CNC machining plays a crucial role in modern manufacturing. With high precision, high efficiency and high automation, it has won the favor of many manufactures. So, what is CNC machining? And how does a CNC machine work? Today, we will come together to understand the principles and applications of CNC machining.

what is cnc machining

What is CNC machining?

A technology that uses digitized information to control a machine tool for parts processing. It realizes automated machining by controlling the movement of the production equipment with software and code that will program the part. This type of machining greatly improves productivity and machining accuracy, and reduces production costs.

What is CNC machines?

CNC machines
CNC machines

CNC machine tool is the core equipment of CNC machining. Through the computer control system to receive, process and output digitalized information, drive the machine tool to carry out accurate position movement and cutting processing. CNC machine tools are characterized by high precision, high efficiency, high flexibility and high automation, and are important equipment for modern manufacturing.

Types of CNC machines

CNC milling machine
CNC milling machine
CNC lathe
CNC lathe

A CNC machine tool is not a specific machine, but a group of different types of CNC machines that perform different machining processes. According to the different processing methods, they can be divided into the following categories:

  1. CNC lathe: mainly used for shaft parts processing, such as turning, milling, grinding and so on.
  2. CNC milling machine: applicable to the processing of plane, surface and complex parts, such as molds, fixtures, etc.
  3. CNC Drilling Machine: mainly used for hole processing, such as drilling, reaming, tapping and so on.
  4. CNC Grinding Machine: used for grinding processing of high-precision parts, such as bearings, cutting tools, etc.
  5. Machining center: integrates a variety of machining functions, which can realize a variety of machining operations such as milling, drilling, tapping, etc. It is a highly efficient and high-precision machining equipment.

How does CNC machining work?

CNC machining is an advanced machining method, through the digital control technology of metal, non-metal and other materials cutting machining

  1. Design parts: use CAD software to draw a three-dimensional model of the part.
  2. Generate the program: CAD model into a CAM software can recognize the data format, generate CNC machining program.
  3. Import program: the generated CNC machining program into the control system of the CNC machine tool.
  4. Setting Parameters: Set the machine parameters according to the machining requirements, such as cutting speed, feed amount, etc.
  5. Start machining: start the machine tool and carry out automatic machining according to the program.
  6. Inspection of finished products: carry out quality inspection on the finished parts to ensure that they meet the design requirements.

Main terms in CNC machining

Some common terms used in CNC machining

  • G-code: A programming language that describes the motion of the machine tool and is used to control the cutting action of the machine.
  • M-code: A code used to control auxiliary functions of the machine such as switching, tool change, coolant, etc.
  • Coordinate System: A reference system used to describe the position and attitude of a part on a machine tool.
  • Cutting Parameters: Including cutting speed, feed, depth of cut, etc., which affect the quality and efficiency of machining.

What can you do with CNC machining?

CNC machining is widely used in a variety of manufacturing fields and can process a variety of parts with complex shapes and high precision requirements. Whether it is automotive parts, aerospace parts, molds, fixtures, etc., CNC machining can be used to achieve high precision and high efficiency.

What are the advantages of CNC machining?

  • High precision: Through computer control, micron-level machining accuracy can be realized.
  • High efficiency: high degree of automation, the machining process does not require manual intervention, greatly improving production efficiency.
  • High flexibility: the machining program can be modified to adapt to the processing needs of different parts.
  • Cost reduction: Reduced manual operation and scrap rate, reducing production costs.

What materials can be processed by CNC machine tools?

CNC machine tools can process metal materials, such as steel, iron, aluminum, copper, etc., non-metallic materials, such as plastic, wood, glass, etc.. The machining of different materials requires the selection of appropriate tools and cutting parameters.

What are the applications of CNC machining?

  • Aerospace field: for machining a variety of high-precision, high-strength parts.
  • Automobile manufacturing field: for processing engine, chassis, body and other parts.
  • Mold manufacturing field: used to process a variety of plastic molds, die-casting molds and so on.
  • Precision machinery field: for processing a variety of precision instruments, meters, etc..


CNC machining with its high precision, high efficiency and high automation characteristics, in the manufacturing industry plays an increasingly important role. With the continuous progress of technology and application areas continue to expand, CNC machining will usher in a broader development prospects.

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