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Top 3 Basic CNC Machines Programming Codes and How to Learn Them

CNC industrial Lathe


CNC programming is also known as Computer Numerical Control programming simply means programming CNC machines to produce machine components using a written program. A CNC program issues a command to the machine spindle which gives the final actions the machine carries out to make desired part.


In running a CNC program, the program has to be written in a text file that contains a g-code. This is one of the major CNC Machines Programming Codes.

G-code is the basic CNC program language used to issue specific commands to the machine. It can be said that G-code is the automating program of the CNC machines because it tells the machine what to do and what not to do.

CNC lathe machine
CNC lathe machine


CAM Programming is another way of controlling or issuing commands to CNC machines. It is another type of CNC Machines Programming Codes. It will generate a g-code from a drawing known as a CAD drawing. AutoCAD is the main source of feeding to the CAM programming.

When the CAM programming installed on a CNC machine runs a particular AutoCAD drawing sent into it, it will generate G-code commands for the CNC machine which I the basic language the machine understands.

So in the real sense, CAM programming serves as a converter of drawings to G-code before the CNC machine could understand what the drawing is all about. In other words, it explains the drawing or makes it easy for the CNC machines to understand drawings.

The real job of the CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) program may not be physically seen while operating it in a CNC machine because the generation of G-codes and issuing the g-code commands are sent to the machine server internally.

So while the CAM screen is showing drawings sent to the machine, the machine server is seeing G-codes sent from the CAM program.

CAM program reduces the stress of typing G-codes directly for the CNC machines and equally reduces mistakes associated with manual writing of G-codes.

Currently, there are brands of CNC machines that can run numerous CNC programs but the G-code still serves as the lingua franca of CNC machines.


Another method of CNC programming is Conversational Programming. This is another CNC Machines Programming Codes. In using the Conversational program on a CNC machine, you may not necessarily have to be proficient at G-code. For all those cases where you thought manual machining was faster, the conversational CNC will make the operation quicker and safer.

CNC Machines Programming Codes
CNC machine

Every method used to issue commands to the CNC machines has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, there are many things that G-code programmers can make using G-codes that using CAM software could be very difficult. Being a G-code programmer gives you the opportunity to manipulate machine movements to give you exactly what you want.

Another advantage is that making a simple machine part such as a washer, or square metal plate, etc. could be very easy by writing the G-code directly while the same process could take a long time while running a CAM software.

This is because the drawing of those parts has to be made and sent to the CAM software, the process is longer unlike typing the G-code commands directly. Many CNC machines can take any input method, either G-code, CAM, or Conversational programming.


The above CNC Machines Programming Codes are the basic known CNC machines operational mechanism which may not be the overall as modern CNC machines are coming out with diverse programming software. so, do not be surprise iof you see something different in any modern CNC modern.

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