6 Things to Know About CNC Machining

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

How to become a CNC Machinist?


There are many aspects to become a CNC machinist and I am here to help you understand what CNC is and how to enter into the machining world. There are levels to becoming a machinist and mostly you would enter as a CNC operator but through these pages, I will help you understand what to look for, understand programs, running different types of machines, calculating feeds and speeds, and reading different CNC operating systems.


What does CNC stand for?


CNC stands for computer numerical control. A CNC machine is a precise manufacturing machine that was made for high production and precision. There are many forms of CNC machines like lathe, mill, EDM's, laser, and more in which I will explain throughout these pages.


What is CNC programming?


CNC programming is where you use software to create a cutting program that is run on a CNC machine. CNC programmers create the part in 3d through CAD (computer-aided design) software and create tool paths through CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software.


Machinist Tools

CNC machinists use a variety of tools to ensure the best quality of work. These tools help to measure the parts they are currently working on and to perform the proper setup for the job beforehand. It is impossible to maintain quality without these tools in which some companies what the machinist to have their own and other companies supply these tools.


Commonly used CNC machining materials


Cast iron is a very soft and cheap material when it comes to machining. What I like about this material is how fast it can get cut and instead of continuously having to clean your machine due to thick shavings this material actually leaves dust.

Carbon steel- this material is the most commonly used in the machining companies I've been in. It is not too challenging to cut.

Stainless steel- this material is another common material that has been in the shops where I have been. Stainless steel doesn't rust and is a harder material than carbon steel to cut. This material is also not magnetic.


CNC Machine Tools

There are many different cutting tools used in CNC machining. For each type of CNC machine as of lathe or mill, there are tools and holders to machine parts precisely and time efficiently all depending upon the budget of the company.


What is a CNC Machine?

A CNC machine has many different forms in which the machines are made. In all a CNC machine is a machine ran by a computer that reads in number code.


Types of CNC Machine


CNC Lathe

The CNC Lathe is commonly used for facing, turning, grooving, threading, and boring from the center line of the part. Without the capabilities of live tooling the lathe is made for high production turning.


CNC Milling Machine

The CNC mill is made for more precise cutting that can be done on any side of the part. The basic 3 axis mill is designed for high production, high precision, parts.




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