CNC Overview: What is a CNC & How is it Used?


Watch even more great videos when you become a WWGOA Member!
  • Choose Your Membership Plan
  • Bonus Video Downloads
  • New Videos Every Week
  • View on Computer or Mobile
Learn More

With CNC machines hitting the woodworking tool marketplace in a big way, you may be wondering what is a CNC? Here’s an overview for you to help you understand what the deal is with CNC.

What drives the machine?

The first step is programming on a computer. Don’t sweat the programming too much. In most cases it’s pretty intuitive. Once we have a drawing it can be sent to the CNC machine, much like sending a document to a printer.

Making cuts

You’ll recognize many aspects of a CNC machine. It’s not unlike a hand-held plunge router, with control of the router’s direction being provided by the CNC. Router bits are held in a collet. Three axes are available on these machines, allowing a wide variety of cuts.

Is a CNC for you?

Once you’ve answered the question “What is a CNC?”, you’ll be wondering if one of these machines is a good fit for your shop. This is a question that each of us needs to answer individually. What benefits will a CNC machine provide for me? There’s a huge variety of things the machine can be used for. WoodWorkers Guild of America is ready to help you determine if a CNC machine will benefit you, and help you learn how to use it. Learning to use a benchtop CNC can be a lot of fun, and provide an opportunity for your creative juices to flow.

You may also be interested in:

V-Carving Letters and Artwork with a CNC Router

Engraving Letters and Artwork with a CNC Router

Make an Oval Box and Textured Lid with a CNC

CNC Machine Programming Tips

  • (will not be published)

2 Responses to “CNC Overview: What is a CNC & How is it Used?”
  1. roger

    So I’ve done the math and estimate an investment of about $4500 to turn out my first piece!!
    Let’s not forget that your audience is primarily do it yourselfers who have between 5 and 15 thousand invested in their shop so I don’t think any are interested in this very expensive novelty.

    • George Vondriska

      You’re right, a CNC machine is an expensive addition to the shop. But we’re seeing more and more interest in this topic, so will be exploring it to see where it leads.


Tags: Benchtop CNC, CNC, Free Videos, Sponsored Videos