Top Categories of CNC Machines


There’s no denying that Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines have slowly but surely changed the dynamics within the manufacturing industry. In fact, they play an essential role in productivity. The fact that they’re computer-controlled helps to provide the highest level of efficiency, consistency, and accuracy, which is almost impossible to achieve with the manual process.

There’re different types of CNC machines that can be used for custom cnc machining. Every machine is different from the other in terms of construction, the operation process, and the type of product that each makes.

Therefore, to get to the bottom of understanding CNC machines, here’s a look at the various types of CNC machines:

CNC Milling Machine

CNC milling machines are arguably the most common type that’s utilized by most industries today. The mill makes use of computer controls to help cut various materials. The rotary cutters help in shaping workpieces as required.

Interestingly, mills can translate certain programs of numbers as well as letters to help move the spindle in different ways. Most of the mills use the G-code, a standardized programming language that most CNC machines recognize.

Most CNC milling machines come in 3 to 6-axis configurations. Moreover, they’re large when compared to the other tools and can sometimes be costly.

CNC Lathe Machine

A CNC lathe machine functions in a manner that it cuts the workpieces while they rotate. Usually, it’s used to produce precise conical as well as spherical shaped parts within a short period.

They feature fewer axes when compared to CNC milling machines, meaning they’re smaller in size and hence more compact.

CNC Plasma Cutters

With CNC plasma cutters, the process involves cutting the material with a plasma torch. In fact, CNC plasma cutters are used in cutting heavy materials like steel and other metal types.

Here, gas is blown at high speed from the nozzle as an electrical arc is formed as the gas comes out towards the surface being cut. That way, some gas is converted into plasma with a temperature range of 10,000-50,000 degrees.

At that temperature, any material can be melted down. These machines work only with two-profile dimensional shapes.

CNC Routers

A CNC router is much common to a handheld router that’s used for cutting different materials. These machine types help to cut steel, aluminum, plastic, wood, composites, and foam.

Like a CNC mill, it has the ability to use computer numerical control to help route tool paths to make the machine function. Moreover, these machines reduce waste as well as increase productivity.

CNC Electric Discharge Machine

CNC EDM involves making a certain shape within a specific material by using electrical discharges or sparks. In the process, a material is removed from the workpiece via several recurring electrical discharges between two electrodes.

CNC Laser Cutters

Another type of CNC machine is the laser cutter. They’re almost similar to CNC plasma machines, but the difference is the fact that lasers are usually used in cutting, and they’re the best in cutting plastic, metals, or hardwood.

Interestingly, the intensity of the laser can be easily adjusted depending on the strength and density of the material.

Nevertheless, depending on the work to be done, there’re various types of CNC machines that will perfectly fit.


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