CNC machine
cnc machine guide

Why would I need a CNC machine?


CNC stands for computer numerical control and is a way of producing consistent and repeatable machining, grinding, and cutting operations by means of programmable control. CNC machining is to the manufacturing industry what computers are to the office. However, many beginning and even some advanced-level computer users remain confused as to why they would need a CNC machine and what they would use it for. CNC machines are very expensive pieces of machinery that most home hobbyists won’t need. But there’s much more to these types of machines.

CNC machine

What is a CNC Machine

A CNC machine processes a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) to meet specifications by following a coded programmed instruction and without a manual operator directly controlling the machining operation. Because of this, a CNC machine is capable of producing complex shapes that would be hard or impossible to produce by hand.

There are two types of CNC machines: those that are computer-controlled and those that are not. A typical drill press is an example of the latter. It drills holes based on a clamping fixture and preset measurements. The operator turns knobs to move the head up and down, side-to-side, and forward and back. The operator also controls the speed at which the drill turns. A drill press is limited in its capabilities because it makes only one hole at a time and it can’t make complicated shapes.

A CNC machine is different because it has a computer controlling its movements. To understand how this works, you need to know a little bit about g-code (G-Code Programming Basics). G-code is the language that tells the CNC machine what to do. Basically, it controls each axis individually so the machined part ends up exactly like the CAD drawing.

What’s the difference between the CNC machine types?

A CNC machine is a computer-controlled cutting machine. The name itself stands for Computer Numerical Control, and it represents one of two common types of CNC tools (the other being 3D printers).

CNC machines perform cuts on materials by using a variety of cutting tools — bits — which can be changed depending on the shape or depth needed for the cut. CNC machines are used to cut and shape a range of materials, from metals and plastic to wood and foam. These tools range in size from small, desktop milling machines to large industrial-sized manufacturing machines.

The most common types of CNC machines are:

Milling Machines


Laser Cutters

Plasma Cutters

Waterjet cutters

How do CNC machines work?

A CNC machine is a computer numerical control device automated to perform a complex material cutting task. Once a component is designed by an engineer, for example an aircraft part, a CNC machine is programmed to mill that designed part out with high precision into the required material. A CNC machine works using a piece of software called G-code that tells the machine where to move, how fast to move, and what path to follow.

There are many different types of CNC machines designed for different purposes and applications. The most common types are mills, lathes, axis, and machining centers. Mills cut material into flat surfaces, lathes spin the material while cutting it into circular shapes, machining centers can do both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work at the same time (typically in the aerospace industry), and axis machines are used to create very intricate designs that would otherwise be impossible with traditional methods.

Use CNC machine for cutting and drilling metals

A CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, machine uses a computer to control the movement of the tools and instruments in the machine. The computer can be programmed to make complex cuts, designs and movements with the tools that are attached to it. CNC machines are most commonly used for cutting and drilling metals.

Cutting and drilling metals with a CNC machine is faster than doing so manually, as the machine only needs to be programmed once for repetitive tasks. This also eliminates any errors that may occur due to human error, since the machine will follow its programming exactly every time it is put into use. CNC machine tools are also more accurate than manual tools, which saves time by eliminating the need for repeated test cuts on a piece of metal.

Use computer-controlled machines to cut wood

Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines are computer-controlled cutting machines used to make all kinds of parts.

The machines are used in a variety of industries, including aerospace and automotive, ship building and construction.

Welders use them to cut metal, woodworkers use them to cut wood, and machinists use them to cut all kinds of metals.

The most common types are water jets, laser cutters, and milling machines.

Cutting foam and other soft materials.

There are lots of ways to cut foam, but I’ve found the easiest and most effective way is with a hot wire. You can make one yourself, or buy one like mine from Foam Factory. I picked up an extra foot attachment so it’s easier to cut long pieces straight. It’s not the most precise way to cut, but it’s cheap, easy, and works on a variety of materials including Styrofoam, insulation foam, EVA foam (like for cosplay), craft foam, felt, and even cardboard.

Machine parts

CNC machines are designed to perform the same types of tasks as conventional lathes, milling machines and other manual equipment. But CNC machines do their jobs more quickly and with greater precision.

Manufacturers use CNC tools and systems to create a wide variety of industrial parts and products. Machine shops, carpenters and engineers use these tools to make a wide range of things, including:

Machine parts

Car parts


Phone cases

Model aircraft


A cnc machine can be used in many different applications.

You have probably heard about CNC machines, but you may not be aware of all of the different things that they can do. These machines offer a lot of benefits, and they are able to make the process of producing products much easier.

One type of application for these machines is in manufacturing plants. In these factories, there are often several different types of materials that need to be cut and formed into different shapes, and a CNC machine can do all of this very easily and efficiently. They are also used in other industries such as automotive, aerospace, and food processing plants.

Another type of application is in the construction industry. This is because they can help with the construction process by making sure that everything is properly measured and cut so that it will fit together correctly. This helps to reduce waste during construction because you won’t have to worry about wasting materials when trying to get it right.

CNC machining has changed the way we manufacture products.

But a new method of machining, called computer numerical control (CNC) machining, has revolutionized the way we manufacture products. CNC machining uses computer-controlled tools to machine parts from raw stock material. The process allows manufacturers to make intricate parts with complex geometries in less time than with traditional manufacturing methods like casting and stamping.

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