Introduction to CNC Machines

Provided by: ToolingU

“Intro to CNC Machines” provides a comprehensive introduction to computer numerical control (CNC), which uses numerical data to control a machine, and the 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.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe how CNC machines have benefited modern manufacturing
  • Describe the origin of CNC machines
  • Identify common methods of CNC movement
  • Identify different varieties of CNC machines
  • Explain the role of axes in the Cartesian coordinate system
  • Identify positive and negative movement along machine axes
  • Describe rotational axes and movement
  • Describe contouring movements
  • Describe the role of the machine control unit
  • Distinguish between point-to-point positioning and continuous path movement
  • Contrast open-loop and closed-loop systems
  • Describe the role of servomotors
  • Distinguish between different feedback devices
  • Describe various input methods
  • Describe different control and operation features available to the CNC machine.

Recommended Background

  • Recommended for all manufacturing personnel operating CNC machines.

Course ID







Communication, Critical Thinking, Personal Effectiveness, CNC Machine Basics, Servomotors

Method of Delivery


Estimated Effort

2.5 hrs



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