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CNC Machining is one of the most popular manufacturing processes that company’s turn to when they need to produce high precision parts. With multiple manufacturing processes to choose from, it is vital to understand what the CNC machining, CNC machines is, and the overall process involved.

What is CNC Machining?

To answer the question about what CNC machining is, here is the ultimate answer. CNC machining is a manufacturing process that uses computer software to control the movement of the machine and the attached tools. The process can control a wide range of complex machines from millers to grinders. With this process, it is possible to complete three-dimensional cutting tasks with only one set of prompts.

CNC is short for computer numerical control, and it simply means runs on computers, and that is far better than manual control. In traditional machining, the operators are needed to maneuver and prompt the machine through its wheels, buttons, and levers. It is a tedious process and can be subjected to human errors. With CNC machining the machine and the tools are computer-aided with minimal room for errors.

To an onlooker, the CNC system may look like an ordinary computer but the console and computer program used in CNC machining is much more than that. It is more distinct than other forms of computing.

Different Kinds of CNC Machines

Did you know that the first CNC machines were introduced in the 1940s? This was when the motors were first used to control the movement of an attached tool. Later as technology evolved, the mechanism became more advanced by incorporating analog computers and then with digital computers to complete the CNC machining system we know today.

Most of the CNC machines today are electronic and some of the more common CNC machining processes included hole punching, ultrasonic welding, and laser cutting.

Here is a list of the most frequently used machines available in the CNC systems:

CNC Mills

The CNC mills run on computer programs that guide the pieces over various distances. Most basic mills are made of a three-axis system (X, Y, Z) and fitted with either a G-Code or a unique computer language developed by the team. The newest version of CNC mills can now accommodate three more axes.

CNC milling

CNC milling


Lathe machine can cut pieces of material in a circular direction. When these lathes are in CNC machines, it can carry out the task with high velocity and precision. CNC lathes are useful when creating parts with complex designs, and that would not be possible using conventional machining. CNC mills and CNC lathes are working similarly.

Plasma Cutters

This CNC machine uses a plasma torch to cut the material, and it’s mostly used in creating parts using metal materials. It can also be used on other surfaces. Using a plasma cutter requires a combination of electrical arcs and compressed air-gas to get the necessary speed and necessary to cut metal.

Electric Discharge Machines

EDM is alternately called die sinking and spark machining because it molds a particular piece into shape using electric sparks. In this CNC machine, the current is discharged between two electrodes which removes the sections out of the block.

Water Jet Cutters

In this type of CNC machine, the water jets are used to cut through hard materials like metal and granite using high-pressure water. Sometimes sand or any strong abrasive is added to the water to cut them. Most factory parts are cut using this machine.


CNC machining is an essential process to make highly detailed cuts of certain materials to create industrial hardware products.