A CNC machine is a device that can control the movement of a tool or a workpiece using a computer program. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. A CNC machine can perform various operations such as drilling, milling, cutting, engraving, etc., with high accuracy and speed.
A CNC machine works by following these steps:
- A part program is created using CAD software and converted into G-code or M-code, which are instructions for the CNC machine.
- The part program is inputted into the CNC machine using an input device such as a keyboard, a USB drive, or a network connection.
- The machine control unit (MCU) interprets the part program and sends signals to the driving system and the feedback system.
- The driving system moves the tool or the workpiece along one or more axes (X,Y,Z,A,B,C) according to the part program. The driving system consists of motors, servos, ball screws, etc.
- The feedback system monitors the position and velocity of the tool or the workpiece and sends feedback to the MCU to ensure accuracy and precision.
- The feedback system consists of sensors, encoders, resolvers, etc. The tool performs
the desired operation on the workpiece and creates the final product.
- The tool can be a drill bit, a milling cutter, a plasma torch, a laser beam, etc.
This is how a CNC machine works in general. However, different types of CNC machines may have different features and functions depending on their applications. For example, the CXC3 Meteor & CXC3 Meteor XL, a Laser & CNC Combo CNC which can be seen below.