What is a CNC Machine?


CNC (computer numerical control) machines play a vital role in manufacturing. These machines are usually controlled by computers and offer a level of consistency, accuracy, and efficiency, which can be achieved manually.

Operations that used to be impossible several years ago are now simple, thanks to these machines. Just like there are different parts that these machines may make, there are types of CNC machines that accomplish this. Each differs in construction, the products they produce, and how they work.

How CNC Machining Works

When CNC systems are activated, the cuts can be programmed into Easel software and dictated to corresponding machinery and tools that conduct the dimensional tasks.

When it comes to CNC programming, the code generator in the numerical system can assume mechanisms don’t have flaws, regardless of the possible errors that are greater when CNC machines are directed to cut in two or more directions at the same time.

With CNC machines, programs can be inputted through punch cards. In contrast, programs of computer numerical control machines are fed to computers via small keyboards.


There are different kinds of computer numerical control machines. The basic functioning is similar to all CNC machines. That is what makes these machines CNC systems.

The way CNC machines work will depend on what they are expected to do. Some of the common types of computer numerical control machines include:

  • CNC mills: These run through programs that use letters and numbers. The programming usually guides different pieces of machines across varying distances. Normally, a basic CNC mill works on the three-axis system. But new models are complex. They work up to a six-axis system.
  • Plasma cutters: Manufacturers usually use plasma cutting CNC machines to deal with metal materials. A lot of heat and speed are required when making cuts in metals. In order to achieve this, compressed air is normally combined with electrical arches.
  • Lathes: A lath can cut pieces in a circular direction. The process is achieved with indexed tools. They handle all cuts with high velocity and incredible precision. A lathe CNC machine is also used to make complex designs for manually-ran machines. While they create complex products, lathe CNC machines are not complex themselves. Two-axis systems are more common.

Using CNC Machines

CNC mechanists should gain skills in metal-working and programming to use the power of CNC machines. Apprenticeship programs and technical trade schools normally start students on manual CNC lathe machines to better understand how cutting metals works. Mechanists must be able to picture all three dimensions.

These days, the software makes it simple to produce complex parts since they can be designed and drawn virtually. Tool paths may also be suggested by the software being used to produce those parts.

Closing Remarks!

Technically, many CNC machines are software-based these days. Software is helpful as it simplifies the usage of the conventional machining process.

There are different kinds of CNC machines in the industry, but some tend to lag production process rather than facilitating it.

This is why it is best to be knowledgeable about CNC machines and how they work since they are now the future of the manufacturing industry.

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