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What Are Some Good Beginner CNC Machines?

CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines have revolutionized the manufacturing world and created unique opportunities for hobbyists and beginners interested in additive or cutting machine technology. These automated machines allow users to accurately carve, cut, and create intricate pieces from various materials such as wood, metal, and plastics. Several models of  CNC machines are available, each offering unique features for different types of users.

Finding a suitable machine can be daunting for those who are just dipping their toes in the waters of CNC machining. The best CNC machines for beginners would be those that are user-friendly, easy to set up and come with comprehensive instructions or guides. They should also be robust enough to handle various tasks without compromising precision.

Now, let’s delve into some exceptional beginner-friendly CNC machines, including:

What are the benefits of learning to use a CNC machine?

Mastering the operation of CNC machines presents a wealth of benefits, particularly in the manufacturing sector. As the cornerstone of modern industry, CNC machines enable the precise repeatability of complex parts and components. Learning to operate these machines opens the door to many opportunities, allowing users to bring their designs to life with accuracy and consistency.

Beyond manufacturing precision, learning to operate CNC machines fosters a greater understanding of the production process. Comprehensive knowledge of CNC operation allows for better troubleshooting, reducing downtime, and increasing productivity. It also promotes a familiarity with the characteristics of various materials and how they respond to different machining processes.

Furthermore, proficiency in CNC machining often leads to increased career prospects. As technology evolves, the demand for skilled CNC operators is rising. By acquiring this skill, individuals position themselves favorably in the job market, potentially leading to higher wages and improved job security. Learning CNC machines provides both practical and professional benefits, making it a valuable skill in today’s technologically advanced world.

What is the best way to learn CNC machining?

CNC machining involves pre-programmed computer software dictating the movement of factory tools and machinery. Theoretical knowledge as well as practical hands-on experience are critical to learning CNC machining effectively.

Beginning with a strong foundation in the theory is crucial. This process includes understanding CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) programs, interpreting technical drawings, and getting acquainted with CNC machine language. Online resources, textbooks, and courses can provide this knowledge base, helping new users to understand the role and functionality of each component in the CNC process.

However, no amount of theoretical knowledge can replace hands-on experience. Operating a CNC machine gives a user physical familiarity with the machine and helps in understanding the nuances of the process. Choosing a beginner CNC to match your goals is an essential first step. Once familiar with the machine, you can begin with simple projects, gradually increasing complexity as your confidence and skills develop.

What are the most popular beginner CNC machines?

CNC machines are a staple in the manufacturing industry, with different types offering unique functionalities. The most popular varieties include milling machines, lathes, routers, and laser cutters.

  1. CNC milling machines are the most common since they can cut various materials and move along multiple axes, allowing them to accurately create a wide range of parts. These machines can execute several cutting operations, from simple straight lines to complex, geometric 3D shapes.
  2. CNC lathes, on the other hand, are used to produce parts by rotating a workpiece against a fixed cutting tool. The cutting tool removes the unwanted material to shape the piece as the material spins. Lathes are perfect for producing round parts with symmetry along their central axis.
  3. The CNC router, a mainstay in woodworking, is a versatile machine capable of cutting and shaping materials, such as wood, soft metal, acrylic, MDF, PCB, and PVC. The CNC router’s ability to rapidly and accurately produce custom designs makes it an invaluable tool for hobbyist woodworkers and professional carpentry shops.
  4. The CNC laser cutter is another remarkable technology that has significantly transformed manufacturing. This tool uses a high-power laser beam to cut or engrave materials precisely. Like other CNC machines, it operates under the control of a computer, which directs the laser beam onto the workpiece at specific points determined by CAD/CAM software. By focusing the laser beam on a small, defined area, a CNC laser cutter can achieve intricate designs and details, making it a valuable asset for industries ranging from jewelry and fashion to automotive and aerospace.

What are the best CNC milling machines for beginners?

The journey into CNC milling can be exciting, but it’s crucial to begin with a user-friendly and capable machine. The best CNC milling machines for beginners strike a balance between ease of use, affordability, and versatility. They come equipped with intuitive controls, comprehensive tutorials, user-friendly CNC software, and the capacity to handle various materials. We’ll discuss three machines and offer enough info to guide beginners in making an informed choice.

