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12 Different Types Of CNC Machine [Complete Guide] With PDF

In this article, you’ll learn what is a CNC machine, Types of CNC machine with their working principle, specification, and more. And also you can download the PDF file of this article at the end of it.

CNC Machine

As you know machines such as lathe, milling, drilling is done manually and have more responsibility of humans to perform and have a higher average of accuracy and precision in taking the time. So to resolve this problem, the machine manufactured CNC which is known as Computer Numerically controlled.

Computer numerical control (CNC) machines are widely used in the production industries. They have achieved great popularity in these recent years.

CNC machine defined as a machining system that is managed by a computer, they enable manufacturers to automate many manufacturing operations that would otherwise have to be done manually.

As a result, CNC-powered machines are used to increase productivity, decrease waste, and even eliminate the risk of human error. CNC machines can produce a number of products by using actuators, drives, and software programs.

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Types of CNC Machine

Following are the types of CNC machine:

  1. Lathe CNC machine
  2. Milling CNC machine
  3. Drilling CNC machine
  4. Grinding CNC machine
  5. Laser cutting CNC machine
  6. Plasma cutting CNC machine
  7. Electric discharge CNC machine
  8. Router CNC machine
  9. CNC machine with automatic tool changes
  10. 3-D printer
  11. 5-axis CNC machine
  12. Pick and place machine

1. CNC Lathe Machine

CNC Lathe Machine

Lathe CNC machines are defined by their capability to turn materials during operation. They have less number of axes than CNC milling machines, making them shorter and more compact.

CNC lathe machines consist of a lathe at the center that manages and transfers material programmatically to the computer. At the present time, it is widely used as a lathe due to its fast and accurate function.

Once the initial setup is done, a semi-skilled worker can operate it easily. This type of lathe is also used for mass production such as capstan and turret. But there is no programmed fed system.

2. CNC Milling Machine

CNC Milling Machine

It is one of the most common types of CNC machine, that have built-in tools for drilling and cutting. The materials are located inside a milling CNC machine, after which the computer will lead the tools to drill or cut them.

Most of the CNC milling machines are available in 3 to 6-axis configurations. This machine is used to produce gears like spur gear and is also used to drill the workpiece bore and make slots by inserting part program into the system.

A semi-skilled worker can operate it easily. It is also used for mass production such as a capstan and turret. But there is no programmed fed system. The parts made by this machine are very precise in dimensional tolerance.

3. CNC Drilling Machine

CNC Drilling Machine

The CNC drilling machine is typically applied for mass production. Drilling machines, however, often have a multi-function machining center that is occasionally mingled and sometimes twisted. The greatest sink time for CNC drilling is with tool changes, so for speed, the variation of hole diameter must be reduced.

The fastest machine size for drilling holes consists of several spindles in the turret with drills of different diameters pre-mounted for drilling. This type of CNC machine can perform reaming, counterboring, and tapping holes.

4. CNC Grinding Machine

CNC Grinding Machine

It is a precision performance tool that uses a rotating wheel to cut metal away from the metal. Typically, CNC grinding machines are used for camshafts, ball bearings, transmission shafts, and other working pieces, which require an accurate and correct finish.

Numerous pieces made using a CNC grinding machine are cylindrical. A grinding machine also use to make other types of workpieces. In CNC grinding machines “CNC” holds for computerized numerical control.

5. CNC Laser Cutting Machine

CNC Laser Cutting Machine

The Laser-cutting CNC machines are designed to cut through hard materials, although they use a laser to perform this task instead of a plasma torch. Lasers offer a high degree of accuracy, but they are not as effective as plasma torches.

Laser-cutting CNC machines commonly use one of these three types of lasers that is CO2, neodymium (Nd), or yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd: YAG).

6. CNC Plasma Cutting Machine

CNC Plasma Cutting Machine

This machine similar to milling CNC machines, plasma-cutting CNC machines are also used to cut materials. But, they differ from their milling counterparts by doing this operation applying a plasma torch.

A plasma cutting machine is defined as it is a method that cuts by electrically conductive materials using an accelerated stream of hot plasma. These types of CNC machine feature a high-powered torch that’s capable to cut through rough materials like metal.

7. CNC Electrical Discharge Machine

CNC Electrical Discharge Machine

These are also known as a spark CNC machine, is a special type of CNC machine that uses electric sparks to manage materials to the desired shape.

Electrical discharge has a transient effect, meaning that it can degrade the elements from which it is presented. The electric discharge CNC machines take advantage of this by designing controlled sparks to reshape materials.

The materials are located between the top and bottom of the electrode, after which the computer decides how much electrical discharge the electrodes produce.

8. CNC Router Machine

The CNC router machine is works likewise to other CNC machines such as lathe or milling. The principal difference is that all of this carpenter works manually such as interior, door carving, and exterior decoration, wood panels, signboards, wood frames, molding, musical instruments, furniture, and more.

According to the sketch, you can design if possible you can create in the system then execute it on a CNC router machine. This provides a better surface finish. It would be a very good machine in terms of door design and more.

9. CNC Machine with Automatic Tool Changes

Automatic tool changer CNC machine is applied to develop the tool carrying capacity and production rate of the machine. And also used to improve the machine’s capacity to work with a number of tools. This type of CNC machine changes the tool very quickly and easily handles and change worn out or broken tools.

The most important thing about this CNC machine is that it reduces non-productive time. The Automatic tool changer CNC machine is a perfect step towards complete automation.

10. 3-D Printer

3-D Printer

It is a CNC machine in which elements are printed layer-by-layer. The design and drawing are created by the CAD and CAM process and then the 3D printer used to reflect that design. The 3D printer CNC machine used for the printing of buildings and premises.

11. 5-Axis CNC Machine

5-Axis CNC Machine

The 5-Axis CNC machine is a machine with a total of 5 axes. Originally, it has 3 axes (X, Y, and Z), the cutting operation of any tool has done in 3 directions, but 2 additional axes were added (A, B) which means there are 5 axes. This machine is used to produce sculptures.

12. Pick and Place Machine

Pick and Place Machine

This is another type of CNC machine. It is used in the industry. The pick and place CNC machine has many nozzles that lift electrical components for electronic equipment and place them in the correct location. They are generally used in the manufacture of cell phones, computers, and tablets, etc.


CNC machine is managed by computers and is used to increase productivity, decrease waste, and even eliminate the risk of human error. As we have already discussed all the different “types of CNC machine” with its working but still if you have any questions you can ask in the comments. If you have liked this article then please share it with your friends.

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About Yousef

He is a mechanical engineering student, he likes to write about engineering stuff and he is really interested in learning about new technology in machines.

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