What is CNC?

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CNC Machining is a process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. Tools that can be controlled in this manner include lathes, mills, routers and grinders. The CNC in CNC Machining stands for Computer Numerical Control.

How does it work?

A programmable controller receives input in G-code, the universal computing language for CNC routers. G-code drives the machine across its axis, be that 3, 4 or 5 axis routers. Not only is G-Code universally applicable to CNC routers it is the designated programming language for all X, Y, Z axis driven machines (3D printers, laser cutters, etc.). As a general rule this language consist of two major parameters coordinates (X, Y, and Z) and G commands (Also M commands, although not relevant for now). The coordinates are used as a reference to the G commands which specify what action the machine should do along the coordinates.


In other words…

Let’s say I want to drill a hole. That means I need to tell the machine where I want it to drill the hole a.k.a. the coordinates. Once I know the position of the hole I need to instruct the machine to commence a drilling operation in that position also known as G command.

So you’ve got your machine ready…


There are many advantages to using CNC Machining. The process is more precise than manual machining, and can be repeated in exactly the same manner over and over again. Because of the precision possible with CNC Machining, this process can produce complex shapes that would be almost impossible to achieve with manual machining. CNC Machining is used in the production of many complex three-dimensional shapes. It is because of these qualities that CNC Machining is used in jobs that need a high level of precision or very repetitive tasks.