The most common types of CNC machines

by Kris

Machining is a mechanical cutting technology. It is used to remove materials from a workpiece by physical contact between the workpiece and a cutting tool. CNC machining uses computers to control the cutting tools and CNC machining parts. Here, we look at some common types of CNC machines. 

Types of CNC machines

The manufacturing industry is swarmed with a wide array of CNC machines. The most prevalent ones are;

1. CNC router machine

This is among the most applied used forms of CNC machines in the market. It is popularly applied because it is easy to use. This means that both learners and regular users can efficiently operate this type of CNC machine. This element can be attributed to the fact that it is built to precisely operate CNC technology and does not require human input.

In this type of machine, a router is used to produce slightly larger dimensions. The router works together with an in-built design. The two features collaborate in the cutting of wood and sheet metal. It is worth mentioning that the routers on this type of CNC machine are found in 3 axes.

In addition to the axes, the machine also comes with a rotary positioned at the workpiece. The simple design allows the apparatus to cut different profiles, and it can also be applied in 3-dimensional machining. CNC router machines are ideal for cutting intricate shapes.

2. CNC milling machines

CNC milling is one of the most common CNC operations. For this reason, CNC milling machines are very popular. They use computer controls to cut materials from a workpiece. They use simple mills, which receive their instructions from numerical codes fed into a computer.

3. CNC plasma cutters

These are machines that use a plasma torch to cut materials off a workpiece. These machines are applied for cutting heavy materials. Therefore, the most common materials used on CNC plasma cutters are steel and other types of metal.


EDM (Electric Discharge Machines) are intricate devices that can be applied to manufacture specific shapes within a particular material. This CNC machining technology uses electrical release to manufacture parts.

The materials used in this process are dispensed from a workpiece by applying a development of electrical releases. Two anodes are applied in this process. After the materials’ dispensing, the two anodes are separated and isolated by a dielectric liquid which receives a feasible electric current.

But note, using CNC electric discharge machines is not as easy as using the other machines on this list. For this reason, these types of CNC machines are not as popular as their counterparts.

5. CNC lathes machines

Lathes are used to develop accurate yet conical parts. Therefore, CNC lathe machines are used for turning centers when cutting tools. They are also applied for shaving off excess material elements. Therefore, CNC lathes machines are almost as popular as CNC router machines. Their wide application can also be attributed to the fact that they are straightforward to use, and they make authentic pieces.


Other than the machines mentioned above, there are several other types of CNC machines in the market. The machines differ depending on the form of operation and the type of parts manufactured.

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