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12 Different Types of CNC Machining and Their Uses

Computer numerical control (CNC) is a popular manufacturing process that uses computers to control the movement of machinery, such as milling machines, lathes, routers, and grinders. While all CNC machines follow the same basic principles, many different types of CNC machines have been developed for specific applications. This guide will look at the different types of CNC machines and how they can be used in the manufacturing process.

What is CNC Machine?

As you are aware, manual machines like lathes, mills, and drills require more human work and a higher standard of accuracy and precision when taking the time. Therefore, the machine-produced CNC, also known as computer numerically controlled, to address this issue.

Computer numerical control (CNC) devices are frequently employed in the production industries. In recent years, they have experienced tremendous growth in popularity. A computer-controlled machining system, or CNC machine, enables producers to automate various industrial processes that would otherwise need manual labor. As a result, machines powered by CNC are utilized to boost output, reduce waste, and even do away with the possibility of human error. CNC machines can produce several products using actuators, drives, and software programs.

Types of CNC Machine

  • Lathe CNC machine
  • Milling CNC machine
  • Drilling CNC machine
  • Grinding CNC machine
  • Laser cutting CNC machine
  • Plasma cutting CNC machine
  • Electric discharge CNC machine
  • Router CNC machine
  • CNC machine with automatic tool changes
  • 3-D printer
  • 5-axis CNC machine
  • Pick and place the machine
  • Vertical Machine

CNC Lathe Machine

The ability to rotate materials during use defines CNC lathe machines. They are shorter and more compact than CNC milling machines because they have fewer axes. A lathe that programmatically controls and feeds the material to the computer is the heart of CNC lathes. Due to its quick and precise operation, it is currently a frequently utilized lathe. After initial setup, a semi-skilled worker can readily operate it. The winch and turret are examples of mass-produced items using this tower type. However, there is no automated feeding mechanism.

CNC Milling Machine

It is one of the most popular CNC machines with integrated cutting and drilling equipment designs. The materials are placed inside a milling CNC machine before the computer directs the instruments to drill or cut them.

Most CNC milling machines come with three to six axes of motion. By entering a part program into the system, this machine can drill the workpiece bore, create slots, and produce gears such as spur gears. It is simple to use for a worker with intermediate skills. A capstan and turret are just two examples of its mass manufacturing uses. However, there is no automated feeding mechanism. The dimensional tolerance of the items produced by this machine is exceptionally exact.

CNC Drilling Machine

Typically, the CNC drilling machine is used for mass production. However, multi-function machining centers are frequently twisted and mixed in drilling machines. Since tool changes cause the most sink time during CNC drilling, the fluctuation in hole diameter must be minimized.

The machine size that drills the hole the fastest has multiple spindles in the turret with exercises of various diameters attached and ready to prepare. This kind of CNC machine is capable of counterboring, tapping, and reaming holes.

CNC Grinding Machine

It is a finely crafted performance tool that separates metal from metal using a rotating wheel. Camshafts, ball bearings, transmission shafts, and other functional items that need an accurate and precise finish are frequently ground on CNC grinding machines. Cylindrical objects are often produced with a CNC grinding machine. A grinding machine can also make other types of parts. “CNC” stands for Computer Numerical Control in CNC Grinding Machines.

CNC Laser Cutting Machine

The CNC laser-cutting machines are made to cut through rigid materials, but instead of using a plasma torch, they do so by using a laser. Although lasers are highly accurate, plasma torches are more powerful. One of these three lasers, CO2, neodymium (Nd), or yttrium-aluminum-garnet, is frequently used in laser-cutting CNC machines.

CNC Plasma Cutting Machine

Plasma-cutting CNC machines are used to cut materials comparable to CNC milling machines. However, they are different from their milling counterparts because they use a plasma torch to perform this. A plasma cutting machine is a device that uses an accelerated stream of hot plasma to cut electrically conductive materials. These particular CNC machines have a powerful flame that can pierce rigid materials like metal.

CNC Electrical Discharge Machine

These are also called sparks. A unique type of CNC machine called a CNC machine manipulates materials into the required shape using electric sparks. Electrical discharge can degrade the materials from which it is presented since it has a temporary effect. This is used by electric discharge CNC machines to shape materials by creating controlled sparks. The materials are placed in the electrode’s top and bottom regions, and the computer determines how much electrical discharge the electrodes will produce.

CNC Router Machine

The CNC router machine functions similarly to other devices like the milling and lathe. The main distinction is that all this carpentry work, including wood panels, signboards, wood frames, molding, musical instruments, furniture, and more, is done by hand.

Following the drawing, you can design and, if possible, construct the system before using it on a CNC router. Consequently, the surface finish is improved. It would be a good machine in terms of door design and other aspects.

CNC Machine with Automatic Tool Changes

Changes tools automatically. The machine’s tool carrying capacity and output rate are developed using a CNC machine and additionally utilized to increase the machine’s ability to use a variety of tools. This CNC machine handles and changes worn-out or damaged tools quickly and efficiently. The reduction of idle time is the most significant benefit of this CNC machine. The CNC machine with an automatic tool changeover is the ideal step toward total automation.

3-D Printer

It is a CNC machine that prints elements one at a time cad and CAM processes are used to develop the design and drawing, and the 3D Printer is then used to mirror that design. The CNC device is used in 3D printing buildings and other structures.

5-Axis CNC Machine

There are five axes in all on the 5-Axis CNC machine. Initially, it had three axes (X, Y, and Z), and any tool’s cutting action was carried out in three directions. However, two more axes (A, B) were added later, making the total number five. This device is employed to make sculptures.

Pick and Place Machine

Another type of CNC machine is this one. It is employed in the sector. The pick-and-place CNC machine contains several nozzles that lift and position electrical components for electronic devices. They are typically used in the production of tablets, computers, and cell phones, among other products.

Vertical Machining Centers (VMCs)

A vertical machining centre (VMC) is a CNC machine typically used to make precision parts. VMCs are typically used in high-volume production runs where uniformity and accuracy are essential. VMCs feature multiple axes that allow them to move faster than traditional manual machines, making them ideal for making complex parts with tight tolerances. Because they are so precise, VMCs tend to be more expensive than other types of CNC machines.


CNC machines offer tremendous potential for manufacturers who need precise parts made quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality or accuracy. There are many different types of CNC machines available depending on your needs; from vertical machining centres specializing in mass production runs to smaller router systems perfect for detailed carving projects, there is something out there for every possible application! With proper care and maintenance, these versatile tools will continue providing quality products year after year!

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