History of CNC Machines & CNC Machine Tools


cnc machine history

Unless you are in the CNC machine industry you probably don’t know how much we owe to CNC machines. CNC machine’s are responsible for the manufacture of many types of products, including machine parts, orthopedic molds, and more. Here is a brief history of the CNC machine, CNC router bits, and other CNC machine equipment:

CNC stands for “computer numerical control” and was the culmination of several entities’ work. John T. Parsons is credited with creating the first CNC-type machine. Parsons began by creating helicopter rotor blade templates which could be replicated by feeding a card into a Swiss jig borer. In 1942, Parsons began working on the same technique to replicate airplane skins.

CNC Machine History

Many wars have brought about monumental cultural shifts and the invention of many things that would not have been needed without the lifestyle and needs that war brought upon various cultures. One such invention is the CNC machine. World War II brought about much change including the need to manufacture machine parts quickly and reliably for aircraft.

The Air Force in conjunction with MIT began working on another machine based on Parson’s earlier version. After much research and experimentation, MIT created a machine, a development from Parson’s earlier design. During WW II, MIT used this machine to manufacture the gun turrets for Boeing b-29 Superfortress and the auto tracking system for SCR-584 radar. The machine further developed and the Card-a-matic Milling Machines was a group project between MIT, Parson’s, and the Air Force, though Parson’s eventually filed for an individual patent and won.

pohl cnc products


These early CNC machines and CNC machine tools though by today’s standards are very simplistic were the beginning of the CNC machine as we know it. Paper cards with holes strategically punched in them, gave way to more complex computer programs. These later models for their time were very complex, and could create detailed cuts even with “primitive technology.”.

The CNC machine went through several more iterations including the Cincinnati Hydro-Tel and the Cronus Moving Bridge: These machines eventually gave us the CNC machines and technology that we have today. The CNC machine is responsible for the creation of much of what we use on a daily basis and greatly contributes to the overall quality of modern culture’s way of life including the manufacturing of orthopedic products.

Pohl CNC Router Bits

We hope you enjoyed the brief CNC machine history. If you are in need of high-quality CNC router bits, shop our online store today! Interested in buying a CNC machine? Check out our available equipment, get a quote, and look into our financing options. Along with offering high-quality products we also offer a three-day training and on-site training, for more information go here.

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