What Coding Language Is Used on CNC Machines?

For anyone wondering whether or not they should control their CNC machines with hand-written code or with CAM-generated code, the first thing to do is to learn all about that coding language. Understanding what it is, how it’s made, and how to read it will make that decision easier.

Generating G-code can be done manually or with CAM software. Taking a part from idea to completion usually follows this path:

CAD software or a programmer creates a 3D model à CAM software OR a programmer interprets the CAD model, optimizes and applies toolpaths, and writes the G-code for the CNC machine à CNC machine uses G-code to direct its cutting.

The vast majority of shops have done away with manually writing G-code. Most manufacturing is automated by computers by way of CAD/CAM software these days, speeding the process and eliminating most of the opportunity for human error. A look at what G-code really is will explain why.

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