parts must be made quickly and done right the first time to prevent production delays. CNC is used in making pins, rods, drill bits, and other rig, pipeline, and storage facility components that stand up to the stresses of continuous use.


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CNC machining is also used in military and defense applications, electronics and the marine industry as well as many other fields. For specialized parts made to precise standards, CNC manufacturing is often the best choice for speed, quality, and versatility. Parts that took weeks or months of hand work just a few years ago can be ready in minutes or hours and duplicated as often as necessary with modern CNC manufacturing capabilities.