From time to time, I like to share some unique CNC websites that I frequent. While searches for “CNC,” “computer numerical control,” “CNC programming,” and other such terms will turn up thousands of sites, here are a few of my favorites. Some of these websites have products for sale, but I’ve tried to limit my choices to those that provide a great deal of free information.
—I receive a lot of questions about CNC. If I cannot answer a question, I almost always recommend that the questioner check out cnczone.com. Forums are available for just about any CNC-related topic, machine, control and software program. If you have a specific CNC-related question, there’s probably a forum in which you can ask it, and there likely will be a forum participant who can point you in the right direction.
Another forum-based web site, containing many forums for general machining as well some forums that are specific to CNC. In the CNC machining forum, I especially like the "sticky" related to macro programming fundamentals.
—Slanted toward CNC newcomers and hobbyists, this site provides a great way to become familiar with CNC. For example, there’s a free CNC basics e-course as well as a series of CAD and CAM tutorial videos.
• gsimple.com—This site provides an easy-to-use CAM system you can download for free.
• technology.calumet.purdue.edu/met/mfet/275/—This is a free, self-paced online class for CNC G-code-level (manual) programming. The site is maintained by Purdue University in Calumet.
—This website provides advice to CNC users. Topics range from general CNC information to suggestions for purchasing new equipment. A comprehensive bookstore is also provided.
—This site enables you to find the specifications for thousands of CNC machine tools, including turning, milling and grinding machines, EDMs, CMMs, sawing machines and fabrication products.
—This is my company’s website. While we promote our training materials
for CNC users and educators, there is also a ton of free information including CNC articles and tips. There is also a jobs page. Click on the “Resources” tab for free information.
A number of individuals and companies publish CNC-related blogs. Indeed, a search for “CNC blog” will expose many of them. Here are two that I like:
—This is a community blog where CNC and manufacturing professionals can learn and share industry information.
—This is a blog written by Tanvon Malik. It is dedicated to CNC programming and setup.
CNC TRAINING AND ONLINE CLASSES
These four websites specialize in manufacturing and CNC training. They also cater to a worldwide audience.
—This site provides inexpensive training courses, mostly DVDs, for a variety of aspects of CNC.
—This site offers CNC courses online and in DVD/CD format.
—This is a subscription-based service that provides more than 400 online manufacturing classes, many of which are related to CNC.
—Again, this is my company’s website. However, we also offer online and computer-based (CD-ROM) training courses for basic and advanced CNC topics. Click on the “Resources” tab to find a list of schools in your area that teach CNC. The list is arranged by state.
One last thought: You can also use “Machine Tool Technology” as your search criteria in any search engine to find out more.