The order by which you take these CNC classes depends upon your current
experiences in manufacturing. We've put together a set of scenarios that should
help you decide how to proceed.
I have no previous machine shop experience and I'm not currently working
for a CNC-using company
In this case, we recommend that you begin with
one of the Setup and Operation classes, since they include two
preparatory lessons on basic machining practices, including shop
safety, shop math, blueprint reading, tolerance interpretation,
measuring devices, machining operations and cutting tools.
While we don't discuss any of these topics in great depth, this
information should introduce you to the basic machining
practices required for CNC machine usage. At the very
least, this will help you understand the lessons on CNC machine
setup and operation. Pick the class for the type of
machine you are most interested in -
Machining Center Setup and Operation or
Turning Center Setup and Operation. If you have no
special interest in either, we recommend that you start with
Machining Center Setup and Operation.
I have very little (or no) previous machine shop experience, but I've
been hired by a CNC-using company to run CNC machines
I have setup and operated CNC machines but never programmed them
In this case, we recommend starting with the Machining
Center Programming or Turning Center Programming
class, whichever you are more interested in. These classes present many of the
features and concepts related to CNC - and since you have previous shop
experience, you'll easily understand all of the presentations in these classes.
I have worked with one type of CNC machine but not the other
Lots of manufacturing people should have a working knowledge of CNC. These
people include manufacturing engineers, process engineers, quality control
people, and production control people. Truly, just about everyone in
manufacturing should have an understanding of CNC. If you're in this position,
we recommend taking the Machining Center Programming or
Turning Center Programming class (or both), depending
upon what kinds of CNC machine tools your company owns. This will provide you
with a good understanding of CNC - and give you an appreciation for what CNC
people must do. You'll also be able to communicate more intelligently with the
people in the CNC environment.