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

The concept of numerical control(NC) is a widely accepted and commonly used term in the machine tool industry. This enables the operator to communicate with machine tools via a series of numbers and symbols.

NC which then became Computer Numerical Control (CNC) brought rapid changes to the metal industry. New machine tools in CNC have helped the industry to consistently produce parts to attain accuracies that were dreams only a few years ago. The same part can be again produced to the same degree of accuracy any number of times if the CNC program has been properly developed and the PC properly programmed.

The demanding use of CNC in the mechanical industry has created a need for professionals who have the knowledge and capable of developing programs which guide the machine tools to produce parts with required shape and accuracy. Keeping this in mind, the authors have written textbooks to take the mystery out of CNC and make the concept in a logical format of understandable ease.

A Short History of CNC

In the 1950’s came into being the first commercial NC machines and ran from punched tape. Though the concept proved it could save costs, but being so different from the present state, that it was very slow to impress the manufacturers. In order to promote a rapid adoption, the US Army bought 120 NC machines and loaned them to several manufacturers to enhance their familiarity and popularity.

By the end of the 50’s, NC was gaining attention. But there were a number of issues. For example, g-code didn’t exist then. G-code is the nearly universal language of CNC that we have today.

A number of significant developments were brought in CNC rapidly during the 1960’s and henceforth.

Milling Machine

The milling machine had been one of the most versatile machine tools used in the industry. Actions such as milling, gear cutting, contouring, boring and drilling only a few to mention.

The milling machine can be programmed on three axes:

X-axis : controls left or right table movement

Y-axis : controls to and fro table movement with respect to the column.

Z-axis : controls the vertical movement of the knee or spindle.

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