What Is CNC Machining

In the manufacturing industry, it’s all about speed and precision. You want to complete a task or project as fast as possible, but without jeopardizing the precision of your work. In the past, machining was mostly done by hand. In order to speed up the process and eliminate error, the first Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine was introduced in the early 1950’s.

So what exactly is a CNC Machine and what does it do?

To put it in its simplest form, it’s basically a way of controlling machine tools programmatically by the use of a computer. Tools that typical use CNC Machining are lathes, mills, routers and grinders.

If used properly, a CNC machine is proven to be much quicker and more precise than manual machining.

At first, a CNC machine looks like a normal PC, but the computer is wired with precise, unique software and control panels. By using CNC Machining, machine tools function through this numerical control panel. To create a specific object, part, etc. that part is given a customized computer program through machine CNC language called G-code. All the specific programming dictates how the machine creates a specific object through feed rate, coordination, location and speeds.

CNC Machining helps the computer control speed and exact positioning and velocity, and can be used in metal and plastic fabrication. Each object begins with a CAD drawing, and then a code is created based off that CAD drawing for machine to read. Once the code is ready to go, an operator runs a test run which is known as “cutting air” in order to ensure perfect fabrication.

Once the fabrication is perfected, the operator can use that specific code to produce parts quicker and more efficiently with less error, and can produce parts that are virtually impossible to create by hand.