The Basics of Computer Numerical Control

computer numerical control

CNC is an acronym for computer numerical control. Often used to describe a computerized lathe, CNC can be used in many different settings. The following are some basic definitions: what is it? What are G-codes and M-codes? And what is Absolute mode? If you are just getting started with CNC, there are some basics you should know. But if you want to know more about CNC, read on.


If you've ever run a machine or worked with CNC, you've probably noticed that the program works in a sequence. The CNC control will first read the first command in the program and interpret it, then execute the next command, and so on. These sequential commands continue until the entire program is finished. These programs are very similar to step-by-step instructions. But with CNC, there's no need to memorize the exact process.

Programming commands can vary dramatically from machine to machine and builder to builder. One common example is the M60 command, which enables the user to make changes to a pallet in one operation. Other programmable functions are often found in the graphical interface of the CNC control. However, the actual commands differ from machine to machine. Beginners will need to consult a manual to determine the proper command for their machine. For this reason, it's important to take advantage of the CNC manual.


Computer numerical controls use G-code to make their machines move. Each G-code command specifies a specific behavior and starts with a letter designation. They are then followed by a series of numbers. For example, G1 X2 Y1 F32 will move the machine to X1, Y1, and a distance of 22 mm from the origin. G-codes also contain modal and non-modal codes.

There are many different standards for computer numerical control. Some of these are widely used, while others are specific to a specific manufacturer. G-Code is a widely used programming language. It has several dialects, such as Mazatrol and Heidenhain's Conversational CNC language. Nevertheless, there are some important details and defaults associated with each language. Listed below are a few of the more important ones.


When a machine is programmed, it sends information via an M-code, which is an auxiliary machine command. This type of code is used to control the operation of a tool, such as a lathe. Each M-code is assigned a specific function. Typically, only one M-code can be in a block of code. But in some cases, more than one M-code may be present.

G and M-codes are used for directing a machine's functions. The M-code commands are usually followed by two digits. G-codes are used to tell the machine where to operate, but an M-code commands the machine to stop when it has completed the programed task. An M-code will start and stop a movement after a tool has reached its specified position.

Absolute mode

When using a CNC machine, it is important to know the difference between the incremental and absolute modes. The incremental mode allows you to make changes to the motion commands of your machine, while the absolute mode is a more accurate way to make the changes. The difference between these two modes is the way that CNC control states the location of the program zero. In absolute mode, if a tool moves from zero to an intermediate position, the program is compared to that location. This prevents errors from occurring during the motion command process.

There are two primary modes for CNC programming: incremental and absolute. In an incremental mode, end points are specified from the tool's current position to the program zero. To program a tool in absolute mode, the programmer must specify the distance from program zero to the starting position. However, this method is more complex than the absolute one. Beginners should focus on absolute mode instead of incremental mode. It makes it easier to make changes.


Computer numerical control offsets can be defined as the location of a machine tool in relation to the reference position on another machine. The machine's offset values can also be used to reference other positions. For example, if the tool one has an offset of 5.000 in its offset table, the other two tools can use offsets of 5.000. To compensate for offset values, the machine must be in its most positive position in all three axes.

Offsets are used to compensate for tool wear and can also help the setup person set program zero. Offsets are typically large negative values that can be recycled. This makes them a valuable tool in CNC systems. Offsets are essential to many types of machinery, including CNC. Here are some common types of offsets and how they can be used. All offsets must be used in conjunction with the axis control in order to make sure the machining center is producing accurate parts.

Software-based CNC controllers

There are a number of benefits of software-based CNC controllers. These controllers are modular and allow the builder to add control features without requiring a control builder or OEM. Another advantage is that software-based CNCs can replace existing CNCs in shops. The benefits of software-based CNC controllers are listed below. To learn more, please contact the company. You may be able to save a lot of money with a software-based CNC controller.

These CNC control systems run on a personal computer or machine tool servo system. They don't require specialized hardware or a parallel port. The software performs all the functions of a hardware-based CNC controller, including input/output control and human-machine interface (HMI). There are several types of software-based CNC systems available, ranging in cost, type, and features. Some models offer fourth-axis support, 2.5-D capabilities, and router or lathe support.

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