There are many ways to learn how to use a CNC machine. From reading about the subject to hands-on training at a technical school, there are many resources available to help you on your way to becoming a machinist. By carefully observing an experienced machinist while he is working, you can pick up valuable tips to increase your overall knowledge and productivity when you begin machining on your own.
- Skill level:
Take an online course on how to use a CNC machine. Tooling University offers an inexpensive range of courses to learn basic to advanced techniques that revolve around the use of CNC machines, including lathes and mills. There you will learn the basic coordinate system for three- to five-axis machines, set-up techniques and programming tips to make parts and prototypes.
Purchase a book about CNC machining. There are many thorough educational books available for learning about CNC machining. You can purchase books like this at Amazon including the "CNC Programming Handbook" by Peter Smid, an expert in this field. These books cover everything you might need to know about machining from set-up to advanced machining and can be very useful once you are in front of a machine.
Take a course at a local trade school. Many local trade and technical schools offer hands-on classes on CNC machining. There an experienced instructor can guide you through the process of machining metals and plastics. You will learn the correct ways to set up vices and raw material in the CNC machines and various tips to make you a successful machinist. Technical schools often have complex CNC machines available for use and teachers who have many years of machining experience.
Observe a machinist in his work environment. Many manufacturing companies will allow you to observe one of their machinists at work. You can ask questions and he can show you the techniques that he uses daily, including programming shortcuts and set-up techniques. This can be a valuable resource and a great way to learn more information about CNC machining.
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