CNC

CNC stands for computer numerical control. It is a versatile system that allows you to control the motion of tools and parts through computer programs that use numeric data. CNC can be used with nearly any traditional machine. The most common CNC machines found in the machine shop include machining centers (mills) and turning centers (lathes).
These classes will explain operations performed with the help of CNC. The content is for individuals who need to understand what CNC is and how it works. Content covers the basic machines as well as programming for the more experienced user.


Class Functional Area Format Difficulty Version Department
Classes 1 to 10 of 35
Introduction to CNC Machines 201

Intro to CNC Machines provides a comprehensive introduction to computer numerical control (CNC), which uses numerical data to control a machine. CNC machines rely on a system of three linear and three rotational axes in order to calculate the motion ...

Related 1.0 Class:
Mechanics of CNC 110
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Basics of the CNC Lathe 211

Basics of the CNC Lathe explains the components and functions of both the chucker and bar machine CNC lathe varieties. CNC lathes have spindles that spin workpieces held in chucks or collets. A carriage and cross slide move along ways ...

Related 1.0 Class:
Basics of the CNC Turning Center 120
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Basics of the CNC Mill 212

Basics of the CNC Mill explains the components and function of CNC mills. A CNC mill produces flat or curved surfaces on square or rectangular workpieces. CNC mills may have a vertical spindle or a horizontal spindle and either their ...

Related 1.0 Class:
Basics of the CNC Machining Center 130
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Coordinates for the CNC Lathe 221

Coordinates for the CNC Lathe provides an overview of the coordinates used to program cutting operations on CNC lathes or turning centers. It introduces the systems of both Cartesian and polar coordinates and describes how Cartesian axes are used on ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Coordinates 140
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Coordinates for the CNC Mill 222

Coordinates for the CNC Mill provides an overview of the coordinates used to program cutting operations on CNC mills or machining centers. It introduces the systems of both Cartesian and polar coordinates and explains the Cartesian axes for vertical and ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Coordinates 140
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Basics of G Code Programming 231

Basics of G Code Programming provides a comprehensive introduction to G code programming. Programmers use G codes to create part programs, which direct CNC machines to create a part. Part programs consist of blocks, which contain words that are a ...

Related 1.0 Class:
Part Program 150
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Introduction to CAD and CAM for Machining 241

Introduction to CAD and CAM for Machining provides a foundational overview of CAD and CAM systems and how they are used in CNC machining operations. While CAD greatly streamlines the process of part design, CAM ensures successful production by converting ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CAD/CAM Overview 160
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe 251

Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC lathe. Operators use the handle and jog modes to move a turret or machine spindle incrementally or steadily. MDI ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Manual Operations 200
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Control Panel Functions for the CNC Mill 252

Control Panel Functions for the CNC Mill explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC mill. Operators use the handle and jog mode to move mill axes incrementally or steadily. MDI mode executes isolated ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Manual Operations 200
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
Offsets on the CNC Lathe 261

Offsets on the CNC Lathe provides explanations of the concept, purpose, and use of offsets on a CNC lathe or turning center. The workshift, geometry, and wear offsets are essential components of any part program. The class first introduces the ...

Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Offsets 210
Machining Online Intermediate 2.0 CNC
FormatFunctional AreaDepartment IDDepartmentClass IDClass NameDescriptionDifficultyVersionLanguageRelated Classes
OnlineMachining300CNC340110 Introduction to CNC Machines 201 Intro to CNC Machines provides a comprehensive introduction to computer numerical control (CNC), which uses numerical data to control a machine. CNC machines rely on a system of three linear and three rotational axes in order to calculate the motion and position of machine components and workpieces. A machine control unit controls and guides the movements of the machine tool. This class also describes PTP positioning, which moves to the end position before the tool begins to cut, and continuous path systems that can move a tool along two or more axes at once and cut during the movement. Additionally, closed-loop systems provide feedback, while open-loop systems do not.CNC machines are used to make a variety of products using a number of different processes. With proper training, a human operator can use CNC machines to make accurate parts with decreased risk of error. After taking this class users should be able to describe common components of CNC machine tools and controls.Intermediate2.0English(300110) Mechanics of CNC 110
OnlineMachining300CNC340120 Basics of the CNC Lathe 211 Basics of the CNC Lathe explains the components and functions of both the chucker and bar machine CNC lathe varieties. CNC lathes have spindles that spin workpieces held in chucks or collets. A carriage and cross slide move along ways to position cutting tools against the spinning part. A cutting tool may remove metal from the inside or outside surface. Carbide inserts are the most common cutting tools used in turning operations. Turning centers are also capable of creating holes with the use of drills and reamers. The turret rotates to place the required tool in the cutting position.It is essential for a CNC lathe operator to be familiar with machine basics prior to executing any cutting operation. A trained operator can use a CNC lathe to create precise parts safely and consistently. After taking this class, users should be able to describe the basic functions and general machine components of a CNC lathe.Intermediate2.0English(300120) Basics of the CNC Turning Center 120
OnlineMachining300CNC340125 Basics of the CNC Mill 212 Basics of the CNC Mill explains the components and function of CNC mills. A CNC mill produces flat or curved surfaces on square or rectangular workpieces. CNC mills may have a vertical spindle or a horizontal spindle and either their table or cutting tool may move to execute a cutting operation. CNC mills use a variety of tools, which are kept in the toolchanger on a toolholder, to perform different cutting operations. The spindle grabs the toolholder and secures it. On the worktable, vises or fixtures may secure workpieces during machining. The CNC mill can perform multiple operations in the same setup.It is essential for a CNC mill operator to be familiar with machine basics prior to executing any cutting operation. A trained operator can use a CNC mill to create precise parts safely and consistently. After taking this class, users should be able to describe the general machine components of a CNC mill and their basic function.Intermediate2.0English(300130) Basics of the CNC Machining Center 130
OnlineMachining300CNC340130 Coordinates for the CNC Lathe 221 Coordinates for the CNC Lathe provides an overview of the coordinates used to program cutting operations on CNC lathes or turning centers. It introduces the systems of both Cartesian and polar coordinates and describes how Cartesian axes are used on a CNC lathe. The class describes both how coordinates are used on blueprints and how they are applied as machine movements. This includes concepts such as incremental vs. absolute coordinates, linear and circular interpolation, machine zero, and program zero.Coordinates and axis movements are at the core of operations for a CNC machine. A foundational knowledge of these topics is necessary to understand how and why parts can be successfully made on the CNC lathe or turning center.Intermediate2.0English(300140) CNC Coordinates 140
OnlineMachining300CNC340135 Coordinates for the CNC Mill 222 Coordinates for the CNC Mill provides an overview of the coordinates used to program cutting operations on CNC mills or machining centers. It introduces the systems of both Cartesian and polar coordinates and explains the Cartesian axes for vertical and horizontal CNC mills. The class describes how coordinates are used on blueprints and applied as machine movements. This includes concepts such as incremental vs. absolute coordinates, linear and circular interpolation, machine zero, and program zero.Coordinates and axis movements are at the core of operations for a CNC machine. A foundational knowledge of these topics is necessary to understand how and why parts can be successfully made on the CNC mill or machining center.Intermediate2.0English(300140) CNC Coordinates 140