CNC Masters Baron Mill

Baron Milling Machine
Baron Milling Machine

The CNC Baron Mill from CNC Masters is a potent device that brings high-tech precision and power to desktop manufacturing. This compact machine, designed with a small footprint, is ideal for those who require precise and reliable milling but have limited space.

Its compact size is coupled with durable construction to ensure longevity and consistent performance. Featuring user-friendly software, the CNC Baron Mill empowers users, even those with minimal training, to produce high-quality parts with excellent finishes, making it an ideal choice for beginners, hobbyists, small businesses, and educational institutions.

Carbide 3D Shapeoko 4

The Shapeoko 4 mill is an innovative, high-performance CNC machine engineered to bring industrial-grade capabilities to a broader audience. Its robust steel frame, precision rails, and powerful tooling deliver exceptional accuracy and durability, enabling users to craft detailed and intricate designs from various materials. Its user-friendly software makes it accessible for beginners, while its advanced features cater to the needs of experienced machinists.

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MYSWEETY 3018 Pro

The MYSWEETY 3018 Pro is a versatile and budget-friendly CNC mill, perfect for beginners and hobbyists in manufacturing and design. Its compact size makes it ideal for personal projects or small workshops without compromising precision and accuracy. The solid build and improved stability ensure that the machine delivers consistent performance. It can process various materials, including plastics, soft metals like aluminum and copper, and wood, making it a valuable tool for multiple applications. Further, the MYSWEETY 3018 Pro offers an easy assembly process and user-friendly software, which highly benefits those new to CNC milling.

What are the top CNC routers for beginners?

CNC desktop routers offer sophisticated capabilities in a compact, accessible format. These devices use CNC technology to precisely machine wood, soft metals, and plastic materials. Ideal for smaller production environments, hobbyists, and beginners, CNC desktop routers enhance manufacturing, bringing industrial-grade accuracy to the convenience of your desktop. Many DIY machines in this category are available on Amazon. Here are three to consider:

Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 PROVer

The Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 PROVer CNC router is a versatile and cost-effective solution for hobbyists and professionals. This machine offers excellent functionality, allowing users to carve, engrave, and mill various materials ranging from wood to soft metals. It comes with an upgraded controller board that provides improved precision, stability, and safety and an integrated mainboard and custom software, creating a streamlined and compact product. The Genmitsu CNC’s comprehensive feature set makes it an excellent choice for those looking to begin CNC machining.

BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit

The BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit stands out among its competitors due to its innovative design and user-friendly interface. It’s made from laser-cut hardwood, giving it a unique blend of strength and aesthetics. It has precise cutting ability, powered by an Arduino-based microprocessor and driven by GRBL, an open-source motion controller software. A distinct feature of the Evolution 4 is its large working area, allowing for greater project versatility. Its ease of assembly and comprehensive tutorial make it a favorite of new CNC users.

RATTMMOTOR CNC 3018 PRO MAX CNC Router Kit

The RATTMMOTOR CNC 3018 PRO MAX CNC Router Kit is a versatile machine for hobbyists, learners, and professionals. This router kit is renowned for its solid build quality, precise operation, and affordability. A working area of 300x180x45mm provides ample space for small to medium-sized projects. Users can easily engrave plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC, PCB, or similar materials. Notably, the router features an offline controller, so there is no need to connect to a computer or download files. The router kit is accompanied by easy-to-understand instructional materials, making the installation a breeze for beginners.

What is a good-quality desktop CNC lathe for beginners?

Desktop CNC lathes represent a significant advancement in machining technology. By bringing the precision and repeatability of industrial CNC machines to the desktop, these lathes have leveled the playing field for beginners with access to high-quality manufacturing processes. Ideal for hobbyists, small-scale fabricators, and educational settings, desktop CNC lathes offer the ability to create intricate parts from various materials with minimal space requirements. Here are three examples:

Sherline 8440B

The Sherline 8440B is a commendable entry-level CNC lathe hobbyists find particularly appealing due to its notable features. Compact yet robust, the Sherline 8440B fits in small workspaces, making it perfect for enthusiasts with limited space. It offers precision, rivaling professional-grade machines. Its ease of use makes it ideal for beginners, with intuitive controls that remove the steep learning curve. With a reasonable price point, the Sherline 8440B represents excellent value for hobbyists looking to delve into CNC lathing.

