new to the world of CNC and want to learn a little bit more about it?
read on and become a CNC master with our helpful guide

new to the world of cnc and want to learn a little bit more about it?
read on and become a cnc master with our helpful guide

new to the world of CNC and want to learn a little bit more about it?
read on and become a CNC master with our helpful guide

an introduction to CNC
an introduction to CNC
an introduction to CNC

what is a CNC?

the term “CNC” is a generic term which can be used to describe many types of device, including; plotters, vinyl cutters, 3D printers, milling machines and others.

CNC stands for computer numerically controlled and basically means that the physical movements of the machine are controlled by instructions, such as co-ordinate positions generated using a computer.

the term “CNC machine” is typically used to refer to a device which uses a rotating cutting tool which moves in 3 or more axes (X, Y and Z) to cut-out or carve parts in different types of materials. the information on these pages will focus on what are typically referred to as “CNC routers” although it would be applicable to most CNC milling and engraving machines too.

a typical CNC setup will include labels for some of the key components and also an indicator showing the 3 axes of movement (X, Y and Z) and their directions in relation to this particular machine. there are many other types, sizes, ratios and configurations of CNC too.

how does Vectric software fit into the process?

although a CNC router is an amazing piece of technology in order to work it needs to receive instructions. Vectric software is designed to create the instructions (toolpaths) to tell the CNC how to move to create different types of parts. the specific Vectric program you use and the method for achieving this will depend on the starting point for a project (idea, drawing, scan, photo etc.) and exactly what it is you are trying to make (simple cut out shape, etched image, 3D carving etc.)

what can I make with a CNC?

CNCs are incredibly versatile and allow you to cut a variety of different types of product and materials. the exact abilities of a machine will vary with size, rigidity and power. typically most CNC routers can cut soft and hard wood, plastics, other composites and non-ferrous metals.

CNC users range from hobbyists who build their own machines through to large companies with industrial equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

key CNC knowledge