OnlineMachining300CNC340140 Basics of G Code Programming 231 Basics of G Code Programming provides a comprehensive introduction to G code programming. Programmers use G codes to create part programs, which direct CNC machines to create a part. Part programs consist of blocks, which contain words that are a combination of a letter address and a numerical value. N codes name or title a program block. G codes describe the operation that the machine will perform. X, Y, and Z codes determine the cutting operation location. F and S codes set the feed and speed, T codes signal the correct cutting tool, and M codes complete other miscellaneous functions.Programmers often rely on computer-assisted programming software to efficiently create part programs. However, to create or edit a part program for a CNC machine, a programmer must understand the different codes in G code programming and what they do. After taking this class, users should be able to describe how G code programming is used to create a part program.Intermediate2.0English(300150) Part Program 150
OnlineMachining300CNC340150 Introduction to CAD and CAM for Machining 241 Introduction to CAD and CAM for Machining provides a foundational overview of CAD and CAM systems and how they are used in CNC machining operations. While CAD greatly streamlines the process of part design, CAM ensures successful production by converting the part design into precise machine movements. This class describes CAD design methods, including the different types of part drawings and modeling, and the CAM data conversion process, including how toolpaths and movements are plotted based on design data.Without CAD and CAM, most modern CNC machining would not be possible. They are the first step in CNC part creation, and their correct execution is necessary for a successful part creation process. Understanding how CAD and CAM are used in the CNC process is an essential building block to understanding how successful cutting operations are carried out on CNC machines.Intermediate2.0English(300160) CAD/CAM Overview 160
OnlineMachining300CNC340160 Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe 251 Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC lathe. Operators use the handle and jog modes to move a turret or machine spindle incrementally or steadily. MDI mode executes isolated lines of programming and memory mode selects and edits existing programs. Before running a program, an operator may choose to execute the program in single block mode to prove it out or select the optional stop or block delete functions. The cycle start button starts the program. Once a program is running, the operator can use the control interface to adjust cutting variables with overrides.To use a CNC lathe, an operator needs to know how to perform important operations using machine panel functions to move machine components and control panel functions to execute programming codes. After taking this class, users should be able to explain the purpose of frequently used controls on the control panel of a CNC lathe.Intermediate2.0English(300200) CNC Manual Operations 200
OnlineMachining300CNC340165 Control Panel Functions for the CNC Mill 252 Control Panel Functions for the CNC Mill explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC mill. Operators use the handle and jog mode to move mill axes incrementally or steadily. MDI mode executes isolated lines of programming and memory mode selects and edits existing programs. Before running a program, an operator may choose to execute the program in single block mode to prove it out or select the optional stop or block delete functions. The cycle start button starts the program. Once a program is running, the operator can use the machine control unit to adjust speed and feed with an override.To use a CNC mill, an operator needs to know how to perform important operations using machine panel functions to move machine components and control panel functions to execute programming codes. After taking this class, users should be able to explain the purpose of frequently used controls on the control panel of a CNC mill.Intermediate2.0English(300200) CNC Manual Operations 200
OnlineMachining300CNC340170 Offsets on the CNC Lathe 261 Offsets on the CNC Lathe provides explanations of the concept, purpose, and use of offsets on a CNC lathe or turning center. The workshift, geometry, and wear offsets are essential components of any part program. The class first introduces the concepts of offsets, referencing, machine zero, and program zero and then details the axis movements of and programming involved for each type of offset. Additionally, it introduces other offset features, including automatic toolset probes and tool nose radius compensation.Offsets are used in all CNC processes. Since offsets are the most foundational machine tool movements in any part program, a complete understanding of CNC operations requires an equally complete understanding of CNC offsets. After taking this class, users should be able to understand CNC lathe offsets and how to use them.Intermediate2.0English(300210) CNC Offsets 210
