Monday, February 13, 2017

How to Grow Your CNC Programming Skills

Some mistakenly believe learning CNC programming is “easy.” It’s easy to get started and nail the basics but just like anything else, you can spend a lifetime mastering different techniques and nuances involved.

Here are some tips for increasing your CNC programming skills:

1.    Getting Started

For beginners, you’ll pick up CNC programming more easily if you’re naturally good at math – especially coordinate geometry. You can find most of the G-codes you need online, and watch plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to work with them.

A simple program contains definition statements, machining statements, and closing statements.

2.    Do Some Practice Jobs

To really grow your skills, you must become a “sponge” as they say. Read machine manuals and ask as many questions as you can think of to the experienced operators. Pick the brains of the smartest, most talented employees at your company and give yourself every opportunity to practice.

Eventually, you’ll hit the limit of what you can learn at your job. Once you feel like you’ve done that, expand your questions to new shops. Every shop operates differently, so you’ll definitely learn some new things at each one.

3.    Find a Mentor in Your Workplace

Ideally, you want to learn the specific thought processes that go into teaching how to use a CNC machine and the location of all the tools to make the necessary modifications to your work piece. 
Working with someone who’s made all the mistakes themselves in the past saves you a lot of lost time and effort into knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Of course, you’ll still make mistakes of your own but, you’ll have someone you can trust to set you on the right path.  

4.    Online/Technological Options

There are also apps that help you learn CNC programming in your spare time. There are even free courses at sites like Udemy and Instructables. You can certainly learn both beginning and advanced 
CNC programming skills. You have a long list of options when it comes to learning since there are a number of private and independent operations that teach CNC programming too.

Lastly, what’s Your Why?

It’s important also to know why you want to learn CNC programming. Are you a hobbyist? Are you a professional looking to get ahead? Or, are you a supervisor who wants to learn how to better communicate with employees?

Depending on the level you’re trying to achieve, impacts how far you’d like to go and what methods to achieve that goal.

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