To convert your mills or lathes into CNC using a CNC conversion kit or to buy a new CNC machine is a question that bothers both hobbyists and full-fledged machinists.
On the one hand, converting your old mills and lathes is an affordable way to upscale your production. On the other hand, buying a new CNC machine is a profitable and productive option for the long run.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look into CNC machines and CNC conversion kits, identify their pros and cons, and provide you with a clear idea of which one you should opt for.
But before you get into that, let’s first understand CNC machines and CNC conversion.
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC machines are computer-operated machines that use pre-programmed computer software to do the machining.
Specialized software is used to program CNC machines. The software comes with a customized G Code, the language that allows the operator to control coordination, feed rate, location, speed, and other factors.
For instance, a CNC lathe can be programmed to shape the materials into certain shapes using the software.
This allows operators to save time and effort in manually shaping the material and still get accurate results.
Since CNC machines are computer-operated, they tend to give more accurate and precise results than what a machinist could achieve with his bare hands.
CNC machines are used by large-scale industries and manufacturers to increase production and ROI.
CNC Conversion with CNC Conversion Kit
CNC Conversion is the process of transforming manual machines such as lathes and mills into CNC.
CNC Conversion kits are used to transform the old machines into CNC.
A CNC conversion kit typically comes with new hardware components, motors, control units, and software to allow you to automate and set the movements of the X, Y, and Z-axis.
Since manual mills, lathes, and machining tools don’t have a limiter, a CNC conversion kit integrates one into them to restrict the travel range of the three axes.
It also comes with a motor control unit that allows the operator to set the speed, accuracy, and velocity of the movement.
All in all, a CNC conversion kit allows you to turn your old machines into CNC without burning a hole in your pocket.
CNC conversion kits are often used by small-scale machinists and hobbyists as they give practically all the advantages of a new CNC machine at an affordable price.
CNC Conversion Kits vs. New CNC Machine
Now that we have figured out the basic differences between CNC conversion and CNC machines, we will better understand which option could be more suitable for us.
So far, it is clear that new CNC machines are for high-scale production. Industrialists use CNC machines to improve the accuracy and turnaround of their production, which in turn helps them improve their ROI.
CNC conversion kits are a budget-friendly option for getting almost the same quality machining work without having to invest in an expensive CNC machine.
Why choose a CNC Machine?
CNC machines are the best alternative if you have major production requirements. A new CNC machine is efficient and precise in its action.
Moreover, CNC machines don’t require external components or hardware to run and can be operated by a single machinist. CNC machines come ready to use.
All you need to do is plug it in, set the parameters, and get it working.
Once you have put in the design parameters and specifications, CNC machines can churn out a huge quantity of products, allowing you to scale the operation as per your requirements.
Not to mention, the products made by CNC machines are much better in quality and execution compared to anything done on conventional machines, even if it is by the most talented engineer.
Why Choose to Convert your mills/lathes to CNC?
Converting your old machines to CNC using a CNC conversion kit gives you all the same advantages as a new CNC machine but at a more affordable cost.
You can use a CNC conversion kit to transform your old machines into computer-operated machines that can carry out days of work in a matter of hours.
CNC conversion kits come with several external components and require expertise on your part to do the conversion. Nevertheless, if you are wary of something going wrong, you can always hire an expert to convert your machines for you.
CNC conversion kits are the best bet for machining enthusiasts and small-scale operators as they allow for efficient and quality machining at a reasonable price.
At the end of the day, your preference for a new CNC machine or converting your old machine to CNC lies in your requirements. If you have large-scale production requirements and can afford a new CNC machine, then, by all means, buy one.
But, if you are a small-scale machinist or a hobbyist looking to enhance your skill and production quality, converting your machine to CNC with a CNC conversion kit is your best bet.