Closeup of generic CNC drill equipment. 3D illustration.
January 25, 2021

CNC Machining

CNC stands for computer numerical control. Before CNC there was NC – numerical control.

In 1949, the Air Force provided the financial backing for the production of the first NC machinery. The first production of NC machinery was used to help the production of helicopter blades.

At first, the machines operated via the information input via punched tape.

The timesaving capabilities of NC machining resulted in more research and development. This coincidentally led to the discovery of CNC programming languages. With continued accessibility and the decreasing prices for technology, CNC language took over NC language.

How CNC machines operate?

Today, CNC machinery is automated and operates digitally. CNC machinery uses digital files to store information and successfully carry out their required tasks. The language used for CNC machining is referred to as G-code. G-code controls the behaviours of a machine.

CNC machining allows you to pre-program the functions of a machine through the utilisation of software. Machining processes require multiple machines to produce a specific component of an item. However, when using CNC, machinists can program a CNC machine to switch tools based on the digital instructions it has been given.

Before you can use CNC machines, you must present a 2d or 3d drawing to the CAD software, which then translates it to computer code. CAD or computer-aided design and drafting uses technology for design and technical documentation whilst replacing a manual process with an automated one.

Some Examples Of CNC Machining

CNC mills function through a combination of numerical and letter-based prompts that guide the tool. The program used to inform and instruct a mill machine is G-code or a unique language developed by manufacturing teams. Mill machines operate on X, Y, and Z-axes. Mill machines have the capacity to accommodate three additional axes.

Lathe machines have indexable tools that cut the workpiece in a circular motion. When using enhanced CNC Lathe machines, the cuts delivered by the tool are precise. CNC lathe machines complete complex designs that are unattainable on manually operated machines. CNC Mills and Lathes operate similarly. They use G-code or a unique language. However, lathes operate on an X and Z axes, whereas CNC Mills operate with an X, Y, and Z axes.

If you need to carry out an intricate cut or you have to be meticulous, CNC machining is a lifesaver. If you program the machine with the correct code it will carry out the task perfectly and free of error!