TAIG 4029

The TAIG 4029 CNC mini-lathe is a compact and versatile machine with high precision for small-scale manufacturing and hobbyist projects. Its robust construction with a solid aluminum base provides stability and durability. This mini-lathe has a computer numerical control (CNC) system, allowing accurate and repeatable movements. It is ideal for detailed work, such as creating intricate parts or components.

Proxxon Precision lathe PD 400/CNC

The Proxxon Precision Lathe PD 400/CNC is a high-quality tool designed for precision machining. It incorporates CNC technology, providing control and accuracy in turning, cutting, and drilling operations. Engineered in Germany, the PD 400/CNC is well-regarded for its solid build quality, reliability, and user-friendly interface, making it the choice of many hobbyists and professional machinists.

Which CNC laser cutters are appropriate for beginners?

CNC laser cutters are sophisticated machines using the power of CNC and laser technology to cut or engrave materials. By directing a high-power laser at the material, a CNC laser cutter effectively burns, melts, or vaporizes the area of focus, resulting in a clean, sharp edge or intricate design. Its application spans various industries such as manufacturing, construction, and arts and is effective for many materials including metal, wood, glass, and plastics. Using CNC ensures that each cut is accurate to the smallest detail, duplicating designs flawlessly and seamlessly.

Moski-MSQ Laser AS-5

The Moski-MSQ Laser AS-5 is an innovative technology renowned for its precision and reliability. Its primary function is to emit a concentrated light beam that can cut and engrave different materials. As a high-powered laser device, it’s extensively used from construction to manufacturing for its superior performance in marking and cutting tasks. The AS-5’s robust design and user-friendly interface make it a favorite of beginners and professionals seeking efficiency and accuracy in their work.

ORTUR Laser Master 2

The ORTUR Laser Master 2 CNC Laser is another versatile tool capable of engraving and cutting various materials. This compact device uses a high-power laser to etch patterns or designs onto surfaces such as wood, leather, fabric, and some metals with remarkable precision. Moreover, it offers cutting capabilities for thinner materials, making it an invaluable tool for crafters, designers, and engineers. The device is easy to assemble, user-friendly, and operates with computer software to bring digital designs to life.

NEJE Master 2S Max

The NEJE Master 2S Max is an excellent CNC laser cutter recognized for its versatility, reliability, and ease of use. The machine is equipped with a 30W module and can efficiently CNC-carve into various materials such as wood, leather, and acrylic. Its larger workspace permits increased project flexibility while the wireless control and NEJE software streamline the design and engraving process.

Are 3D printers part of the CNC landscape?

In recent years, the question of whether 3D printers are part of the CNC landscape has generated considerable discussion. CNC typically refers to a process used in manufacturing where pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of machinery. Traditionally, this has included tools such as milling machines, lathes, and routers. However, with the arrival of 3D printing technology, which also utilizes computer control to create three-dimensional objects, the boundaries of a CNC machine have been blurred.

3D printers operate on the same fundamental principle of precise machinery control through computer programming. They also share with traditional CNC machines the ability to generate complex shapes that would be nearly impossible to achieve manually. Therefore, while 3D printers represent a departure from conventional CNC machines in their additive rather than subtractive fabrication method, they can be considered part of the broader CNC landscape due to their reliance on computer-controlled automation.

3D printers offer significant advantages to beginners delving into fabrication or prototyping. These machines provide a hands-on learning experience, turning digital designs into tangible products. This transformative process helps newcomers understand complex geometrical concepts, allowing beginners to bring their ideas to life without expensive tooling or industrial equipment. This accessibility encourages innovation and creativity, making 3D printing an ideal starting point for those interested in design and manufacturing.

What should beginners look for in a CNC machine?

