CNC conversion is the process of converting your old machines (lathes, mills, grinders, drills, etc.) to use CNC technology. Converting your manual machines to CNC gives you all the benefits of a CNC machine without burning a hole in your pocket.

What Exactly is a CNC Conversion Kit?

A CNC conversion kit is a collection of tools and devices that you can integrate into your existing machine to convert it to CNC. A typical CNC conversion kit includes new hardware components, motors, and up-to-date software to keep everything running smoothly.

A new control unit, home and limit switches, and a motor control system are also included. Some CNC kits are designed specifically for specific machines, while others can be used in various machines.

Is Benchtop CNC Conversion Worthwhile?

Benchtop mills are an excellent choice for CNC conversion, particularly if you are a hobbyist machinist looking to improve your skills. The best benchtop mills on the market can provide industrial-level machining at a lower cost and on a smaller scale. And, with the right mill conversion kit, you can convert them into computerized machines that save you time and money.

The best part is that once a benchtop mill has produced its fair share of output, you can upgrade it to a CNC machine and add it to your collection of useful tools. You can also practice CNC machining with your converted benchtop mill, saving a lot of time and effort that manual machining requires.

Choosing the Right Machine and Mill Conversion Kit

The first consideration is the machine’s weight and size. You would need a small benchtop mill to quickly work around it. However, if you get something too small, retrofitting may become difficult.

Choose a medium-sized mill. Mills that are rigid and massive can take deeper cuts with less chattering. To lift or move the mill, you’d need an engine hoist.

The spindle, or the spindle’s RPM rate, comes next. You should ensure that the machine you are purchasing has a spindle speed of at least 4000-6000 RPM. Furthermore, if you can find a machine with a belt-driven spindle, go for it because they are generally quieter.

Finally, you must consider the machine’s cost. A benchtop mill should typically cost between $1000 and $3000.

5 Benefits of Converting Your Benchtop Mill to CNC

For many reasons, CNC machining is now very common in various industries. It has also resulted in the replacement of manual equipment.

Increased Precision and Accuracy

Precision is one of the most significant advantages of CNC machining over manual operations. It is possible to produce parts that meet exact specifications without the constant supervision of a skilled operator.

Because CNC milling machines rely on computer instructions to fabricate parts, human error is eliminated. However, the CNC machine operator retains some control over the manufacturing process.

The accuracy of the CNC milling project is heavily dependent on the operator. The operator is responsible for controlling the operating environment and cutting tool calibration. They must also recognize when the tooling is becoming too dull to produce the best results when in contact with raw material. However, the overall risk of human error is significantly reduced.

High Output and Scalability

Production can begin after the operator has converted and programmed the machine with the necessary design specifications. Creating parts takes no time at all once the CNC machine has begun a production run.

Modern CNC machines can produce many parts while also being very scalable. A CNC machine differs from traditional machines and manual production processes in that it can be programmed to produce a single item or large quantities. The number of parts that can be manufactured is not limited, allowing businesses to make better use of the resources and finances.

Speed

Another advantage of converting your benchtop mill to a CNC machine is the increased speed. Operators can be much more efficient when using CNC machines because the machines can use their fastest settings. CNC machines can run continuously without losing power. They don’t need a coffee or lunch break. There is no need to plan vacations or take time off. With a CNC machine, there are no trade-offs.

These benefits, combined with the ability to maintain high accuracy while minimizing material resource waste, make CNC machining and milling one of the best ways to ensure production is efficient, fast, and scalable while lowering cost liability.

Capable of Manufacturing Even the Most Complicated Parts

The CNC machining process can produce almost any component you can think of. These machines are capable of a wide range of fabrication and CNC milling tasks, such as shearing, flame cutting, punching holes, and welding metal sheets.

CNC machines can produce extremely complex shapes due to their incredible precision.

Lower Costs

The initial cost of converting a benchtop mill to a CNC milling machine may be high, but the lower operational costs more than makeup for it. CNC machining is cost-effective due to its high output rate, low error rate, and low production costs. Less training is required, which saves even more money.

Operators can also learn how to use CNC machines virtually, saving money and eliminating the need for training workpieces. All of these factors combine to make CNC machining very appealing.

Wrapping It Up

In small and medium machine shops, a benchtop CNC mill is synonymous with high accuracy and high-volume production. Not to mention the increased profitability that such a machine provides by increasing efficiency and thus lowering your production costs.

While manual lathes can be used for basic machining operations, bringing precision to workpieces is a difficult task. And the best solution for this is a CNC mill or a lathe conversion kit.

CNC machining has several advantages over traditional methods, including greater accuracy, more precise control, and higher efficiency.If you’re looking for a machine like this for your workshop, please contact us. At CNC Conversion Plus, we offer the most affordable CNC lathe machines and CNC conversion kits on the market.