These learning modules will help you understand how to use a CNC milling machine. We'll go over the basic parts of a typical machine and what you need to do to machine your part.

Student Backgound

These modules are intended for students who have already studied NC programming and have a basic understanding of machining. If you need more information, you can refer to a machining handbook/textbook.


The modules should be read in order of appearance. Module #1 will present an overview of all the major elements of the CNC mill. Module #2 will go into detail in the form of a tutorial which will walk you through the steps of powering up, setting up, running, and powering down the machine.


When you are near a CNC mill, you must use caution. Safety glasses must be worn at all times. There are plastic windows around the machine, but if something breaks when a tool is spinning at thousands of rpm, you can be sure that plastic will not stop it from getting to you. We will not discuss all the safety precautions that need to be taken. You must refer to the safety guidelines for the laboratory before starting any CNC project.

Machine awareness

CNC milling machines are very powerful tools and need to be treated with respect. You can easily damage parts of the machine, and more importantly yourself. You can be severely injured while using a CNC mill. Throughout this manual you will see warnings written in RED. This indicates that the task being described has a higher potential for injury. You need to be alert and aware of what is happening in the work area at all times.