computer numerical control, commonly called CNC) is the automated control of machining tools (such as drills, boring tools, lathes) and 3D printers by means of a computer. 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.

A CNC machine is a motorized maneuverable tool and often a motorized maneuverable platform, which are both controlled by a computer, according to specific input instructions. Instructions are delivered to a CNC machine in the form of a sequential program of machine control instructions such as G-code and then executed. The program can be written by a person or, far more often, generated by graphical computer-aided design (CAD) software.

CNC is a vast improvement over non-computerized machining that must be manually controlled.

Advantages of CNC Machining:

  • Lower costs for labor and materials
  • Speed of production
  • Complex shapes easily achieved
  • Increased accuracy
  • Part consistency
  • Tight Tolerances: +/- .0001″
  • Rapid prototyping

Materials used for CNC Machining:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Titanium
  • Zinc
  • Carbon Steel
  • Ductile Steel
  • Grey Iron
  • Stainless Steel

Materials used for CNC Machining

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