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A Brief Guide to CNC Router Glossary | Common Routing Terms

Guide to CNC Router Glossary

Isn’t carving a beautiful, exact, and predetermined cut on a smooth milling panel of wood that will become a work of art for a family house, a bendable plastic, or amazing industrial carvings every beginner woodworker’s goal. But it’s not that simple. From the sideways, it might seem easy, but it’s far from that. As a beginner, you must get started somewhere, and what’s better than starting with reading ‘A Brief Guide to CNC Router glossary.’

Guide to CNC Router Glossary


It’s a good idea to do some study and better understand your job before diving into the world of woodworking. At least, one should know the CNC machine definition as a starter. So, before you start routing some waste material that you have lying around in your shop or garage, there are a few points you need to know about getting the most out of your Wood Router and woodworking gear.

1. 3 Axis CNC

A 3 Axis CNC milling is the machining process of removing material from a piece of metal, wood, foam, or plastic to mold the component into a specified shape. Rotary cutters are used in this process. 3 Axis Milling is used when the cutting operation necessitates the controlled movement of the X, Y, and Z axes at a similar time. 

2. 4 Axis CNC

As with a 3-axis CNC milling machine, the X, Y, and Z axes are operated on by a 4-axis CNC machine, but it also includes rotation around the X-axis, which is referred to as the A-axis. This is the 4th axis that has been added to our machining process for the first time. A rotation of the workpiece will be required in most circumstances in order for cutting to take place around the B-axis. 

3. CNC – Computer Numerical Control

CNC definition is a production method in which the movement of industrial tools and machinery is dictated by computer software that has been pre-programmed by the manufacturer. Machines as diverse as grinders and lathes, as well as mills and CNC routers, can be controlled using this technique. All through the usage of computer numerical control (CNC) machining, three-dimensional cutting jobs can be completed with only a single set of commands. The CNC method operates in opposition to — and hence surpasses — the constraints of manual control, which requires human operators to prompt and lead the commands of milling equipment via levers, buttons, and wheels. Although a CNC system appears to the untrained eye to be a standard collection of computer components, the software programs and consoles used in CNC machining distinguish it from all other forms of computation.

4. CNC Machine

CNC machine is a casually used word; as a beginner on first time hearing it, you must have wondered what is CNC machine meaning? Or what is CNC urban dictionary definition? CNC is an abbreviation that means “computer numerical control.” The definition of a CNC machine is ‘machines that are a representation of a manufacturing process that is used to control a wide range of complex tasks. With a CNC machine, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be completed with a single set of commands rather than multiple commands. This means that human operators are required to provide very little input to the system.

5. Contouring or Contour Gauge

In the field of measurement, a contour gauge is a tool used to record the cross-sectional shape of a surface. It is made up of a group of plastic or steel pins that are arranged in a frame against one another. So, the contour definition is ‘recording measurement of a surface is known as contouring.’ The frame guarantees that the pins stay parallel and in the same plane. The movement of each pin is perpendicular to the plane and independent of the movement of the others. It is simple to compare two surfaces or a standard profile to assess whether there has been any material loss due to corrosion or other factors when the surfaces are profiled in this way.

6. CAD

Here is another one of those cryptic abbreviations. When you hear the term computer-aided design, you’re thinking of the software that’s used to develop the codes that will be entered into and run the machine. The process begins with a CAD drawing of the object to be manufactured, which is then translated into G-Code using CAM software to complete the process.

When computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are used, productivity and quality of the design phase are increased. The designs are also stored in a database for future reference and usage.

7. Contour Milling

Machine flat or irregular surfaces with contour milling, which can be done in a single step. Contour milling is frequently required to cut intricate details into component parts that are impossible to achieve with most other CNC machines. Some of the most convenient applications for this machining technology include drilling, creating slots and holes, and cutting gears into metals and alloys, to name a few.

8. Climb Cut

The cutter rotates in the identical direction as the feed. Climb cutting helps to reduce tear-out, although it can cause chatter marks when used with a straight edge.

9. Conventional Cut

The cutter revolves in the opposite direction of the feed. This results in minimal noise; however, it can cause tear-out in certain types of wood.

10. Dielectric Fluid 

A dialectric fluid is a dielectric material that is in the state of liquid when it is used. Its primary function is to prevent or extinguish electric discharges as quickly as possible. In high-voltage applications, such as transformers, capacitors, high-voltage cables, and switchgear, dielectric liquids are employed as electrical insulators to provide electrical isolation (namely high voltage switchgear). Its primary functions are to provide electrical insulation, prevent corona and arcing, and act as a coolant in electronic devices.

