CNC Beginner’s Terms Quiz



CAD Computer Aided Design - A software package you use to design your part. Current packages range from 2D vector based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modellers.
CAM Computer Aided Manufacture - A software package that combines the output of CAD with other data such as stock and tool geometry and produces the toolpath as output.
G-Code The industry standard interpreted programming language that instructs a machine what to do next.
G-Code Interpreter The 'front end' of the motion controller that actually interprets the g-code line by line.
Motion Controller Usually incorporating the g-code interpreter as a front-end it then issues the appropriate control signals to the motor drivers. In the case of stepper motor drivers and some servo motor drivers it issues the step and direction signals.
Motor Drivers The electronics that convert the step direction signals into the power signal sequences actually needed to drive the motors.
Part The thing you're making.
POST Postprocessor - Converts the generalized toolpath into a machine specific toolpath i.e. produces the g-code for a particular machine.
Stock The piece of material out of which you're going to make your part.
Toolpath The path the tool travels through in order to remove material from the stock.