OnlineMachining300CNC340175 Offsets on the CNC Mill 262 Offsets on the CNC Mill provides an explanation of the concept, purpose, and use of offsets on the CNC mill or machining center and details the movements and programming involved with each type of offset. The workshift, tool length, and cutter radius compensation (CRC) offsets are essential components of any part program. CNC milling may also use additional offset features, including wear offsets and semi-automatic tool compensation.Programming and operating CNC machines requires an understanding of offsets, since offsets form the foundation of all other tool movements. All CNC processes use offsets.Intermediate2.0English(300210) CNC Offsets 210
OnlineMachining300CNC340210 Creating a CNC Turning Program 301 Creating a CNC Turning Program illustrates the process of creating a part program for a CNC lathe. Part programmers use G code programming to perform the different tasks within a part program, from describing the location of a cutting tool to setting the feed and speed. Canned cycles help to shorten the length of part programs.A part programmer needs a thorough understanding of G code programming and how it relates to the axes on a CNC lathe to create a part program that produces accurate parts. After taking this class, users should be able to describe how to write a part program that machines a basic cylindrical part on the CNC lathe.Advanced2.0English(300280) Creating a Turning Program 280
OnlineMachining300CNC340215 Creating a CNC Milling Program 302 Creating a CNC Milling Program illustrates the process of creating a part program for a CNC mill. Writing the part program is only one step in the process of creating a part. The toolpaths created within a part program depend upon the sequence of operations necessary to machine a part. Different G code programming codes perform the different tasks within the part program, from setting speed and feed to activating rapid positioning. Canned cycles and subprograms help to short the length of part programs.All programs need to be checked by proving out. Programming and how it relates to the axes on a CNC mill are critical for a programmer to successfully create a part program that produces accurate parts. After taking this class, users should be able to describe how to write a part program that machines a basic rectangular part on the CNC mill.Advanced2.0English(300290) Creating a Milling Program 290
OnlineMachining300CNC340220 Calculations for Programming the Lathe 311 The class Calculations for Programming the Lathe provides an in-depth explanation of various calculations necessary to determine tool positions on the lathe or turning center. Trigonometry and circle geometry are used to calculate the toolpaths used in lathe cutting operations. This class introduces the foundational toolpaths and trigonometric equations, including tool nose radius compensation. It then provides a detailed explanation of the calculations needed to determine tool positions for drilling, chamfering, and turning partial and full arcs.An understanding of trigonometry and how it can be applied on the lathe is necessary to perform any lathe operation programming. A knowledge of TNRC, drilling, and arc calculations will allow students to program most basic CNC lathe operations.Advanced2.0English(300285) Turning Calculations 285
OnlineMachining300CNC340225 Calculations for Programming the Mill 312 Calculations for Programming the Mill provides an in-depth explanation of the various calculations necessary to program toolpaths on a CNC mill or machining center for a variety of common operations. Common CNC milling operations covered in this class are face milling, pocket milling, milling full and partial arcs, and holemaking. Important concepts for programming these toolpaths include step-over, approach distance, trigonometry, and boxing routines, as well as some of G codes.Calculations for Programming the Mill details the calculations necessary to program a CNC mill. After taking this class, users will be able to understand and perform most basic CNC mill operations.Advanced2.0English(300295) Milling Calculations 295
OnlineMachining300CNC340230 Canned Cycles for the Lathe 321 Canned Cycles for the Lathe provides an overview of standard canned cycles used on CNC lathes. A canned cycle is a repeatable section of a part program that acts as a programming shortcut for common cutting operations. Canned cycles reduce errors and decrease programming time. CNC controls typically offer standard canned cycles, manufacturer cycles, and customized cycles. CNC lathe and turning center canned cycles include holemaking cycles, simple turning and facing cycles, and the more complex multiple repetitive cycles.Canned cycles are used in a vast majority of part programs. To create, edit, or monitor part programs, programmers and operators must know how canned cycles work and how to program them. After taking this class, users should be able to describe the standard canned cycles available on common CNC lathes and turning centers.Advanced2.0English(300310) Canned Cycles 310