Choosing a suitable CNC machine can be challenging for beginners venturing into CNC machining. Knowing what to look for ensures they get the right machine tool to meet their creative needs. Here are the features they should consider when selecting a CNC machine.

Emergency stop button

An emergency stop button for beginner CNC machines is an essential safety feature. This button ensures the operator can stop the machine immediately if something goes wrong during machining. An inexperienced user might anticipate only some potential issues or make mistakes while setting up or operating the machine. The emergency stop button is a fail-safe, preventing injuries and damage to the machine or workpiece.

Limit switches

Limit switches are vital on beginner CNC machines for several reasons. These switches act as safety mechanisms that stop the machine’s operation when it reaches its mechanical limits, preventing damage to the CNC or workpiece. These switches serve as an invaluable safeguard for beginners, who may need to be fully acquainted with the operation and potential dangers of CNC machines. They prevent over-travel on the X-axis (left-to-right), Y-axis (in-and-out), and Z-axis (up-and-down), which could otherwise result in costly repairs or replacements. Limit switches can also establish the machine’s home or zero positions, providing a reliable operation starting point and ensuring consistency in the production process.

Stepper motor

Experienced professionals often recommend stepper motors for beginner CNC machines due to their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. They function by breaking down a full rotation into many small steps, allowing for precise control without the need for complex feedback systems. This level of control is crucial in CNC machining, where accuracy is essential. Furthermore, stepper motors are inherently open-loop systems, which means they do not require an encoder or a feedback device to operate reliably. These features make them ideal for beginners.

Stable CNC router gantry

A stable gantry is critical for a CNC router as it is responsible for the precise movement of the cutting tool in three dimensions. It ensures the router maintains accurate positioning during operation, providing consistent, high-quality cuts. A durable gantry minimizes vibrations, deviations, and potential errors that could compromise the final product. Consequently, the stability of the gantry directly impacts the precision, efficiency, and overall quality of the CNC routing process.

Accessible CNC software

Here are a handful of CNC software solutions to consider:

  1. Fusion 360: An all-inclusive software, Fusion 360 provides CAD, CAM, and CAE tools in a single platform. It’s ideal for beginners as it offers user-friendly features and an extensive knowledge base. 
  2. Easel: Easel is an exceptionally user-friendly web-based CNC software perfect for beginners. It allows for accessible design, carving, and export of G-code. 
  3. Mach3: Known for its reliability, Mach3 controls the operation of CNC machines and offers a user-friendly interface suitable for beginners.
  4. Vectric Aspire: This software is well-suited for beginners interested in 3D modeling and complex carving. It includes tools for 2D design, 3D relief modeling, and both 2D and 3D machining.
  5. TinkerCAD: An easy-to-use tool for beginners, TinkerCAD offers an intuitive interface for creating 3D models. It also allows users to export their designs directly to a CNC machine.

G-code plays a pivotal role in CNC software by serving as the language that drives the machine tool motions. It is a standardized programming language that dictates how CNC machines, such as mills, lathes, and 3D printers, will operate. Commands within G-code specify the machine’s movements, such as where to move, how fast, and what path to follow. These instructions allow for precise control over manufacturing operations and the ability to accurately produce complex and intricate designs.

Choose the CNC Machine that Fits Your Needs 

The best CNC machines for beginners offer user-friendly features, robust functionality, and affordable pricing. Moreover, the decision should consider the user’s specific needs and aspirations. Beginners intending to venture into professional CNC machining may lean towards more advanced models with room for growth, while hobbyists might prefer more straightforward, affordable models. 

Models like the CNC Baron offer the benefits of an advanced CNC machine with affordability that makes it accessible to practically anyone. Whichever the choice, remember that user support and community are invaluable resources for the learning journey. Need guidance? The experts at CNC Masters are here to help!

About Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters, a leading supplier of CNC mills, milling machines, and CNC lathes. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights for various blogs in CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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29. Create a Peck Drilling Program in Circular or Rectangular Patterns
Using the Circular or Rectangular Drilling Wizards, you can program the machine to drill an un-limited series of holes along the X and Y planes. Program it to drill straight through to your total depth, use a high-speed pecking cycle, or deep hole pecking cycle. You can program the cut-in depth and return point for a controlled peck drill application to maximize chip clearance.

