How to Become a CNC Programmer?

Step 1: Must Be A Good Craftsman

CNC machine tools set drilling, milling, boring, reaming, tapping, and other processes in one. The technical quality of the craft personnel is very high. The numerical control program is a computer language to reflect the process of CNC processing technology. Craft is the foundation of programming. You can’t program if you don’t know the craft.

In fact, when we chose mechanical cutting processing as this career, it means that the early industry is hard, dry coarse. A little basic knowledge learned in college is a pittance against the needs of a factory. A machining engineer is, in a way, an experienced engineer. Therefore, a lot of time must be spent with workers, dry lathes, milling machines, grinding machines, machining centers, etc.

Then in the office make technology, estimate material consumption, and calculate quota. You must be familiar with the performance of various machine tools and the skill level of the workshop master. So after 2-3 years of training, you can basically become qualified craft personnel. From my personal experience, I suggest that young college students who have just started to work must be modest to learn from the workers, once they can impart decades of experience with you, you can walk a lot of resources.

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Because these experiences cannot be learned from books, the choice of process is the comprehensive consideration of equipment capacity and personnel technical ability of the choice. It is impossible to be a good technologist without the support and trust of employees. Through this long period of learning and accumulation, you should achieve the following technical standards and requirements:

  1. Familiar with drilling, milling, boring, grinding, planer structure, and process characteristics.
  2. Familiar with the properties of processing materials.
  3. A solid tool theory of basic knowledge, grasp the tool of the conventional cutting parameters.
  4. Familiar with the enterprise’s process specifications, standards, and various processes can meet the general requirements and conventional parts of the process route. Reasonable material consumption and time quota, etc.
  5. Collect a certain amount of tools, machine tools, and mechanical standard data. Especially familiar with the tool system used in NC machine tools.
  6. Familiar with the selection and maintenance of coolant.
  7. Have a common sense understanding of related jobs. For example casting, electro machining, heat treatment, and so on.
  8. Have a good fixture foundation.
  9. Understand the assembly requirements and use requirements of the processed parts.
  10. Have a good basis of measurement technology.

Step 2: Master CNC Programming and Computer Software Applications

This one I think is relatively easy, programming instructions are also a few dozen, and various systems are similar. It usually takes 1-2 months to get very familiar with it. Automatic programming software is slightly more complex, need to learn to model. But for the cad foundation of good people, it is not difficult, In addition, if it is manual programming, the analytic geometry foundation is also good! Readers are most adapted to the study of such knowledge. In practice, the criteria for a good program are:

  1. It’s easy to understand, and organized, and everyone can understand the operator.
  2. The fewer instructions in a program, the better, for the purpose of simplicity, utility, and reliability. From the perspective of programming to the understanding of the instruction, I think the instruction is ALSO G00 and G01, the other is auxiliary instructions, which is convenient programming to set.
  3. It’s easy to adjust. It is better not to change the program when the machining accuracy of parts needs to be fine-tuned. For example, the tool wear, to adjust, as long as the tool offsets table length, the radius can be changed.
  4. It’s easy to operate. The program should be compiled according to the operating characteristics of the machine tool, which is conducive to observation, inspection, measurement, safety, etc. For example, the same part, the same processing content, in the vertical machining center and horizontal machining center respectively, the program is certainly not the same. In machining, the simplest method is the best method. As long as the practical experience of the peer, presumably will agree with this sentence!

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Step 3: Skilled Operation of CNC Machine Tools

It needs 1-2 years of study, the operation is exquisite feel, beginners, especially college students, in the heart understand how to do, but the hand does not obey. To learn in this process: the installation of the system operation mode, clamp, parts of benchmark alignment, the knife, set the zero offset, set the radius of tool length compensation, compensation, and the cutting tool and the handle of the loading and unloading, tool grinding, parts of measuring, able to skillfully use vernier caliper, micrometer, dial indicator, dial gauge, the diameter of lever table) and etc. The most can reflect the level of operation is the horizontal machining center and large gantry (moving beam, top beam) machining center.

Step4: Must Have A Good Fixture Foundation and Measurement Technology Level

Here I put the fixture and measurement technology in a single list because it plays an important role in the quality of parts processing and the accuracy of the machine tool, which is one of the signs reflecting the level of the technical personnel. The whole process system: Machine is machine tool factory guarantee the accuracy, cutting tools and cutting parameters are cutting tools provide general issues is not large, only the jig is technology personnel specifically designed for specific parts, mostly on numerical control machine tool parts are all has the certain difficulty, so often difficult to anticipate problems, I’m engaged in CNC machine tool cutting debug user parts a decade, Don’t change the fixture is really not encountered.

