CAD, CAM and CNC machining

CAD, CAM and CNC machining:  Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Machining and Computer Numerical Control

At Cranford Engineering we have powerful CAD CAM capabilities. We can read in almost any CAD data file or format, we can manipulate the data to change the shape of a 3D model or add draft or scale. Then we can machine the part or the mould tool using one of our CNC machine tools.

We can design products from scratch using our 3D modelling software or convert your drawings into 3D models. This allows both you and us to agree on the final design before we make the product. It allows us both the visualise the finished job and to get an idea of how it is going to work once it is made.

At Cranford Engineering, Computer aided machining and CNC is second nature. We’ve been CNC machining for a long, long time. It is the essence of modern toolmaking. It’s using a computer to help generate beautiful, complex machined parts. It is a joy to watch and great fun to be part of. We don’t get involved in high speed machining or big batch quantities; our speciality is one-offs, custom and bespoke work: Toolmaking. We use fully up-to-date machining software by a world leading software developer.

CNC milling

CNC Milling at Cranford Engineering
CNC Milling at Cranford Engineering

Almost all of our CNC milling is undertaken on our Takumi Seiki V8a Vertical machining centre controlled by a Mitsubishi Meldas 500 controller running Fanuc programs. The machine has a 24 position tool carousel, XYZ travel of 1050mm x 560mm x 560mm and a spindle speed of 8000 rpm. Having solid cast bed-ways, the machine is sturdy and stable allowing us to cut pretty hard materials and still achieve very good surface finishes. Nearly all the programming is done off line on a powerful PC running NCGCAM 3 axis machining software.

CNC milling computer
Mitsubishi Meldas controlling the Takumi Seiki V8a
CNC Milling
CNC Milling

We also run and old knee mill with DC servomotor drives. It is simple to program and extremely versatile. It is smaller that the Takumi and has a smaller cutting envelope but again, all hard machine slides so it’s still accurate to under 25 microns despite its age.

CNC turning

Wheel machining at Cranford Engineering
Wheel machining at Cranford Engineering

CNC turning at Cranford Engineering is the undertaken on our Harrison Alpha 550. It is one of the biggest lathes in Surrey having a swing of 800mm through the gap or 560mm over the bed. It is 1500mm between centres. It is mostly programmed offline and is capable of turning very complex curves or shapes. In this picture we are simply facing the inside a motor car wheel to change the position of the wheel relative to the rest of the car.


CNC Spark Erosion

Array of cavities
Matrix array of cavities in a vacuum compression tool

To round off the set, we have a CNC46 spark erosion machine made by Sparkatron. It has a tank size of 1100mm x 600mm x 330mm and a axis travels of 497mm x 396mm x 170mm. See our spark erosion page for more details on the process. A CNC spark erosion machine serves toolmakers like us extremely well. It allows us to cut multi cavity tools with one setup. For example a ring of cavities in an injection mould or a matrix of cavities in a compression mould.

If you have any CNC machining requirements, we’d be happy to talk them through with you. Call us on 01372 272380

Visit Us