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An Introduction to CNC Drilling

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining drills are an essential part of manufacturing processes today due to their accuracy. Guided by precise coding, these drills effectively reduce human error. Learn more about CNC drilling machines and their applications below.

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What Is CNC Drilling?

CNC drilling is a machining process that involves creating round holes in a workpiece with a drilling bit or rotating cutting tool. These holes are essential for future assembly, often holding machine screws or bolts that attach the piece to another item. CNC drilling can also serve aesthetic purposes, such as drilling holes to create a desired appearance.

This process is helpful for several materials, including:

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Companies can use the CNC drilling process to create consistent construction, aerospace, computer and automobile parts that fit together perfectly.

How Do CNC Drilling Machines Work?

While most CNC drills complete jobs automatically, they still require operators to program them, insert the workpiece and check the product's final quality. The operating process generally includes the following steps.

1. Create the Design

Engineers or other workers typically begin by creating a file in computer-aided design (CAD) software. This file should contain specifications about the components, like the dimensions and tolerance. CNC drills use this technical info to apply the correct speed, toolpath, and rotational and linear movement when drilling holes.

Some CNC drilling machines can automatically convert CAD files into a format they understand, but others require the operator to manually translate the information.

2. Prepare for Drilling

The operator uploads the design file, attaches the appropriate CNC drill bits and secures the workpiece. Using the correct drill bit for the material is essential to ensure clean results. 

3. Drill the Workpiece

The CNC drill takes over for this step, following the programming to produce holes in the right spots. Different drills will accomplish different tasks, whether you want several holes at once or need to drill components that require high accuracy.

4. Check the Final Result

Once the machine finishes drilling, the operator evaluates the component to ensure it's ready to move on to the next production stage. CNC drilling machines are highly accurate, helping your business increase the number of correct pieces you manufacture.

Types of CNC Drilling Machines

Several kinds of CNC drills are available, and each accomplishes a unique objective. Some options include:

  • Multiple spindle drilling machine: This option is ideal for simultaneously crafting many holes.
  • Micro drill press: The micro drill press can drill components requiring high tolerance.
  • Upright CNC drill press: This drilling machine assists with large and heavy parts.
  • Radial arm CNC drill press: This press has a movable spindle that provides greater versatility.
  • Turret-type drilling machine: The multiple work heads of this option make it perfect for pieces that require several tools and tool positions.
  • Gang drilling machine: This product is helpful if you need multiple drilling heads for fixed workpieces.

View Our Inventory

R.R.I.C. Associates can provide the CNC drills you need for your machining applications. We have over 35 years of experience and constantly add new products to our inventory, so you can rest assured that you'll find high-quality tools. Browse our inventory of used CNC machines and equipment today!

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