A website dedicated to the construction of an accurate 1/2 scale replica of a 1937 Aero Douglas Motorcycle

The Use of CNC in Model Engineering

The use of CNC in home workshops is becoming increasingly common.  Machines suited to our type of work are now commercially available from many suppliers within the ME world at very reasonable costs.  

There are some people that say the use of CNC machine tools is cheating, which in my opinion is a backward way of looking at it.  I do agree that if models are to submitted for competition then it should be made known that CNC had been used.  But, im sure If model engineers had access to CNC machines in the 50's they would've used them and it would be normal practice now

There are people who spend entire lifetimes producing a completely awe-inspiring model with no cnc involved at all, which is a testament to their skill and patience.  If I put my mind to it im sure I could do that, but I want to make many models, already having many on the go and many on the list of future projects, and CNC can certainly speed up that process.

There seems to be this myth that CNC machines take all the skill out of it, I can tell you now, to get the machine to do what you want through a computer and have to watch the cutter plunge into your material takes allot of time, care, preparation and nerve!   When doing complex 3D work, due to the software and rigidity of our machines, often the job doesn't come out completely smooth and allot of filing is required.  Therefore shapes produced by this method can be seen as accurate castings - is casting cheating?

The machine used here is a Seig X3 manual machine supplied by ArcEuro trade and converted by them to CNC.  Since the purchase of this machine ArcEuro now provide a bespoke CNC machine.  The machine runs off a windows-based operating software called Mach3 and for complex 3D curves and shapes Vectric provide easy to manipulate code writing programs.  All these suppliers are in the links page.

Your comments on this subject are welcome.