During debugging, the first part of processing is not qualified, more than half of the reason is due to the fixture positioning, clamping pressure point, and clamping force being unreasonable. Fixture reason analysis difficulty lies in only qualitative, difficult to quantify. If there is no experience in fixture design and parts clamping, it will be difficult. In this aspect of learning, it is suggested to do precision coordinate boring machine senior technicians to consult. Accurate measurement of the level of one of the basic skills engaged in machining, to be skilled in the use of vernier calipers, Hilo cards, dial gauges, dial gauges, inside diameter lever gauges, calipers, etc. Sometimes parts processing, CMM is not counted on. It must be measured by hand. Just think, if parts are not accurate, which leader and worker master will trust you?

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Step 5: Get Familiar with CNC Machine Tools and Proficient in NC Machine Tool Maintenance

The so-called familiar with CNC machine tools should do:

  1. Familiar with NC electrical components and control principles. Can tell the name and function of each component in the electrical box, can understand the electrical schematic diagram. According to the electrical alarm number, the alarm content can be found.
  2. Understand the structure and transmission principle of the ball screw. It is clear which factors affect the accuracy of machine tools.
  3. Understand the structure of the bearings at both ends of the machine tool screw and its influence on the accuracy of the machine tool.
  4. Understand the lubrication system of machine tools (bearing, spindle, each pair of motion, gearbox, etc.), and clear the distribution of each lubrication point. The grade of lubricating oil for machine tools and the normal consumption of weekly or monthly oil.
  5. Understand the cooling system of machine tools: cutting (water, gas) cooling, spindle cooling, electric box cooling, etc
  6. Understand the main transmission structure of the machine tool, and the specific data characteristics between the speed and torque of each machine tool.
  7. Understand the characteristics of the machine tool guide rail pair: is it line rail or slide rail, and how rigid (bearing capacity)?
  8. It is can eliminate common operation faults (such as extreme, knife library knife number error, etc.)
  9. Proficient in the accuracy (static and dynamic) indicators and detection methods of machine tools.
  10. Familiar with the mechanism of knife store and the principle of tool change.

Above a few without more than 3 years of time to exercise, I am afraid it is difficult to meet the requirements. And many enterprises do not have the conditions to learn. It is recommended to consult the master of the equipment maintenance department.

I will not say much about the details of the maintenance of machine tools, each enterprise has its own experience and standards.

Machine tool maintenance focus on “maintenance”, and usually should pay attention to (should do a good long-term record) :

  1. It is very important to pay attention to whether the starting load of each axis of the machine tool is normal every day. If the starting load is abnormal, it means that the resistance of the motion pair or the transmission pair has changed. Otherwise, a long time, great damage to the machine tool.
  2. Pay attention to the normal consumption of lubricating oil. Too much, too little, must be checked.
  3. Frequently clean the air conditioning screen of the electric box and the air vent screen. Once the integrated circuit board of the internal power module and the drive module of the electrical box stick to the dust-containing iron powder, the machine tool will appear inexplicable alarm, and it can not be repaired. Just wait for the board to change!

Step 6: Develop Good Habits to Adapt to the Characteristics of CNC Machining

Suitable for numerical control processing of the master should be modest, rigorous, calm, careful thinking, organized and independent people.

  1. The processing of some large parts, not only the processing content but also the transformation of three-dimensional coordinates in space. The calculation of machining trajectory is very complex and difficult to determine. If the problem is not considered in detail and comprehensively, the calculation is not accurate, the program modification becomes more and more chaotic during debugging, and the probability of error is large. The phrase “look before you leap” is most apt here.
  2. The parts debugging process is a multi-person cooperation process, including operators, inspectors, fixture design, fixture assembly personnel, etc. When there is a problem, ask for their opinion, do more experiments, and do not jump to conclusions. Do not blame too much on employees who make mistakes, but have a “compassionate” attitude.
  3. The work of the CNC machine tool is controlled by instructions. When debugging, before the “start” button is pressed, you must be very clear about the running track of the machine tool. To be rigorous, and meticulous, do not let the machine first move again. If the program is wrong or the compensation parameters are incorrect, or the wrong coordinate system is selected. Light scrap parts, heavy safety accidents. Temper is rough, does not have a clue, and repeated teaching is not adapted to the operation of CNC machine tools.
  4. Debugging processing problems, to calm, do not panic, and then misoperation. Good psychological quality.
  5. When the parts fail to pass the test many times, the analysis should be organized and the responsibility should be based on it. Some relevant departments for various reasons, will give a variety of explanations, then you have to be independent, remember: doing a wrong thing does not matter, but not the wrong way to do it.
  6. A technologist, due to the environment, the technical ability is always limited. With the rapid development of technology, there is always room for improvement. When the technology inside the factory has been digested, the vision should be put outside, closely following the advanced processing technology at home and abroad, learning, and digestion. Advise your boss on technology.

Above is my mind the ideal CNC programming master, in fact, in the final analysis, there should be a senior technologist, senior technician level programmer.

YIJIN Hardware is an excellent turning and milling composite parts, supplier. We are committed to providing customers with the most perfect CNC machining products and excellent CNC manufacturing services.

If you need to make your CNC custom parts, you are welcome to send your requirements with your drawings to us via email. We are very glad to give you the most sincere CNC machining service and the most favorable quotation.

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