As the world around us evolves, so do the tools necessary for that advancement. If you enter into a workshop, you would still see the traditional hand tools such as a chisel, hammer and coping saw, but it would be impossible to ignore the technology now occupying the space. The cornerstones of any woodshop are now all mechanically driven – circular saws, table saws, drill presses, and band saws... the list continues. There is, however, a new wave of technology that is becoming ubiquitous in modern woodshops – Digital Fabrication executed by CNC Machines.
What is CNC besides a fancy acronym? CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and is the operation of tools by using preprogrammed operations. CNC machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but can be divided into two groups – additive manufacturing, such as a 3D Printer, and subtractive manufacturing, such as a laser cutter, CNC milling, or plasma cutter. Additive manufacturing adds material to a project, often layer by layer, following particular patterns until the desired object is created. Subtractive manufacturing does the opposite, using a blade, drill bit, laser, or some other mechanism, to remove material layer by layer, until the desired design is achieved.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be diving into the world of CNC Manufacturing, as well as, Digital Fabrication in a series of articles. To help me traverse this seemingly daunting field, I had the pleasure of interviewing YouTube creator and maker Winston Moy. Winston went to school for mechanical engineering and felt more connected to practical engineering than theoretical engineering. Winston began making small Arduino projects, as well as projects for friends using hand tools, before deciding to purchase and start to learn CNC milling (why he chose CNC Milling, rather than 3D Printing or another device will be covered in an upcoming article). Winston now makes YouTube Videos to inspire others, as well as, showing off his cool projects, including the SpaceX Droneship coasters, which ended up on Elon Musk’s desk.
I had a great time interviewing Winston, and he provided valuable insight for the upcoming articles. If you want to learn more about Winston and his projects, the links for his YouTube and Instagram are as follows: