CNC machining plays a vital role in the ever-evolving modern manufacturing industry. But what exactly is a CNC? How does it work in manufacturing and what does a CNC machinist do? More importantly, how can an aspiring CNC machinist successfully prepare for and land a CNC machining job today? As Connecticut's leading manufacturing and machining school, Goodwin College starts with the basics and breaks down all the details:

What is CNC?
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and codes control the movement of production equipment. CNC machining controls a range of complex machinery such as grinders, lathes and lathes, all of which are used to cut, form and create different parts and prototypes. Every day, CNC machinists combine elements of mechanical design, technical drawing, mathematics, and computer programming skills to produce a variety of metal and plastic parts. A CNC operator can turn a sheet of metal into a critical aircraft or car part.

What is a CNC machine tool?
Computer numerically controlled machines are automated machines that are operated by a computer that executes a preprogrammed sequence of controlled commands. A CNC machine is essentially the opposite of "old fashioned" equipment, which was manually controlled by handwheels or levers, or mechanically automated by mere cams. Today's modern CNC machines understand and operate using the CNC machining language, known as G-code, which tells them precise production measurements such as feed rate, speed, position and coordination.
The design and mechanical components of today's CNC systems are highly automated - unlike the old, dangerous factory machines you used to imagine. The mechanical dimensions of the part are defined using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then translated into manufacturing instructions by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Therefore, it is very important to have CNC machinists and programmers who are knowledgeable in the industry to operate this high-tech machinery.