Automotive CNC Key Cutting Machine Knowledge

Here keycuttingmachine.org want to share this knowledge of auto key cutting machine overview for you.

Part 1: What is CNC machining?

Part 2: How to do CNC machine programming

Part 3: How many types of CNC machines?

Part 4: What’s can you do with CNC machines

Part 5: What’s the disadvantage of CNC machine programming?

Part 6: Which CNC key machine should i have?

 

in detail…

 

Part 1: What is CNC machining?

CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The process can be used to control a range of complex machinery, from grinders and lathes to mills and routers. With CNC machining, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be accomplished in a single set of prompts.

Short for “computer numerical control,” the CNC process runs in contrast to — and thereby supersedes — the limitations of manual control, where live operators are needed to prompt and guide the commands of machining tools via levers, buttons and wheels. To the onlooker, a CNC system might resemble a regular set of computer components, but the software programs and consoles employed in CNC machining distinguish it from all other forms of computation.

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Things to Learn About CNC Machining

When a CNC system is activated, the desired cuts are programmed into the software and dictated to corresponding tools and machinery, which carry out the dimensional tasks as specified, much like a robot.

In CNC programming, the code generator within the numerical system will often assume mechanisms are flawless, despite the possibility of errors, which is greater whenever a CNC machine is directed to cut in more than one direction simultaneously. The placement of a tool in a numerical control system is outlined by a series of inputs known as the part program.

With a numerical control machine, programs are inputted via punch cards. By contrast, the programs for CNC machines are fed to computers though small keyboards. CNC programming is retained in a computer’s memory. The code itself is written and edited by programmers. Therefore, CNC systems offer far more expansive computational capacity. Best of all, CNC systems are by no means static, since newer prompts can be added to pre-existing programs through revised code.

 

Part 2: How to do CNC machine programming

 

In CNC, machines are operated via numerical control, wherein a software program is designated to control an object. The language behind CNC machining is alternately referred to as G-code, and it’s written to control the various behaviors of a corresponding machine, such as the speed, feed rate and coordination.

Basically, CNC machining makes it possible to pre-program the speed and position of machine tool functions and run them via software in repetitive, predictable cycles, all with little involvement from human operators. Due to these capabilities, the process has been adopted across all corners of the manufacturing sector and is especially vital in the areas of metal and plastic production.

For starters, a 2D or 3D CAD drawing is conceived, which is then translated to computer code for the CNC system to execute. After the program is inputted, the operator gives it a trial run to ensure no mistakes are present in the coding.

Open/Closed-Loop Machining Systems

Position control is determined through an open-loop or closed-loop system. With the former, the signaling runs in a single direction between the controller and motor. With a closed-loop system, the controller is capable of receiving feedback, which makes error correction possible. Thus, a closed-loop system can rectify irregularities in velocity and position.

In CNC machining, movement is usually directed across X and Y axes. The tool, in turn, is positioned and guided via stepper or servo motors, which replicate exact movements as determined by the G-code. If the force and speed are minimal, the process can be run via open-loop control. For everything else, closed-loop control is necessary to ensure the speed, consistency and accuracy required for industrial applications, such as metalwork.

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CNC Machining is Fully Automated

In today’s CNC protocols, the production of parts via pre-programmed software is mostly automated. The dimensions for a given part are set into place with computer-aided design (CAD) software and then converted into an actual finished product with computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software.

Any given work piece could necessitate a variety of machine tools, such as drills and cutters. In order to accommodate these needs, many of today’s machines combine several different functions into one cell. Alternately, an installation might consist of several machines and a set of robotic hands that transfer parts from one application to another, but with everything controlled by the same program. Regardless of the setup, the CNC process allows for consistency in parts production that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate manually.

 

 

Part 3: How many types of CNC machines?

 

The earliest numerical control machines date to the 1940s when motors were first employed to control the movement of pre-existing tools. As technologies advanced, the mechanisms were enhanced with analog computers, and ultimately with digital computers, which led to the rise of CNC machining.

The vast majority of today’s CNC arsenals are completely electronic. Some of the more common CNC-operated processes include ultrasonic welding, hole-punching and laser cutting. The most frequently used machines in CNC systems include the following:

CNC Mills

CNC mills are capable of running on programs comprised of number- and letter-based prompts, which guide pieces across various distances. The programming employed for a mill machine could be based on either G-code or some unique language developed by a manufacturing team. Basic mills consist of a three-axis system (X, Y and Z), though most newer mills can accommodate three additional axes.

