Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The development of the CNC machine

What are CNC machines?
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are automated milling devices that are designed to make industrial components without the need for direct human assistance. Using coded instructions that are sent to an internal computer, these machines enable factories to manufacture parts accurately and quickly.

The history of CNC machining
Computerised Numerical Control or CNC as it is now known, first came about after World War II as a result of the US Air Force’s desire to produce more accurate and complex parts.  The modern machine’s advent can be traced back to the invention of the numerical controlled machine made by John T. Parsons.

First concept developed for the manufacture of helicopter blades
Alongside Frank L. Stulen, John T. Parsons first utilised computer methods to overcome machining setbacks, especially the accurate interpolation of the curves found in helicopter blades. In the process of developing smoother rotors, Parsons and Stuler generated an early version of a Numerical Control (NC) machine.

Developed with assistance of MIT
To further develop this machine, in 1949, Parsons turned to Gordon S. Brown’s Servomechanism Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, a feedback system designed to gauge how far the controls had turned was developed.  
While the US Air Force halted its funding in 1953 due to expense, the project was resumed by Giddings and Lewis Machine Tool Co. who reduced expense but improved quality and efficiency.

Reduced production time from 8 hours down to 15 minutes
The first CNC machine was developed when John Runyon managed to produce punch tapes under computer control. By doing this, he managed to reduce the normal production time of 8 hours down to 15 minutes. By 1956, the US Air Force had accepted the proposal to produce a generalised programming language for NC.
The invention of CNC machines paved the way for automated tools that enabled efficient production for manufacturers. Today’s CNC machines bear little difference with the original machines in terms of concept. Both produce outputs in three dimensional directions: X and Y axes and depth.

The types of CNC machine
The types of CNC machine that exist today include the following:
CNC turning lathes –  CNC turning lathes produce parts by turning rod materials and feeding a cutting tool into the turning material.
CNC milling machines – Using a rotating cylindrical cutting tool, CNC Milling utilises a machining process similar to both drilling and cutting. The cutter in a milling machine has the ability to move along multiple axes and can create a variety of shapes, slots and holes   

CNC routers - CNC routers are similar to handheld routers but the tool paths are instead controlled via computer numerical control. CNC routers can be used for cutting various hard materials including wood, composites, aluminium, steel, plastics and foams.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Top 10 most popular programming/scripting languages in 2014

This list doesn’t surprise me, Java is still on the top, partly because it can be use to create web applications, desktop programs, mobile applications, etc.

Read the whole article and share your insights about this list on the comment section.

The C programming language

1. Java
Java is very popular from the past many years, and now in 2014 it’s still the most popular programming language. You can use Java in creating web applications, desktop programs, and mobile applications, remember ”WORA”? Demands for experienced Java programmers are very high and pays awesome salary. And if you’re a novice programmer, you might better try to learn Java.

JavaScript is not related to Java even though it does have “Java” in its name. It is most commonly used as part of web browsers, whose implementations allow client-side scripts to interact with the user, control the browser, communicate asynchronously, and alter the document content that is displayed. It is also being used in server-side programming, game development and the creation of desktop and mobile applications. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and jQuery are 2 of the most popular JavaScript techniques and JavaScript library used today by many most visited websites.

3. PHP
With its current latest stable release (5.5.9), PHP is still one of the most popular server-side scripting languages today. Rasmus Lerdorf developed its first version in 1995. Originally known as Personal Home Page, it now stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, which is a recursive backronym. PHP is now installed on more than 244 million websites and 2.1 million web servers.

4. Python
Designed with an emphasis on readability and compact syntax, Python is a dynamic, highly flexible language commonly used for both scripting and developing applications.

Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C. The language provides constructs intended to enable clear programs on both a small and large scale.

C++ is a general purpose programming language that is free-form and compiled. It is regarded as an intermediate-level language, as it comprises both high-level and low-level language features. It provides imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features.

C++ is implemented on a wide variety of hardware and operating system platforms. As an efficient performance driven programming language it is used in systems software, application software, device drivers, embedded software, high-performance server and client applications, and entertainment software such as video games. Various entities provide both open source and proprietary C++ compiler software, including theFSF, LLVM, Microsoft and Intel. C++ has influenced many other programming languages, for example, C# and Java.

Originally developed by Microsoft for the .NET initiative, C# is a modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language used to develop software components for deployment in distributed environments.

C# is intended to be a simple, modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. Anders Hejlsberg leads the development team for C#. Its most recent version is C# 5.0, which was released on August 15, 2012.

Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. It is the main programming language used by Apple for the OS X and iOS operating systems and their respective APIs, Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

Originally developed in the early 1980s, it was selected as the main language used by NeXT for its NeXTSTEP operating system, from which OS X and iOS are derived. Generic Objective-C programs that do not use the Cocoa or Cocoa Touch libraries, or using parts that may be ported or implemented for other systems can also be compiled for any system supported by GCC or Clang.
Objective-C source code program files usually have .m filename extensions, while Objective-C header files have .h extensions, the same as for C header files.

8. Ruby
Ruby programming language
Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. It was designed and developed in the mid-1990s by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto in Japan. Its latest version is Ruby 2.1.1, which was released on its 24th anniversary last February 24.

According to its authors, Ruby was influenced by Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including functional, object-oriented, and imperative. It also has a dynamic type system and automatic memory management.

9. C
The predecessor of the other popular programming languages (C++, C#, Java, Objective-C), C programming language nowadays is still used by many developers, and C compilers are available for the majority of available computer architectures and operating systems. Dennis Ritchie initially developed C between 1969 and 1973 at AT&T Bell Labs.

10. Perl
Perl is a family of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. The languages in this family include Perl 5 and Perl 6.
Though Perl is not officially an acronym, there are various backronyms in use, such as: Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions. The latest major stable revision of Perl 5 is 5.18, released in May 2013. Perl 6, which began as a redesign of Perl 5 in 2000, eventually evolved into a separate language. Both languages continue to be developed independently by different development teams and liberally borrow ideas from one another.
The Perl languages borrow features from other programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, and sed. They provide powerful text processing facilities without the arbitrary data-length limits of many contemporary Unix command line tools, facilitating easy manipulation of text files. Perl 5 gained widespread popularity in the late 1990s as a CGI scripting language, in part due to its parsing abilities.


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