Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(climb vs conventional milling Adam)

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Rivets are one of the most common types of hardware used in fabrication and manufacturing. A rivet is a fastener that creates a permanent joint by insert one part into another and deforming the inserted shank to form a head. Rivets allow materials to be joined mechanically without requiring welding, soldering or other more involved methods.
In computer numerical control (CNC) machining, rivets serve numerous important functions. CNC machines use automated tools to cut and shape stock material into finished parts and products. Rivets provide a simple and reliable fastening solution for assembling these machined components. Here are some of the top uses for rivets in CNC work:
Joining Sheet Metal
One of the most frequent uses of CNC machining is cutting and forming sheet metal into panels, boxes, enclosures and more. Rivets provide a quick and sturdy way to join multiple sheets of machined metal together. The riveting process involves drilling or punching holes through stacked sheets and inserting a rivet into each matching hole. The rivet is then upset using a riveting gun or hammer to flare out the bottom shank, permanently clamping the sheets together.
Rivets are preferred for sheet metal assembly because they don't require access to both sides of the material during installation like screws or bolts. The flush appearance of most rivet heads also provides a smooth surface that won't interfere with adjoining parts. Common rivet types used for sheet metal include blind rivets, drive rivets and self-piercing rivets.
Joining Machined Parts and Subassemblies
In addition to sheet metal, rivets can be used to assemble machined parts and other CNC-fabricated components. Rivet joints offer high strength while allowing some flexibility and vibration dampening between connected members. This makes riveting well-suited for joining parts subject to loads and stresses like brackets, fixtures, supports and more.
The assembly process involves CNC drilling or punching rivet holes at precise locations on the components to be joined. Parts are clamped together and rivets are installed into the aligning holes. Upsetting the rivet shank creates a permanent clamping force between components. Riveting also eliminates the need to tap threads or perform other secondary machining operations to accommodate fasteners.
Permanent Pivots and Hinges
Rivets are commonly used in CNC projects to create permanent pivot points and hinges. Inserting a rivet through interleaving tabs or brackets on two parts allows them to swing and rotate relative to one another. The rivet joint gains its strength from friction and clamping force rather than threads or adhesion. This makes riveted pivots ideal for articulating assemblies like folding mechanisms, latches, levers and more.
The CNC process would involve programming hole locations and using a drill bit to create aligning holes on the mating components. Rivets inserted into the holes act as a basic mechanical hinge. Optionally, washers can be placed between riveted parts to reduce friction and wear at the pivot point.
Reinforcing Stress Points
Heavy-duty rivets are often used to reinforce parts and mechanisms at points subject to high stress loads and fatigue. For example, a large rivet can be installed through a bracket corner or tab ear where forces will be concentrated. This adds extra shear and clamping strength to prevent cracking and deformation under strain. Using rivets for reinforcement is quicker and easier than welding, which would distort and weaken the parent material.
CNC programmers will identify high stress areas on parts and specify reinforcement rivets to be inserted during post-machining assembly. Large dome head or countersunk rivets are commonly chosen to avoid clearance issues with adjoining components.
Securing Features to Parts
In some cases, it’s useful to attach additional features and geometries onto a machined part using rivets. Examples include adding wear pads, skid plates, secondary brackets, bumpers and more. Riveting provides a simple way to secure these extra components without the cost of welding or need to tap threading holes. The CNC program will direct drilling holes on the base part to match up with mounting holes on the feature to be added. Rivets inserted and upset in the aligned holes hold the parts together.
Attaching Identification Plates
Rivets provide a simple and reliable method for attaching engraved ID plates, instructional decals, warning labels and other informational signs onto CNC-machined products. This eliminates the need to silkscreen or stamp text directly onto parts. The identification plates can be easily swapped out or changed using standard hand tools rather than re-machining.
To add an information tag, the CNC machine drills holes on the product surface to match the plate. Rivets are inserted through the holes into the back of the plate, firmly attaching it to the component. Tiny flush rivets minimize any bumps or snagging points. Self-piercing rivets can directly pierce the base material without pre-drilling if necessary.
The versatility, strength and ease of installation make rivets an essential fastening component for CNC fabrication. Machinists rely on rivets for quickly and securely joining sheet metal, assembling machined parts, reinforcing stressed regions, adding features, and attaching identification plates. With the precision hole placement ability of CNC machines, rivets can be located exactly where needed for optimal function. Riveting eliminates tedious secondary tapping and threading operations to accommodate screws or bolts. The vast selection of rivet types and styles makes it easy to choose the best option for any application. Whether used on a small scale or for large-volume production runs, rivets will remain a staple fastening method for CNC shops. CNC Milling CNC Machining