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Lathes

In lathe machines, pieces are cut in a circular direction with indexable tools. With CNC technology, the cuts employed by lathes are carried out with precision and high velocity. CNC lathes are used to produce complex designs that wouldn’t be possible on manually run versions of the machine. Overall, the control functions of CNC-run mills and lathes are similar. As with the former, lathes can be directed by G-code or unique proprietary code. However, most CNC lathes consist of two axes — X and Z.

Plasma Cutters

In a plasma cutter, material is cut with a plasma torch. The process is foremost applied to metal materials but can also be employed on other surfaces. In order to produce the speed and heat necessary to cut metal, plasma is generated through a combination of compressed-air gas and electrical arcs.

Electric Discharge Machines

Electric-discharge machining (EDM) — alternately referred to as die sinking and spark machining — is a process that molds work pieces into particular shapes with electrical sparks. With EDM, current discharges occur between two electrodes, and this removes sections of a given work piece.

When the space between the electrodes becomes smaller, the electric field becomes more intense and thus stronger than the dielectric. This makes it possible for a current to pass between the two electrodes. Consequently, portions of a work piece are removed by each electrode. Subtypes of EDM include:

  • Wire EDM, whereby spark erosion is used to remove portions from an electronically conductive material.
  • Sinker EDM, where an electrode and work piece are soaked in dielectric fluid for the purpose of piece formation.

In a process known as flushing, debris from each finished work piece is carried away by a liquid dielectric, which appears once the current between the two electrodes has stopped and is meant to eliminate any further electric charges.

Water Jet Cutters

In CNC machining, water jets are tools that cut hard materials, such as granite and metal, with high-pressure applications of water. In some cases, the water is mixed with sand or some other strong substance. Factory machine parts are often shaped through this process.

Water jets are employed as a cooler alternative for materials that are unable to bear the heat-intensive processes of other CNC machines. As such, water jets are used in a range of sectors, such as the aerospace and mining industries, where the process is powerful for the purposes of carving and cutting, among other functions.

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Part 4: What’s can you do with CNC machines

 

As plenty of CNC machine video demonstrations have shown, the system is used to make highly detailed cuts out of metal pieces for industrial hardware products. In additional to the aforementioned machines, further tools and components used within CNC systems include:

  • Embroidery machines
  • Wood routers
  • Turret punchers
  • Wire-bending machines
  • Foam cutters
  • Laser cutters
  • Cylindrical grinders
  • 3D printers
  • Glass cutters

When complicated cuts need to be made at various levels and angles on a work piece, it can all be performed within minutes on a CNC machine. As long as the machine is programmed with the right code, the machine functions will carry out the steps as dictated by the software. Providing everything is coded according to design, a product of detail and technological value should emerge once the process has finished.

 

 

Part 5: What’s the disadvantage of CNC machine programming?

 

CNC machining is not exactly a foolproof process. In some instances, either a work piece or the machine itself could be directed in a harmful way. When this happens, a crash might occur, whereby tools or machine parts end up broken. The tools that could get damaged by a crash may include the vices or clamps that hold the work piece in place. When damage occurs within the machine, it could range from minor screw breakage to serious structural deformity.

The fact is, CNC equipment lacks the sentience to know exactly which distances are too far. Therefore, the tools must be exactly programmed in order to work without fault. If a program code is miscalculated, a CNC machine could be driven outside its physical bounds and cause an internal collision. Even though most of today’s CNC machines are manufactured with parameter boundaries, these inputs can be manipulated by operators.

Likewise, CNC tools are oblivious to a given environment. While certain CNC machines are equipped with spindle load sensing, others lack this feature. In the latter case, the software must be coded properly to ensure nothing goes off parameter, otherwise a crash would be the likely outcome. Even if a CNC machine is equipped with load sensors, a crash could still occur. When a tool function goes astray, it’s up to the operator to rectify the situation.

Crash Prevention on Different Types of CNC Machines

With the installation of encoder-disk position sensors, the possibility of a crash can be detected in advance and thwarted. Alternately, torque sensors can help determine whether a CNC machine is moving as intended and also detect unwanted cutting.

In garage CNC systems, tools are reliant on the rotational precision of stepper motors for the correct number of degrees. To monitor the tool position, the pulses that go to the stepper must be counted, because in most cases, there’s no form of alternate monitoring.