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20. Change up to 30 tools with compensation, and store your tool offsets for other programs
The MX supports…

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21. Use the optional ATC rack up to 8 tools for milling, drilling, and rigid tapping applications
The CNC Masters Automatic Tool Changer Rack and Tools (US Patent 9,827,640B2) can be added to any CNC Masters Milling Machine built with the rigid tapping encoder option. The tutorial will guide you through the set-up procedure using the ATC tools.

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22. Use the optional Rigid Tapping Wizard without the need for tapping head attachments
When you order your CNC Masters machine, have it built with the optional rigid tapping encoder. You can take any drill cycle program and replace the top line with a tapping code created by the wizard to tap your series of holes up to 1/2” in diameter.

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23. Use the optional Digital Probe to scan the profile and/or pockets of your fun/hobby type designs to write your tool path program and machine out a duplicate of your original design To “surface” scan an object, you can program the probe along the X or Y plane. The stylus will travel over the part starting on the left side front corner of the object and work its way to the end of the part on the right side. Depending on how the stylus moves, it will record linear and interpolated movements along the X, Y, and Z planes directly on the MX Editor.
To “pocket” scan an object containing a closed pocket such as circles or squares, the scan will start from the top front, work its way inside of the pocket, and scan the entire perimeter of the pocket.
Under the Setup of the MX software you will find the Probe Tab which will allow you to calibrate and program your probe. Your “Probe Step”, “Feed”, and “Data Filter” can also be changed on the fly while the probe is in the middle of scanning your object.

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24. Use work offsets G54-G59 for nesting applications
The work offsets offer you a way to program up to six different machining locations. It’s like having multiple 0.0 locations for different parts. This is very useful especially when using sub-routines/nesting applications.

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25. Create a Rectangular Pocket / Slot with our selection of Wizards to help you build a tool path program
The Cycle Wizards for the mill or lathe makes it easy to create a simple tool path without needing to use a CAD and CAM software.
On this Wizard, the Rectangular Pocket / Slots, can be used to form a deep rectangular pocket into your material or machine a slot duplicating as many passes needed to its total depth.

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26. Create a Circular Pocket Wizard
Input the total diameter, the step down, and total depth and the code will be generated.

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27. Do Thread Milling using a single point cutter Wizard

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28. Cut a gear out using the Cut Gear Wizard with the optional Fourth Axis

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19. Disable the axis motors to manually hand crank each axis into place
Easily de-energize the axis motors by clicking [Disable Motors] to crank each axis by hand, and then press [Reset Control] to re-energize the axis motors.

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30. The MX interface can easily be interchanged from Mill Mode to Lathe Mode
Use this interface for your CNC Masters Lathe. It contains all the same user-friendly features and functions that comes in Mill Mode. Simply go to the Setup page and change the interface.

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31. Use Tool Change Compensation or the optional Auto Tool Changer Turret if your application requires more than one tool in a single program
You can offset the length and angle of each tool and record it under Tools in your Setup. The program will automatically pause the lathe’s movement and spindle allowing you to change out your tool, or allowing the optional ATC Turret to quickly turn to its next tool and continue machining.
On the MX interface, you also have four Tool Position buttons. Select your desired T position, and the auto tool post will quickly turn and lock itself to that position.

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32. Use the Lathe Wizard Threading Cycle to help you program your lathe’s internal or external threads in inches or metric

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33. Use the Lathe Wizard Turning / Boring Cycle to help you program simple turning and boring cycles without having to go through a CAM or writing a long program with multiple passes

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34. Use the Lathe Wizard Peck Drilling Cycle to help you program your drill applications or for face grooving

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35. Facing / Grooving / Part Off Cycle Wizards – with Constant Surface Speed
These cycles can be used with Constant Surface Speed allowing the spindle speed to increase automatically as the diameter of the part decreases giving your application a consistent workpiece finish. With CSS built into the wizard, there is no need to break down the cycle into multiple paths and multiple spindle speed changes.

