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CNC (computer numerical control) machining is a process that uses code, often generated using computer software, to control the movement of cutting tools to manufacture parts through material removal. CNC machining software, often referred to as CAM software, manages movements of the machinery through programming which eliminates the need for manual operation.
The first step in many CNC machining operations is to remove as much metal material as possible. See how Autodesk's Adaptive Clearing helps.
Learn how 2-axis milling compares to 3-axis and the advantages that 3-axis CNC machining has to offer.
Watch the production of custom parts using a lathe, called turning.
CNC machines are broadly classified by the number of axes involved and how they move.
2.5-axis machining creates prismatic features at distinct Z levels, moving the tool in only two axes simulatenously.
3-axis machining uses all three axes simultaneously to create complex and non-planar surfaces.
4-axis machining uses all three axes simultaneously to create complex and non-planar surfaces.
5-axis machining uses a combination of three linear axes and two rotational axes to efficiently machine a broad scope of geometry.
CNC machine design will vary greatly. On some machines, the part will move or rotate while the spindle and tool remain stationary. In other machines, the part is stationary while the spindle moves. Some machines are a combination of both these designs.
To learn more about various CNC machined parts, you can read our Types of CNC eBook. This eBook also includes descriptions of CNC machine components & programming and non-milling machines.
Autodesk has software for CNC machining and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
Direct Aero Systems shares how they use Fusion 360 and HSM to program DMG Mori machines to produce high quality aerospace parts quickly, without sacrificing quality.
D&D Engineering services the food processing industry. To minimise machine downtime, D&D uses FeatureCAM to produce replacement parts with a fast turnaround time.
Precision Mould & Machining uses PowerMill to program and CNC machine complex moulds for the automotive, aerospace, medical and defence applications.
Get started with CNC machining with these tutorials, guides, tips and tricks.
Watch this introductory video about CNC machining processes to learn about milling, turning, routing and more.