How to program CNC machine?

CNC programming, or computer numerical control programming, is developing code, or a program of directions, for a computer to operate CNC machines and tools. A CNC programmer studies a paper or digital model of a part and inputs a sequence of instructions on how to make it into a computer. The computer, connected to electrical drives and sensors, then sends these instructions to a motorized machine such as a mill, router, grinder or lathe, to manufacture it. The computer directs the movement of the machine’s spindle, and the machine cuts, grinds or presses materials into complex shapes and surfaces.


CNC programming helps build the code that directs the operation and working of a CNC machine. A CNC machine employs a subtractive manufacturing process that cuts away portions of the base material to give any desired shape. CNC machines typically use G-codes and M-codes for the CNC machining process. G-codes oversee the positioning of the tools and have the part prepared for the cutting or milling process. M-codes control the rotations of tools and other functions. For parameters including speed, tool number, cutter diameter offset, and feed, the system employs other alphanumeric codes that begin with S, T, D, and F respectively.

There are two kinds of CNC programming essentials: manual programming and automatic programming. Manual programming refers to a programming process that involves manual completion of various steps including part pattern analysis, process processing, data planning, preparation of step lists, input steps to step verification. It is practically used for point processing or products with simple appearance and easy programming.


Parts with complex shapes and structures (especially parts composed of spatial curved surfaces), or parts with many processing steps, due to the large workload of manual programming, error-prone, step verification is also difficult, and manual programming is difficult to complete, so it is necessary to adopt Active programming. CNC machine tool programming process: change the engineering language on the drawing into the language of the CNC device, and record it on the control medium. Analyze the pattern and determine the process: Perform part process analysis to determine process parameters such as processing routes and cutting parameters. Numerical calculation: For contour processing of parts with simple shapes (such as parts composed of straight lines and arcs), calculate the starting point, end point of geometric elements, the center of the arc, the coordinate value of the intersection or tangent point of two elements, etc..

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