What is CNC Machining and How Does it Work?

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If you’ve ever taken shop class in high-school or watched an episode of how it’s made, you have probably have some idea how lathes and other metalworking machines function. As technology and computers have improved over the years, a new high-precision computer controlled manufacturing technique called CNC machining has spawned.

CNC machines, or computer numerically controlled machines, are electro-mechanical devices that can manipulate tools around a varying number of axis, usually 3 or 5, with high-precision per instruction from a computer program. CNC machining is one of two ways that engineers, machinists, or makers can generate a physical part from a computer design file, with the other being 3D printing, known as additive manufacturing.

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