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Programming 101 CNC

Programming 101 CNC

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Published by: api-19916479 on Dec 02, 2009
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Programming 101: CNC

After World War II, people realized that they have to manufacture goods at a faster rate and at a lower cost. Hence, mass production trending came to be. Those events led to the development of the Numerical Control (NC) machines which in turn led to the Computer Numerical Control (CNC).


CNC programming uses a code similar in structure to BASIC. So, if you know how to
construct a simple counting program, chances are, you already know what a G-Code
looks like. However, there a few other things you have to consider before you start
encoding instructions.

The first thing that you have to do is to assign values for each of the variables. These
variables include the programmable motion directions (axes), and the reference point for
the axes. The values that you assign to these variables dictate the movement of the

The next thing that you have to do is to take into account the accessories of the machine.
Many machines have accessories that are designed to enhance the capabilities of the basic
device. However, using these accessories requires you to include them in the coding
system. This means that if you want a more efficient machine, you will have to know the
machine inside out.


After those steps, you have to create a subprogram that will deal with the math. This step will then allow your machine to compute the necessary variables and effectively operate without stopping to ask the operator what the limitations are.

To show you what these codes look like, here\u2019s an example from Wikipedia:

#100=3 (bolt circle radius)
#101=10 (how many holes)
#102=0 (x position of ctr of bolthole)
#103=0 (y position of ctr of bolthole)
#104=0 (angle of first hole
Tool call,
spindle speed,and offset pickup,etc
G43 in some cases (tool length pickup)
G81(drill cycle)
call sub program

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