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What is Computer Numerical Control do?

 Everything You Need to Know About Computer Numerical Control

What is Computer Numerical Control do?

The first step in understanding computer numerical control (CNC) is to know what CNC is, and why it’s important. 

Simply put, CNC refers to a method of automating the control of machine tools through the use of software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the machine. 

It’s important because it allows for more precise and efficient manufacturing than could be done manually, and it allows for the creation of components that are too complex to have otherwise been made without specialized machinery.

Define CNC?

Computer numerical control (CNC) is a method for automating and controlling machine tools through digital data. That means that CNC machines are able to take commands directly from a computer. 

The acronym CNC refers both to the devices used in computer-controlled machining, as well as computer control of machining via those devices. 

In other words, CNC encompasses not only CNC milling machines but also CNC lathes and any other kind of machine tool that can be controlled by an embedded computer or computer-driven software.

 Because these computer-controlled machines can produce parts with more precision than human hands alone, they’re often used in fields like aerospace engineering, medical technology, and even jewelry making.

 Computer numerical control has been around since 1954 when inventor Charles E. Lecht invented it at MIT’s Servomechanisms Laboratory.

 Since then, it has become increasingly important in industrial manufacturing processes worldwide.

 CNC mills are so common today that even hobbyists have access to them

you can buy your own desktop computer numerically controlled (CNC) mill online for less than $2,000 USD! Nowadays, computer numerical control is just one part of a larger set of technologies known collectively as computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM).

 Some estimate that 80 percent of all manufactured goods use some sort of CIM system. And while modern CNC systems are usually based on computer-assisted design programs, older ones were designed entirely in CAD software before being transferred to their actual physical form. 

This process has become much easier thanks to dedicated CAM programs such as AutoDesk’s Fusion 360 and Onshape.

 However, despite its ubiquity in modern manufacturing, there are still many misconceptions about what exactly computer numerical control actually is. 

Let's go over some commonly asked questions about computer numerical control here: 

  • What Is Computer Numerical Control?
  • How Does Computer Numerical Control Work?
  • How Can I Learn Computer Numerical Control?
  • What Is Computer Numerical Control Used For?
  • Why Use Computer Numerical Control Over Manual Machining? 
  • Where Can I Learn More About Computer Numerical Control?

History Of CNC

Computer numerical control (CNC) is a method for automating machine tools.

CNC uses computers and software. 

CNC machines are used in manufacturing industries such as automotive, aeronautics, space industry, and more. 

There are several types of computer numerical control machines that help users to cut any shapes easily from a piece of solid material.


The first CNC machine was developed by the German company Zeiss-Jena in 1957.

Since then it has become one of the most important technologies in modern industrial manufacturing.

This post will give you all information about computer numerical control which will make you familiar with its working and applications.

How Does It Work?

While there are many different types of CNC machines, most work in roughly the same way. 

  • A CNC machine typically includes a computer microprocessor that runs a software program that converts lines of code into precise instructions for machining. 

  • The converted code is loaded into a system memory device called a programmable logic controller (PLC), which is then sent directly to one or more motors, which convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. 

  • These motors control movement along each axis and can be programmed using G-code.

  • Often, a CNC will also include additional components like spindles and drill units that assist with workpiece preparation prior to machining and coolant systems used during machining. 

  • This process is very similar to how an automated lathe works, except that it's all done by machine instead of by hand. 

Because so much of modern manufacturing relies on these machines, they're incredibly important and incredibly expensive! A basic setup could cost as much as $500,000 or more; however, once you have everything set up properly, your costs should drop significantly as you begin producing parts.

  •  As such, manufacturers often invest heavily in computer numerical control machining before making any parts at all. Once production begins, though, initial start-up costs quickly pay off and profits begin rolling in. 

  • With computer numerical control machines, you'll find that machining operations can be performed quickly and accurately with minimal human intervention required.

  •  All you need to do is write some code! This process is very similar to how an automated lathe works, except that it's all done by machine instead of by hand.

Safety And Work Environment

The CNC is made up of three main parts: control, motion, and machine.

  • The control portion is where CAD work takes place, 
  • while motion is in charge of feeding material into and removing it from machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, and drill presses.
  • The machine portion consists of all pieces used for holding a cutting tool against stock that’s being worked upon.

 Computer numerical control has been around since 1954 when MIT professor Harold Chestnut first developed what he called a program to shop. 

Today, computer numerical control has become an integral part of manufacturing because it allows for greater precision than ever before possible.

 This can be attributed to both software and hardware advancements over time. 

Safety measures must be taken when working with computer numerical control systems because they can cause injury if handled improperly.

  • When using computer numerical control systems, operators should always wear protective eyewear and ensure that anyone who enters their workspace also wears protective eyewear. 
  • It’s also important to remember that your hands may not have full mobility once you start working with a computer numerical control system; however, many computer numerical control systems allow you to program them so they do not move while your hands are near them.

Advantages Of CNC Over Manual Machining

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software allows us to create 3D models of our projects and manipulate them as we wish. 

CAD also makes machine operations much simpler, as you only need to design your project once in a single format; once you’ve finished your CNC project, simply replicate it again and again on any one of a number of similar machines.

 If you have several different types of machinery at your disposal, you can even program them all to produce identical parts with just a few simple tweaks. 

When designing for mass production, these benefits are invaluable. In fact, thanks to computer numerical control technology, there is no longer a need for skilled machinists—the computer does all of that work instead. 

In addition to saving time and money by cutting out unnecessary labor costs, CNC technology gives manufacturers more freedom when it comes to choosing materials and designs. 

This means you can use wood instead of metal or carbon fiber instead of steel—all without having to compromise quality or safety standards.

The Future Of CNC

CNC machines are becoming more and more common in small shops and even hobbyist setups. 

The advantages of CNC machines are huge; they are faster, easier to control, and capable of taking on tasks that may not be possible with standard tools or techniques. 

However, there is still a lot of room for improvement with CNC machines. As technology advances so will CNC machines. 

It’s only a matter of time before we see them being used in new ways and for new purposes. 

  • What do you think these uses might be? 
  • What could we use computer numerical control for in ten years? 
  • Twenty years?
  •  How will it change manufacturing as a whole? 

Applications Of CNC Machines

CNC machines are used in many industries because of their versatility and accuracy. 

  • These machines can be used for 3D cutting, routing, milling, drilling, and much more.
  •  Industrial manufacturers use CNC machining to create products such as automotive components, airplane parts, and medical instruments.
  •  In addition to industrial applications, hobbyists use CNC machining for a variety of applications from woodworking to creating signs.

 It is easy to find CNC mills and lathes online if you want to purchase your own machine.

 If you’re just starting out with DIY projects, there are even some computer-numerically-controlled kits available that will allow you to build your own machine without spending too much money.

 There are plenty of resources available on sites like YouTube that show you how to get started using CNC machines.

 However, before attempting any type of project using these tools, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment and training required by law. 

The last thing anyone wants is an injury while operating machinery!

What are the types of computer numerical control?