|Computer Numerical Control (CNC) noun
01:22Computer Numerical Control (often referred to as "CNC") is the method by which a computer is used to precisely control various aspects of manufacturing. CNC is often used to replicate the same processes done by hand, such as work or metal millwork. CNC setups can be used to control practically any piece of comparable equipment including lathes, engravers, drillpresses, etc. In today's manufacturing climate it's almost a given that CNC work will be used at some stage of the process.
Making musical instruments is no exception. In larger operations Computer Numerical Control setups may be used to initially shape instrument necks or bodies, and may further include fine detail work such as replicating detailed violin scrolls, for example. It is often used for the fine detail work needed to create fancy inlays in headstocks and fingerboards, or intricate heel carvings.
Computer Numerical Control can never replace the hand work of an experienced luthier and the art of inlay and instrument making is alive and well. Modern instrument making is often enhanced by the existence of automated processes like this. CNC is best viewed as another tool available for luthiers and for the production process.
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LAST UPDATED 04-24-2016 17:26