All You Need To Know About CNC Machining—Definition, Process & Components

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CNC machining is an advanced metal fabrication technique where written codes regulate the entire manufacturing process. The code does everything, right from the spindle speed, the movement of the cutting head, RPMs, etc

Half a century ago, machinists were entirely responsible for crafting every piece to perfection, but now things have changed. Yes, their vast knowledge and practical industry experience is still indispensable in todays automated manufacturing industry. Yet, for maintaining the same precision in dimensions, computerized machines are preferred

What Value CNC Machining Brings to Businesses:-

Continuous Use

Unlike the manual labour, the CNC machinerybarring any maintenance and malfunctioncan work continuously with no breaks. Thus, significantly boosting efficiency and productivity

Consistency, Precision & Redundancy

The best part about CNC machining is that the design of any product has to be programmed only once. Regardless of the volume of the order, the design can be replicated with precision

Low Skill Requirement

Another benefit associated with CNC machines is that one requires little training and no formal education to operate them. In contrast, manual machines call for special skills and years of practice to use them

Fewer Human Resources

Since a programmed computer software administrates the entire machinery procedure, we require fewer technicians to oversee the operation, thus decreasing overall labour expenses


Another benefit associated with CNC machining is that software can easily & quickly be reprogrammed to manufacture different parts, allowing operations to keep up with the shifting customer demands.


The CNC machining technology uses the precision of a computer to go beyond the limitations of manual capabilities. More intricate operations can easily be managed with CNC machining.

The mainstay manufacturing boosts an extensive spectrum of CNC machining capabilities, including milling, turning, forming, and punching

CNC Machining Process

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We can divide the process of CNC machining down into four necessary steps to fabricate custom parts

Step 1:

First, you need to export your CNCcompatible CAD file format. STEP and IGES are the two file formats predominantly used in CNC machining

Both the formats are standardized, opensource, and can be utilized across platforms

For better results, you need to export your designs directly from the native CAD software into the STEP file format

Step 2:

Prepare a technical drawing. While technical drawing is not always required for manufacturing various parts with CNC, yet we highly recommend it to include as it might contain certain information that is not present in the STEP format

We Need a Technical Drawing in the Subsequent Scenarios:-

  • If there are, tolerances specified.
  • If the design contains threads.
  • In case, the particular surfaces require a special finishing

Step 3:

In this step, youve to prepare the CNC machine. The preparation aspect of using a CNC machine includes affixing the workpiece into the machine, or into machine vises. After that, we require tools such as end mills, drill bits, along with proper machine components

Once the machine has been fully set up, the operator can run the CNC program

Step 4:

Finally, execute the machining operations. Starting the program triggers the CNC machine to begin its process. The CNC program commands the movements and actions of the tooling

Components of a CNC Machine

Input Devices

The various input devices include compact devices, compact discs, and other modern data transfer components.

The Machining Component

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The machine component is a highaccuracy system that enables machining of the end products

It encapsulates the systems and cutting spindles controlling the machine partsthe machining competent responds to preprogrammed computeraided control logic.

Machine Control Unit

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The heart of a CNC machine is a highvalue logic control panel, which comprises a control loop unit (CLU) and a data processing unit (DPU). 

The Data Processing Unit component handles reception and decoding of the programs

Once intercepted, the data which has been decoded is relayed to the Control Loop Unit as electrical signals

Driving System

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It is another critical component of a CNC machinery, which responds to the preprogrammed instructions to enable cutting off the end products into its predefined shape & design

In its simplest form, it comprises a series of control motors

Feedback Device

To operate the CNC machine efficiently, relay feedback is required during & after the process is completed

Let’s Wind Up

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