What is CNC Programming? – 2020 Guide

Computer Numerical Control Programming, or something known as CNC in the industry, is a process where manufacturers of the so-called CNC machines are programming them to do a certain task depending on their needs. We all know that people no longer control the machines, so if you want a computer to do it instead of you, you’ll have to program it based on your goal.

This type of programming requires a lot of skill and knowledge about the way a machine functions, and cannot be done by a person that is not familiar with these things, or, at least that’s how it was in the past.

Thanks to inventors and technology, we have CNC programming software that can be used by almost anyone these days, but they are not very cheap and they also require some skill as well. Luckily, that’s all that we’re here to talk about, so stick with us until the end and we’ll help you learn some more.

What types are available?

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Programming a machine cannot be done unless you own the machine, so for you to choose one and purchase it, you’ll have to know exactly what you are going to use it for. Here are some of the most popular types of CNC instruments that you might be interested in.

Milling

Sometimes you have to cut materials and to do so, you’ll need a milling machine. These types come equipped with various tools, some made for drilling and others made for cutting. Before you purchase the machine you will be able to choose the equipment that you want with it. The most popular types of these milling machines can be in three, four, five and six axes, but the ones with more will also have a higher price.

This is the most basic type that you can find on the market, and it is used in almost every company that works with machines of this kind.

Plasma-Cutting

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This might sound like a machine that comes from the future, but it is very common in companies that work with CNC devices. When you think about it, it is very similar to the previous machine, except it doesn’t use mechanical drilling and cutting tools, but a high-powered plasma torch instead.

It can cut through most materials with ease, and it is very useful when you have to work with metal and other sturdy materials. Believe it or not, the temperature that these things can reach is sometimes up to 50.000 Fahrenheit, which is a mind-blowing number. Safety gear is mandatory when you are near these things.

Laser-Cutting

Some people, especially those who are not very familiar with CNC machines, often confuse this type with the plasma-cutting one, but they are very different, although the looks suggest otherwise. Unlike the ones that use plasma, laser-cutting machines are a lot more accurate, because we all know that lasers are meant for that.

So, if these are more accurate, why do people use the plasma-cutting ones? Well, because the laser is not as strong as the plasma torch. You can find these with a different laser on the market, a CO2 version, Nd (Neodymium) and Nd;YAG.

Sparking (Electric Discharge)

This one is also known as The Electric Discharge Machine, but some people call it the Sparking Machine instead. An electric discharge CNC machine is something that uses sparks to shape certain materials in the shape that you wish them to be. You can program them to discharge a smaller or a larger amount of electricity, depending on the type of material that you are working with, and a few other factors.

It sounds pretty complicated to use, but it’s not. You just have to place the material in-between both electrodes and then the rest is done from a computer. If you are interested in CNC Routers, one of high quality and durability, feel free to visit https://www.elephant-cnc.com

CNC Programming

We already gave you a brief introduction about this type of programming, but we’re going to tell you a few other things that are worthy to know as well. Programming is a person communicating with a machine, but, not by using a human language, but a language that the machine can understand.

There are many popular programming languages, some that you’ve already probably heard about, such as C++, C#, JavaScript, Python, and many others, but if you want to communicate with and program CNC machines, you will have to use the G-Code.

By learning how to utilize this language in your working environment, you will be able to command the machines where to move and which functions to use. Here’s a very fun part. Some of these instruments understand a different “dialect” of the G-Code, meaning that your instructions will sometimes have to be different depending on the machine.

Worry not, however, because upon purchasing a CNC device, you will also get an instruction manual with the commands that you can use. Once you learn how to do this, you will have tons of fun, especially if you are using these instruments as a hobby, rather than work.

Conclusion

CNC Instruments are very useful, and they are used daily by factories and companies that manufacture most of the things we are using. Numerous things can be created with them, and due to their huge availability, anyone can purchase one without too much of a hassle. They are not expensive, but they are not cheap as well. The price will mostly depend on their type.

CNC machines are not directly controlled by the human hand. Although you have to do the material adjusting and placement on your own, the way they work is a bit different and slightly modernized. If you want to give a command to an instrument of this kind, you will have to use a special programming language called the G-Code. With the lines that you input in the device, you will be able to control the movements and patterns, as well as the axis of the moving parts. Your final result will depend on your G-Code knowledge and the quality of your machine.

 

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