Calculations for Programming the Mill

Provided by: ToolingU

"Calculations for Programming the Mill" provides an in-depth explanation of the various calculations necessary to program toolpaths on a CNC mill or machining center for a variety of common operations. Common CNC milling operations covered in this class are face milling, pocket milling, milling full and partial arcs, and holemaking. Important concepts for programming these toolpaths include step-over, approach distance, trigonometry, and boxing routines, as well as some of G codes. "Calculations for Programming the Mill" details the calculations necessary to program a CNC mill. After taking this class, users will be able to understand and perform most basic CNC mill operations.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe CNC milling
  • Describe the coordinate system used for the mill
  • Describe program zero
  • Describe face milling
  • Calculate face milling cutting passes
  • Describe pocket milling
  • Describe calculations for pocket milling
  • Describe cutter radius compensation
  • Describe spot drilling
  • Explain how to calculate drill depth for a spot drilling operation
  • Explain how trigonometry is used in twist drilling operations
  • Calculate total drill depth coordinate locations
  • Explain the calculations necessary to drill a bolt-hole pattern
  • Describe full-circle calculations.

Recommended Background

  • Recommended for all manufacturing personnel operating CNC machines.

Course ID







Communication, Critical Thinking, Personal Effectiveness, CNC Milling, Basic CNC Mill Operations

Method of Delivery


Estimated Effort

2.5 hrs



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