Almost sad to say, but when I started out teaching the back room of our shop had drawers of punched cards. They were all programs for a room sized computer that could run a plotter or a computer controlled router. Not sure if that was before or after punched tape. Clearly the transition from mechanical to digital interfaces was not overnight. It was another 30 years before CNC routers under 5k that could be run from a small PC (or your phone using a web app) showed up.
Makes me wonder what the "new" interface will be in another 30 years.
The first CNC that I saw was a Beisse Rover that used 3.5 floppies to run. It had an feeder that you just put the piece on and it would pull it in to zero it then cut and push it out to be stacked. That was at Toledo Store Fixtures back in the 90's
I saw a lot of metal shop CNC use that tape system back 15+ years ago.
In the video they didn't mention, but seems those parts were held by vacuum since both sides are visible finish surfaces. That first router doing the edge feature would have made some side force to test the vacuum system.
Now they would have at least 6 spindles all cutting at the same time, all cutting identical parts and tool changers for each spindle so they change bits as needed. I saw a video of one with about 10 or 12 spindles, scary to say the least.
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