11. EDM

Electromagnetic Discharge Machining (EDM) is a non-traditional machining method that removes material from a part through a series of repetitive electrical discharges between tools, known as electrodes, and the part being machined while the part is immersed in a dielectric liquid. Originally published in Machining and machine-tools.

12. Feed Rate 

The distance traveled by the cutting tool during one spindle revolution is referred to as the feed rate. Also known as the velocity at which the cutter is advanced against the workpiece, it is defined as follows: For turning and boring processes, it is measured in either inch per revolution (ipr) or millimeters per revolution (mpr), depending on the application

13. G-Code

G-Code is the most extensively used CNC programming language, and it is abbreviated as G. It is this that is utilized to instruct the machine’s motor on where to go, how quickly to move, and along which path to travel. It is ultimately responsible for determining the process through which the finished product is created.

Since they begin with the letter G, G-Codes were given their name (they are also sometimes called preparatory codes). A specific G-Code will instruct the machine on which movement to conduct, such as quick positioning, dwell time, or variable-pitch threading, to mention a few examples of what can be done. All ShopSabre systems are programmed in Standardized G-Code, which is the most widely used programming language in the world.

14. Grid

The smallest amount of movement, or feed, is made by the router head. When the button is toggled between continuous and step modes, the head immediately travels to the next grid place.

15. Lathe

Lathe meaning is ‘a machine instrument that rotates a workpiece around an axis of rotation to execute various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning’. The workpiece is rotated around the axis of rotation to create an object which is symmetric around the axis of rotation of the machine tool.

16. Milling 

Milling definition is a type of Machining that involves the use of cutting tools that are rotated at a specific speed before meeting a workpiece. In most cases, a clamping device is used to secure the work item in place. When the cutting tools contact the workpiece, the material being removed begins to be removed. Some materials may necessitate the milling of their surfaces to ensure that there are no cracks that could become corroded in the future. The process of milling can also be used to prepare surfaces for the application of corrosion-prevention coatings adequately.

17. Micron Rating 

Micron is a widely used word in the woodwork industry, but what does micron mean?

Microns, or thousandths of a millimeter, are used to measure the size of dust particles. Larger dust particles — those greater than 100 microns in size or larger – are heavy enough to fall to the ground fast. So, what are microns? It is this type of waste that dust collectors are so successful at collecting and collecting efficiently. When compared to coarse dust particles, fine dust particles do not have enough mass to fall swiftly to the floor and can float through the air in your shop for an unexpectedly long period of time. A 5-micron wood dust particle will remain aloft for 30 minutes or longer after it has been mixed up, depending on the amount of air movement. Dust particles smaller than 10 microns in size are the most dangerous to the respiratory health of woodworkers’ employees. When stirred up, they remain aloft for an extended period, and – worse yet—they can readily go deep into the lung’s interior, where they have been linked to a variety of issues, including everything from moderate allergic reactions to serious and persistent respiratory diseases. Fine wood dust exposure is becoming a serious concern for more and more woodworkers, who are becoming aware of the health concerns associated with it. Hope we cleared micron definition.

18. Nesting

When cutting, nesting is the process of arranging the patterns of a cut in order to limit the quantity of waste generated throughout a job. In this way, more pieces can be made without the need for additional sheets of material, which would otherwise be wasted.

19. Swiss Lathe

An automatic Swiss lathe CNC machine, also known as a Swiss-type lathe or a Swiss automatic lathe, is a sophisticated precision manufacturing machine that can produce exceedingly small parts rapidly and correctly. When using a standard CNC lathe, the workpiece is normally rotated fast in a fixed position, with one or both ends held firmly in place.

20. Spindle

The spindle is critical in the CNC process because it rotates the workpiece. It is composed of a motor, a taper for holding tools, and a shaft that connects all of the individual components. During rotation, the spindle is mounted on an axis that receives commands from the CNC controller. CNC machines make use of high-speed spindles that are specifically developed for a variety of high-performance cutting applications. Without the spindle, the CNC is nothing more than a series of angular movements in space.

21. Stepper Motor 

A stepper motor is a pulsation-driven motor that shifts the angular position of the rotor in small increments, like how a clock works. This distinctive feature of a stepper motor makes it a popular choice for use in low-cost, open-loop position control systems.

Final Thoughts

Woodworking tools are critical in determining the overall quality of the items completed. The industrial sector is extremely competitive, and to be successful, manufacturers and end-users must create high-quality goods through meticulous planning and accurate cutting techniques. As a result, knowing each one of them from a to z is just as crucial as working itself. Increased productivity, high precision, accuracy, and efficiency in machining processes are the driving forces behind the creation of high-quality goods of the highest quality possible. Now, you know all. What does CNC machine stand for or what is edm definition? Even if you don’t. You can easily acquire these characteristics with our article ‘A Brief Guide to CNC Router glossary.’

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