Remember the show ‘How It’s Made?’
If so, you might have some idea about the inner workings of CNC machines. If not, or if you’d just like to find out more about CNC machining (and how we utilize it here at Texino) let’s get into it.
First of all, welcome to the Garage! Check out some of our van builds to get a sense of our interiors and what we use CNC for. Now to the nitty-gritty…
A brief history
A fairly recent addition to the manufacturing world, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining is a high-precision, computer controlled technique for cutting material and general fabrication.
CNC machines are electro-mechanical devices capable of manipulating tools around axes (that’s the plural of axis, not woodchuck axes). They were first developed in the 1940s, and back then they relied on ‘punched tape,’ which is a data storage technique that any coders out there will recognize! Essentially, holes were manually punched into a data card and put into a system that then interprets the data. Functionality at this point was seriously limited.
By now, technology has advanced significantly, and CNC machining is the most effective way engineers and creators can generate a physical part from a computer design. With the help of new design programs, it’s no longer necessary to write complicated code to tell the machines what to do. Instead, you can take a 3D model - say, of a custom dinette for one of our campers - and automatically generate codes that drive the machine to cut out all the parts for it. Parts which can then be easily assembled by trained professionals.
Why CNC wins
It differs from 3D printing in that CNC machining is what’s known as a subtractive process, where material is removed from a material, while 3D printing is an additive process - functioning instead by ‘creating’ material.
There are manual alternatives to CNC machining - like using lathes, for example - but, as you can imagine, they are nowhere near as precise, and you aren’t guaranteed to get the same, highly-accurate results each time. Not to mention the time and labor saved!
How we use CNC machining
We use CNC machining with our campervan builds by designing parts on a computer, assembling into 3D form, and producing the ‘path’ for the CNC machine to cut it out from high-quality materials. These machines can cut anything from ply to steel - it’s just a case of using different ‘tools.’ Think of the CNC machine as the extra strong, hyper-accurate laborer, capable of utilizing whichever tool works best for the material.
This is just one of the techniques we’re proud to make best use of, and part of why our van builds come out so beautifully, if we do say so ourselves. Why not take our match-making quiz, so you can fall in love with the Texino Campervan Build that’s perfect for you?
If you’d like to know more about our fabrication techniques, or are interested in our builds, feel free to get in touch.