What Is CNC Machining?

CNC machining is a type of manufacturing where a machine performs operations such as cutting or drilling on a piece of metal or other material.

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. The term was coined in the 1970s, but the concept has existed since the early 1900s.

CNC machines are used to perform repetitive tasks that would otherwise require human labor.

What Is CNC Machining?

They are also known as numerically controlled (NC) machines because they follow instructions given by a computer program.

Keep reading to find out more about CNC machining and how you can use one today! 

What Is CNC Machining? 

A CNC machine is a tool that uses a computer to control its movements.

These tools are often used to cut materials into specific shapes. For example, a CNC milling machine cuts parts from metal using a rotating cutter head.

The first CNC machines were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In those days, computers were slow and expensive. As a result, only large companies could afford them.

Today, however, most small businesses can purchase their CNC machines at relatively low prices.

The basic components of a CNC machine include a computer with software designed specifically for controlling the machine, a worktable that holds the part being worked on, and a spindle attached to the CNC machine’s motor.

This is what does the cutting. It rotates at high speeds while it moves along the X-axis and Y-axis.

How Does CNC Machining Work?

A CNC system is a computerized numerical control system. It uses a series of inputs called a part program to direct a cutting device to make specific cuts. Cutting devices include drills, saws, lathes, etc. 

Errors may occur when CNC machines are used to cut in more than 1 direction at once. CNC machines use a programmable controller to create a 3D model.

Programs are entered into the system using a keyboard. CNC machines are capable of creating complex models such as those found in architecture or engineering.

What Is CNC Machining?

Types Of CNC Machines

CNC machines can be sorted into two categories: single-axis and multi-axis.

Single-axis machines only allow one axis to move at a time while multi-axis machines can move up to three axes simultaneously.

A single-axis CNC machine has one axis that moves along with the spindle. It is often used for cutting small parts out of sheet metal.

Multi-axis CNC machines are more powerful than single-axis machines because they can move in multiple directions at once. These machines are usually used for milling operations such as turning, drilling, and boring.

There are many different types of CNC machines available today. Some are designed to produce simple designs, while others are capable of producing intricate details.

A milling machine uses a drill bit to cut away material from a block of metal. A milling machine is useful for making complicated parts. Milling machines have been around for centuries.

However, modern mills are much faster than older ones. Milling machines are still popular among hobbyists who enjoy working with wood, plastic, and other nonmetallic materials.

A lathe is an older style CNC machine that creates cylindrical objects. Lathe machines are similar to milling machines in that they use a drill bit to remove material from a workpiece.

Lathes are typically used to shape wood, plastic, and ceramic materials.

A router is similar to a lathe except it produces flat surfaces instead of round ones. Routing machines are commonly used to shape plywood and particleboard.

A CNC router is a combination of a router and a milling machine. They are very versatile because they can perform both functions simultaneously.

Molding machines are used to create molds. The process involves pouring molten metal into a mold where it cools and hardens. Once the metal has cooled, the mold is removed and the finished product is ready to be used.

Drill presses are used to make holes in wood, plastic, or metal. These machines are also known as hole bores. They are often used by carpenters to bore holes in wooden boards.

Boring machines are used to bore holes through solid materials. For example, boring machines can be used to bore holes in concrete blocks so that electrical wires can pass through them.

A mill is another kind of CNC machine that makes circular cuts. They are most commonly used to cut sheet metal. Mill machines are also referred to as circle grinders.

Sawing machines are used to cut wood, plastic, stone, and other materials. They are sometimes called band saws.

CNC Machine Programming

CNC machining uses a software program called G-code. This program controls the speed and position of a machine tool function. CNC machining allows you to make precise parts without much help from humans.

You need to write down the instructions on paper before running the program. Once the program is done, you give it a try to see if there are any errors.

Programming Languages

There are many different languages that programmers can choose from when creating programs. Some of these include:


The G-code is a programming language that tells the CNC machine how to move its tools. It consists of commands like “move forward”, “turn left”, “stop”, and “go back”.

Each command is followed by a number that represents the distance (in inches) that the tool will travel after executing the command.

For instance, the command “move forward 10” means that the tool will move forward 10 inches.

Assembly Language

Assembly language is a low-level programming language that requires a lot of experience to understand. It was originally designed for microprocessors but now it is used to control CNC machines.


Basic is a simple programming language that beginners can learn easily. It is not recommended for advanced users.


Python is a high-level programming environment that is easy to use and understand. It is one of the most popular programming languages today.

Open/Closed-Loop Machining Systems

The process of manufacturing using CNC machining is controlled by either an open-loop system or a closed-loop system.  

Open Loop Control

Open-loop control is used for low-force, high-speed movement. In open-loop control, the computer calculates the amount of force needed to achieve a certain result.

The operator does not have to do anything except press the start button.

Closed-Loop Control

Closed-loop control is used for precision positioning and accurate motion. In closed-loop control, the computer sends signals to the motor driver to tell it where to go and what to do.

The operator then adjusts the settings to get the desired results.

Advantages Of Using CNC Machining

CNC machining offers several advantages over manual methods. Using CNC machining, you can create very precise parts. For example, you can cut holes into a piece of wood and drill a hole through it.

You can run a CNC machine faster than you could manually. 

It takes less time to make a part when it is done automatically. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment to produce your products. All you need is a CNC machine.


CNC machining is a useful way to manufacture items from various materials. It is a precise method that is cost-effective and fast. Why not give it a go today?

Michael Moore

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