OnlineMachining300CNC340235 Canned Cycles for the Mill 322 Canned Cycles for the Mill provides an overview of the standard canned cycles used on CNC mills. A canned cycle is a repeatable block in a part program that acts as a programming shortcut for common cutting operations. CNC controls typically offer standard canned cycles, manufacturer cycles, and customized cycles. Most CNC mills offer holemaking canned cycles and some also offer milling-specific canned cycles, such as rough facing or pocket milling cycles.Canned cycles are used in a vast majority of part programs. To create, edit, or monitor part programs, part programmers and operators must know how canned cycles work and how to program them. After taking this class, users should be able to describe the standard canned cycles available on common CNC mills and machining centers.Advanced2.0English(300310) Canned Cycles 310
OnlineMachining300CNC300100 History and Definition of CNC 100 This class outlines the origin of today's CNC machines and explains how modern CNC evolved from its original designs.Beginner1.0English
OnlineMachining300CNC300110 Mechanics of CNC 110 This class describes the mechanical systems involved in CNC axis movement, as well as how feedback is used for tool location.Beginner1.0English(340110) Introduction to CNC Machines 201
OnlineMachining300CNC300120 Basics of the CNC Turning Center 120 This class describes the basic components of the turning center as well as the devices used on this machine. Includes an Interactive Lab.Beginner1.0English(340120) Basics of the CNC Lathe 211
OnlineMachining300CNC300130 Basics of the CNC Machining Center 130 This class describes the basic components of the machining center as well as the devices used on this machine. Includes an Interactive Lab.Beginner1.0English(340125) Basics of the CNC Mill 212
OnlineMachining300CNC300135 Basics of the CNC Swiss-Type Lathe 135 This class describes the basic components of the Swiss-type lathe, as well as common tooling and machining operations.Beginner1.0English
OnlineMachining300CNC300140 CNC Coordinates 140 This class explains the arrangement and orientation of the basic axes on a common CNC lathe and both a vertical and horizontal CNC mill. Includes an Interactive Lab.Beginner1.0English(340130) Coordinates for the CNC Lathe 221; (340135) Coordinates for the CNC Mill 222
OnlineMachining300CNC300150 Part Program 150 This class introduces the major code groups used in a CNC part program. Includes an Interactive Lab.Beginner1.0English(340140) Basics of G Code Programming 231
OnlineMachining300CNC300160 CAD/CAM Overview 160 This class describes the general process of using computers to design and manufacture parts and identifies common features available in CAD/CAM software.Beginner1.0English(340150) Introduction to CAD and CAM for Machining 241
OnlineMachining300CNC300200 CNC Manual Operations 200 This class describes the control features that allow a CNC operator to execute tasks manually. Includes an Interactive Lab.Intermediate1.0English(340165) Control Panel Functions for the CNC Mill 252; (340160) Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe 251
OnlineMachining300CNC300210 CNC Offsets 210 This class identifies the various offsets used on both the lathe and the mill to properly reference each cutting tool in relationship to the workpiece. Includes an Interactive Lab.Intermediate1.0English(340175) Offsets on the CNC Mill 262; (340170) Offsets on the CNC Lathe 261
OnlineMachining300CNC300220 CNC Specs for the Mill 220 This class identifies common specifications of CNC mills and describes the various features and options available on different machines.Intermediate1.0English
OnlineMachining300CNC300225 CNC Specs for the Lathe 225 This class identifies common specifications of CNC lathes and describes the various features and options available on different machines.Intermediate1.0English
OnlineMachining300CNC300280 Creating a Turning Program 280 This class explains the key components in the creation and execution of a simple turning program. Includes an Interactive Lab.Intermediate1.0English(340210) Creating a CNC Turning Program 301
OnlineMachining300CNC300285 Turning Calculations 285 This class explains the common calculations necessary to plot the toolpaths for a basic turning program.Intermediate1.0English(340220) Calculations for Programming the Lathe 311
OnlineMachining300CNC300290 Creating a Milling Program 290 This class explains the key components in the creation and execution of a simple milling program. Includes an Interactive Lab.Intermediate1.0English(340215) Creating a CNC Milling Program 302
OnlineMachining300CNC300295 Milling Calculations 295 This class explains the common calculations necessary to plot the toolpaths for a basic milling program.Intermediate1.0English(340225) Calculations for Programming the Mill 312
OnlineMachining300CNC300310 Canned Cycles 310 This class describes the operation of common canned cycles that appear on machining and turning centers. Includes an Interactive Lab.Advanced1.0English(340230) Canned Cycles for the Lathe 321; (340235) Canned Cycles for the Mill 322
Instructor-LedMachining300CNC919100 Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Fundamentals This introductory course presents the practical basics for learning how to use the latest CNC equipment. By incorporating a proven key concepts approach, it examines the techniques needed for programming and operating a variety of CNC machine tools with emphasis on CNC machining and turning centers. You will gain a firm understanding of the basics required to become proficient with this sophisticated and popular form of manufacturing equipment.  English