Necessity may indeed be the mother of invention, but that still leaves the inventor, not to mention the designer, the developer, and the manufacturer, in need of a lot of help. More and more, three letters spell out that message and bring the rescue innovators need, but they aren’t SOS as you might have guessed.

And that need is higher than ever. With booming economies all over the world, especially in the United States, people and companies are reinventing, now more than ever. According to a research, patent offices worldwide accepted just over 3 million patent applications during 2016, which was an increase of over 8 percent over the previous year. It also marked a seven-year streak of year-over-year increases in global patent application filings.

But that leaves a significant gap in development, a gap that includes the costly and time-ineffective steps of modeling, prototyping, testing, sometimes repeating the cycle many times before success is finally achieved. Luckily, computer technology has brought time-saving new processes to design and development which are changing the face of almost every industry and opening up new doors to the smallest tinkerer and the most prominent global conglomerate.

CNC Machining and CNC Milling

Computer Numerical Control, or CNC, uses a computer to make a numerical conversation of any design produced by Computer Aided Design software, or CAD. The numbers are like coordinates of a graph which controls the cutter along three axes, X, Y, and Z. The software instructs the computer (in a language called G-code), and the computer controls the cutting.
Unlike 3D printing, instead of adding material to the resulting piece, CNC milling removes material from a block and leaves only the desired piece; like sculpting by computer.

CNC milling is the most common form of CNC machining, as it performs the functions of both drilling and turning. In addition to the three CNC axis, milling adds a fourth axis, Milling Head Z, or more. A fifth or sixth axis provide pivots and angles for greater flexibility.

Read more: The Application of CNC Machining