FANUC - CNC Machine News and Articles
How Do CNC Machines Work?
The first question to ask is:
What does CNC stand for?
CNC stands for Computer Numerically Controlled.
This refers to how the computer (instead of people) controls the machines as it manufactures complex parts repeatedly. In layman’s terms, it means these machines are run by programming a computer, instead of needing someone to stand there and do it by hand. There are several types of machines that employ the CNC modification: lathes, milling machines, grinding wheels, drills, and more.
These machines are exceptionally quick and churn out parts at a startlingly swift pace. This automation process has helped companies increase their production times exponentially. The CNC machines utilize CAD data (Computer Aided Design) to move seamlessly from the design process into the production process.
CNC machines have three types of controllers that are commonly found on CNC machines. Desktop controllers are used from a remote location – a different room or office from the machine. Pendant controllers hang from an arm attached to the machine, and pedestal controllers will sit on top of an arm attached to the machine.
CNC machines also make use of one of four different types of software. Manual G Code Programming is normally found on larger, commercial machines, used for simple machine processes. Offline CAM Programming is also found on larger machines, but is more difficult for operators to learn.
Conversational Programming is an easy to learn program, making simple and complex parts easier to manufacture. Finally, Windows Based Programming is exactly what it sounds like – a Microsoft Windows based program that can understand imported CAM and CAD data, and is easier for operators to understand.
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