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CNC Software Explained

What is CNC Software?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and CNC software creates program codes and instructions that control the physical movements of factory tools and machinery.

cnc software

CNC software can be used to control a range of machinery, including grinders, lathes, mills and routers and, in so doing, eliminates the limitations of traditional manual machining, in terms of accuracy, production rate and speed. Indeed, CNC software facilitates the production of complex parts, in metal and plastic, which would be nigh on impossible to create by manual means.

How Does CNC Software Work?

Computer aided design (CAD) software creates a 2D drawing or 3D solid model of the part to be created, which is imported into Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software. CAM software, in turn, generates tool paths – or, in other words, a series of Cartesian coordinates through which the tip of the cutting tool will travel – and converts these into a series of simple programming language instructions. The standard programming language is G-code, or ISO code, and it is this code that enables fine control of the manufacturing equipment. CNC software interprets the G-code and activates a series of numbered, sequential instructions for machining the desired part, which the CNC machine follows.

What are the Advantages of CNC Software?

In some cases, CNC software can be used to turn a personal computer (PC) into a CNC controller. UCCNC Control Software, for example, is full G-code, full production specification machine, or motion, control software. In combination with the UC100 USB Motion Controller which, as the name suggests, offers fast, robust communication via the industry standard Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface, UCCNC Control Software allows any Windows-based PC to become a CNC controller. UCCNC Control Software can operate in Manual Data Input (MDI), allowing an operator to input machining commands one by one, or accept existing G-code CNC programs.

Other advantages of CNC software over manual machining include:

  • Increased Capability
  • Higher Production
  • Increased Reliability
  • Uniform Product
  • Increased Versatility
  • Better Safety
  • Fewer Labour Hours
  • Lower Costs
  • Lower Maintenance

Other Considerations

CNC machining is typically more expensive than conventional machining, so anyone looking to buy a CNC machine and CNC software should be looking to protect their investment. Some CNC suppliers, such as ourselves, at Stoney CNC, not only supply a comprehensive range of CNC machines, but also provide complete pre- and post-sales support for their customers. Their complete CNC solution includes an assessment of functional requirements, delivery, installation and commissioning of the CNC machine in situ, training and consultancy.

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