When thinking about common applications for a CNC machine, one of the first things that come to mind is probably an industrial setting such as a woodshop or auto parts manufacturer. CNC lathe tends to be used to create a series of balusters for a staircase or legs for a set of dining room chairs in woodshops, while CNC mill tends to shape replacement engine components out of aluminum or steel in an auto parts manufacturer.
Traditionally, fine jewelry has been made entirely by hand. For a precious-metal ring, such as a gold wedding ring, that might require creating a mold, pouring the ring, and then carefully engraving any patterns or designs into the surface. By using a variety of CNC machines, modern jewelers can streamline their processes. This is especially true when it comes to producing the molds for gold and silver jewelry, but it can also apply to everything from grinding and finishing metal rings.
CNC milling machines
Smaller mills can be used to section metals for finer work. Some manufacturers offer specialized mini-mills, often capable of operations on four axes or more. A CNC mill can also be used to crave was for lost-wax casting projects. Some of the smaller mills options Takam Machinery offers include: TA-series, TE-series, and M-one series.
While routers have a lot of similarities to mills, they are typically used with softer materials. As such, CNC router machines are ideal for carving out molds for casting gold silver and other metals. Wax models can also be formed using a CNC router.
CNC routers aren’t commonly used to create jewelry directly, but there are a few exceptions. Some of the common woodworking tools are making their way to jewelry shops as wood jewelry becomes increasingly popular. They can also cut acrylics for mixed media jewelry depending on the cutting tools used.
CNC engraving machine
CNC laser engravers are a common part of the jewelry industry. Many of the patterns and detail commonly found on wedding bands and other jewelry are created using a CNC jewelry laser. Laser engraving machines can also be found in DIY jewelry setups. These machines are usually much less expensive than other CNC machinery, making them ideal for home-based jewelry makers.
CNC lathes are a natural fit for jewelry applications due to the circular geometry of most jewelry from rings to bracelets. Experienced jewelers use advanced CNC mini-lathes to crave or engrave detailed designs into pieces of metal jewelry. Our lathes model ML and TL series work with a variety of metals from precious metals to stainless steel or even space-age alloys or exotic wood-and-metal combinations. CNC machines provide a level of precision and uniformity that a human hand would have trouble matching.
Benefits of CNC machining for jewelry
On of the biggest benefits of using CNC machinery to create intricate jewelry is increased efficiency. Since the element of human error is all but eliminated with a CNC machine, artisan jewelers can get a more consistent result with fewer mishaps. This, in turn, can save them valuable time and resources, especially when working with precious metals where any waste are costly.
Jewelers also use CNC technology to gain a level of automation. While hand-cast molds always contain some inconsistencies, CNC-cut molds can be made exactly the same every time, without the need to re-program the machine. Jewelers can also use CNC technology to replicate older designs or to reproduce perennial bestsellers. CNC technology can’t replace the decades of experience and craftsmanship of a master jeweler, but it can give him a new range of tools for his craft.