A Beginner’s Guide to CNC Machining

CNC machining, otherwise known as computer numerical control machining or simply CNC, is an industrial manufacturing technique where computers control machines and toolsnike air max 90 yeezy store near me adidas yeezy boost 350 v2 dazzling blue air max 97 sale custom dallas stars jersey wig store wigs for women custom triathlon jersey nike dunk nfl nike air jordan sale cheap yeezys yeezy store near me nike air force jordan yeezy boost 350 v2 hyperspace adidas yeezy boost 350 turtle dove to produce parts of various sizes, shapes, and complexities with high precision.

There are several common types of CNC machining processes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, quality of results, and the type of materials they can be used to process.

Here’s everything you need to know about CNC machining to help you determine which process would work best for your project or business needs.

What is CNC Machining

CNC machining is a process that uses computers and various types of machines to remove material from a workpiece or create a new part. Some of the common types of materials cut with CNC are metal, wood, plastics, and composites.

The best way for a beginner to understand how these process works are by looking at the components involved. A typical setup includes three main components: the machine tool, which can be any type of machines such as an end mill or drill press; the computer-aided design (CAD) software, which translates what you want your machine tool to do into something it can understand; and finally, the CAM software that tells the computer-aided design (CAD) what type of machine tool it should use.

How Does CNC Machining Work?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It is a manufacturing process in which material is cut, shaped, or machined by controlling the movement of an automatic tool or machine.

The controller of the CNC operation determines where and how much cutting will take place. This is done by converting CAD data into instructions that can be interpreted by the machine or tool to produce the desired product.

Types of materials that are typically machined using a CNC include metal, plastic, and wood. Sometimes we refer to this type of work as subtractive because it involves removing unwanted parts from the workpiece.


CNC routers use computerized controls to move both vertically and horizontally. They specialize in quick-cutting operations on flat surfaces such as acrylic sheets or plywood panels.

The Roles of CNC Machining

CNC machining is a process that utilizes computers and cutting tools to create precision parts. There are three components of CNC machining: drilling, milling, and turning.

Drilling is when a machine creates holes in materials using a drill bit. Milling removes material from an object by moving the object along two axes while the cutter remains stationary.

Turning refers to the rotational cutting of material on the axis of rotation, producing features such as tapers or threads on its surface.

Types of Machining Operations

The manufacturing process suits various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, construction, and more. You can produce multiple products with CNC machinings, like airplane engines, surgical equipment, automobile frames, gears, and more.

Let us explore the mechanical machining operations below:

  • CNC Drilling

When drilling in the machining process, you will need multi-point drill bits that produce cylindrical holes in your workpiece. However, in CNC machining, the machine feeds the rotating drill perpendicularly to the surface of the workpiece. That helps them produce vertically aligned holes with equal diameters as the drill bit used in operation.

Angular drilling operations are also performed using work-holding devices and specialized machine configurations. The operational capabilities of the process include reaming, tapping, countersinking, and counterboring.

  • CNC Milling

CNC mills are commonly used to create parts in aerospace engineering, automotive manufacturing, medical devices, and construction industries. With the help of the mill, you can create complex shapes requiring precise measurements without having to do manual work.

The type of machine will depend on what the desired end result is, but most CNC milling machines use a spindle that rotates at high speeds with a tool attached (the cutter). It will then move back and forth over the piece being cut until it creates the desired shape.

The material that is being machined may be clamped onto a table or fixed in place by other means depending on its size and how much precision is required.

Operation capabilities of the process include face milling (shallow, flat surfaces or flat-bottomed cavities) and peripheral milling (slots and threads).

  • CNC Turning

It also has three variations: vertical turning, horizontal turning, and face-milling. Vertical turning is typically done on lathes or other cylindrical machines; the spindle can move up and down, while the cutter can move both horizontally and vertically.

The workpiece is typically held in place by a collet that grips it at a point of tangency with the center of rotation (this means that it holds the workpiece by gripping it tightly at one point on its circumference). The rotation is generated by the spindle’s rotation rather than the feed screw movement, like what happens during milling.

In other words, rotating the spindle drives both cutting tool movement and rotary axis movement simultaneously.

Alternatives of CNC Machines

CNC machines portray various advantages over other common manufacturing processes. However, it is not appropriate for all manufacturing applications to prove cost-effective and suitable.

We have focused on understanding CNC machining processes through the article, but CNC controls are integrated into various machines. The other CNC machining processes include waterjet cutting, abrasive jet machining, and ultrasonic machining.

Nonetheless, other non-mechanical processes include thermal, electrochemical, and chemical machining. Chemical machining is a process that includes chemical blanking, milling, and engraving.

On the other hand, electrochemical machining includes electrochemical grinding and deburring. And lastly, thermal machining processes are electrical discharge machining (EDM), plasma arc cutting, beam machining, and laser cutting.


CNC machining is a process that uses computers and robotic arms to create complex 3D shapes. The components include a computer, a control system, and an industrial robot arm. The machine takes in raw materials like metal and cuts them with precision.

CNC machinists are responsible for maintaining the machines they use daily to ensure that they run smoothly. They also have the opportunity to learn other skills, such as welding and grinding, to move into more advanced positions within their industry.

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