So what do I say to someone who wants to know how to get started learning CNC programming?
I ask they why do they want to learn CNC programming? Their answer to this question makes all the difference.
If you are a supervisor wanting to learn CNC programming so you can better communicate with your operators / machinists, then what you need to know is different from the hobbyist. If know why you are learning CNC programming, or any other subject for that matter, your ability and motivation to learn is greatly enhanced.
Why knowing why makes it easier and more motivating to learn a subject
Imagine picking up a guitar and deciding you want to learn to play. It gets pretty boring just learning chords, scales and picking styles. Day after day you do your scales and chords but still don’t know a song or a piece. But when you start with a song in mind, you get focused, you learn the chords and scales specific to that song and pretty soon you can play it and enjoy it. In a matter of time you can play it flawlessly. The next song you want to learn is much easier.
It is easier because you have learned a lot more than scales and chords, you have learned a music system that includes, rhythms, strumming or picking all fused together.
Learning CNC programming is much like learning music
When you decide why you are learning CNC programming, you narrow the field to what you need to know. And, what you learn is immediately applicable to your situation. For the supervisor, learning about coordinate systems and the general concepts behind CNC machines, you are far more able to communicate with your operators. The more you know the less likely you are able to be fooled or confused by an operator.
If you are an operator and want to have more control over your machine and your career, you need to learn more than generalities. You need to learn the specifics of the various canned cycles, subroutines, looping, G and M codes. As you develop your understanding of the CNC language, coordinate systems and efficient programming methods, the easier your job becomes.
Learning to program CNC machines is significant step you can take to get off the shop floor and into the CNC programming office.
Where do you begin to learn CNC programming
After you have decided why it is important for you to know CNC programming, there are a lot of resources available to help you. Here are some suggestions:
- Check out the available books like 7 Easy Steps to CNC Programming . . . A Beginner’s Guide
- Check out the available books on CNC programming at http://haydenpub.com/cnc.html
- If you are interested in learning CAD/CAM here are some great online training courses http://haydenpub.com/cadcamonlinetraining.html
- You can also use this coupon code ( RES-10-HAYPB) to get a 10% discount on any CAD/CAM training offered by MyIGetIt.com
So how do you get started learning CNC programming? Do these 5 simple steps:
- Determine a goal or why you want to learn CNC programming
- Knowing why, now determine what you need to know to achieve that goal
- Search the internet, book stores, libraries and school resources for information you need to know
- Study your books with the intention of meeting your goal and measure your progress
- Set new goals and continue learning to expand your knowledge and horizons
Do you have a question about CNC Programming? Simply post your question on this blog, I will do my best to answer the question or point you to a resource that will answer your question.