Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

Definition - What does Computer Numerical Control (CNC) mean?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is a computer-aided design (CAD) protocol that converts spatial designs into a series of numbers. CNC machines require CNC professionals who can manage these industrial processes with today's state-of-the-art CAD technology.

Techopedia explains Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

A key CNC component is CAD's evolution from earlier numerical control (NC) designs. With modern CNC, digital systems can program these numbers into a machine to replace less automated manual or analog programming methods.

CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are standard in many industries where companies purchase expensive CNC machines to make products in a more sophisticated manner.

The CNC concept can be applied to many different types of machines, like drills, saws or lathes. CNC also is used to build plasma cutters that can design materials using a high-powered plasma torch. Other CNC machines include mills, routers, water jet cutters, surface grinders, welding tools, 3-D printers and glass cutters.

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