On industrial CNC machines, closed-loop controls are employed, whereby the control always knows the axis position. If properly controlled, the potential for crashes is significantly lowered, though it’s still the responsibility of programmers to see that codes are inputted accurately for utmost safety.

Over the last two decades, CNC software has advanced to where a vast range of machine tools — axes, clamps, fixtures, spindles, turrets — can be based precisely on 3D solid models. With those specs programmed into the code, it’s easier to determine whether a crash will occur with a particular cycle.

 

 

Part 6: Which CNC key machine you should buy?

 

I personally would strongly recommend that you MUST find a man of his words trust in, then buy that machine. Better with tech support.

 

If youre a newbie to key cutting at a good price, i would recommend that you look for a used machine from a reputable brand. The Miracle A9 , Silca Futura , JMA Multicode or Keyline Ninja Total are all machines with similar capabilities. Finding a used one , if possible from a distributer , makes most financial sense. You will have better access to support , cutters and updates.

 

But, if you have no budget limit, that’s good. Miracle A9, Xhorse Condor mini and SEC-E9 are all good options. (Personally, Condor mini would be the best investment. It’s a Xhorse original device and repairs , service and updates are going to be possible. Also , there is good resale value.) Here’ s a summary of key cutting machines – read it. It’s from real pros. It will help you.

 

condor xc-mini (plus) is a good budget machine , more suited to the workshop than mobile due to size and weight. it has some bugs , some issues and some gaps , but the quick and easy update for lifetime plus wonderful function are the scoring points. this for what it costs, on the whole a decent machine for the money.

miracle A7 is a reliable machine , has a few bugs but reliable as a
light use machine , ideal mobile on a van and space saving .

Viper is a
heavy machine and can play up in cold , but is a great heavy duty machine that will give a lifetime of reliable use and receives lifetime updates and as Silca is normally up to date.

Ninja laserexcellent machine , nothing better for me on sx9 keys , laguna 3 , megane 3 , new clio cards using 1234Q5678H series and decoding and cutting clio 3 keys , fast reliable cutting that allows you to pick various styles of cut as well as adjust to half cuts etc , the software can take getting used to due to the functions available on it , adds cylinder keys to your services too , its a well built machine that is like silca updated for life free.

So, Condor mini vs Miracle A7 vs X6 key cutter vs Viper machine vs Ninja laser:
Most key cutting machines will cut a tibbe key on a clamp , but none will in my view cut a perfect tibbe key , a stand alone option will always cut a better key and far quicker too .

I have all of the above machines , so have hands on and regular experience with each machine and use them all , i like them all over the next for certain functions and all do different jobs for me , viper will always be my baby as it was my first , but ninja laser is catching it up fast my only gripe is viper is 30 second boot time , ninja laser is 4 minutes to boot up , but these 2 are in a league of their own

condor xc-mini plus key machine is a far superior machine to the x6 key cutter, the x6 is a starter machine for very light use and build quality is poor in comparison , i had an x6 to play with for a few months , i wouldnt buy one having gone hands on with it , condor will last longer and be more reliable of the 2 , its at least being supported and updated which is a big plus and is a far superior build quality to the x6 which at best is a hobby or starter machine .

it isnt always 100% accurate , but the find biting function on condor is useful if you dont have instacode to hand , and is a useful addition that makes the condor more useful.

 

Below is what i tested with Condor machine.

Do Toyota TOY43 all key lost, save you a lot of time
Cut Suzuki, Mazda (key tooth in ignition lock more than door lock) all key lost, simply by enter the key code
Do Hyundai, Kia, Peugeot, and Citroen all key lost, directly program keys
HU101 works fine, HU92 works fine.
HU66 OK, have to do two passes on each side to get the key to work, same with hu100.
Fix the problem that other key cutting machines cut domestic Honda key not accurately

But it is a pity that there is no solution for Renault emergency blade yet

 

Note that a simple mechanical key duplicator for cylinder and automotive (not laser) key is a small investment , and will pay for itself. It should be the logical first tool.

 

After that , a mechanical dimple (and laser) key duplicator may be the next device to buy. I believe these will become commonly available on the used market , because of all the all-in-one machine currently sold.

If you’re in the UK , a bit key duplicator should also be high on the wish list. There are machines that combine bit and cylinder key cutting. That might make sense if

 

If you should invest into “specialty” key machines (Abloy / Tibbe , tubular , …) depends on the demand in your area. Some shops may have no demand for tubular , but if your town happens to have a Harley dealership , they will be pouring in.

If you are still just starting the business , this will probably be too early to tell.

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