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36. This is our list of supported G and M codes which can be found under Tools > G Code/ M Code List in the MX
If you plan to use a third-party CAM software to generate your tool path program, use a generic FANUC post processor and edit it to match our list of codes. As an option, we also sell Visual mill/turn CAM software which comes with a guaranteed post processor for our machines to easily generate your tool path programs based on your CAD drawings.

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37. Our pledge to you…

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10. Run each tool path independently to study its movement
1. Run the machine on Trace mode. You can run each tool path independently, one line at a time to study the tool path movement on the machine to verify the position of the application and if any fixture/vise is in the way of the cutter’s path.

2. You can also verify your program by clicking on the Trace and Draw buttons together. This will allow you to view each tool path independently one line at a time in the Draw Window.

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2. Clutter Free Interface
The MX is engineered for the CNC MASTERS machine so you do not have to fiddle with a detailed complicated configuration that can be overwhelming. Just load in the MX and start machining!2. Clutter Free Interface
The MX is engineered for the CNC MASTERS machine so you do not have to fiddle with a detailed complicated configuration that can be overwhelming. Just load in the MX and start machining!

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3. Features Tour and Tutorials Included
The Features Tour will give you a quick run-down on all the features the MX can do for you. The Tutorials are easy to follow even for the first time CNC machinist.
Feel free to download the MX on any of your computers. We recommend downloading the MX along with your CAD and CAM software there at the comfort of your office computer to generate your tool path programs. You don’t need to be hooked up to the machine either to test your program in simulation mode.

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4. Navigate and Edit Your Program through the MX interface with Ease
With a few clicks of the mouse or using touch screen technology, you can easily navigate through the MX interface importing saved programs into the Editor from the File drop down menu. Using standard windows features to edit your program you can then lock the Editor Screen to avoid accidental editing, and if you need to insert a line in the middle of a program, just click on [ReNum] to re-number your tool path list.
You can create a program or import CAM generated G-code tool paths into the Editor
The X Y and Z W arrow jog buttons are displayed from the point of view of the cutter to avoid confusion when the table and saddle are moving. You can also adjust your spindle speed and coolant control while jogging each axis.

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5. Feed Hold – Pause in the Middle of your Program
Feed Hold lets you pause in the middle of a program. From there you can step through your program one line at time while opting to shut the spindle off and then resume your program.
You can also write PAUSE in the middle of your program and jog each axis independently while your program is in pause mode.

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6. Hot Keys
Hot Keys is an alternative method to easily control your machine using your hard or touch screen keyboard. One can press P to pause a program, press S to turn Spindle On, G to run a program, Space Bar to Stop, J to record your individual movements one line at a time to create a program in teach mode.

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7. Pick Menu – for conversational mode programming
Write FANUC style G-codes directly into the Editor or select commands off the [Pick] menu and write your tool path program in conversational mode such as what is written in the Editor box. You can even mix between conversation commands and G-codes in the same program.

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8. Pick Menu List of Options
Use commands such as MOVE, SPINDLE ON/OFF, COOLANT ON/OFF, PAUSE, DELAY, GO HOME…. to write your tool path programs in conversational mode.

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9. Draw the Tool Path to verify it before pressing Go
Hit Draw to view your tool path program drawing, check out its run time, or even simulate the tool path in 3D mode. This can be helpful to quickly verify your program before running it. You can also slow down or speed up the drawing or simulation process.
You can also hit Go within the Draw Window itself to verify the cutter’s position on the machine. The current tool path will be highlighted and simultaneously draw out the next path so you can verify what the cutter will be doing next on the program.

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MX Software – Easy to Use, Easy to Learn – Included with your machine purchase
The MX software is designed to work seamlessly with your CNC Masters machine. It is made to work with Windows PC – desktop, laptop, or an all in one – on standard USB. Use it on Windows 8 or 10 64-bit operating systems.
No internal conversion printer/serial port to USB software or additional conversion hardware is used with the MX.

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11. Counters display in Inches or Millimeters – Continuous Feed
1. When running a program, the counters will display a “real-time” readout while the machine is in CNC operation without counting ahead of the movement.
2. The current tool path is highlighted while the machine is in operation without causing slight interruptions/pauses as the software feeds the tool path to the machine. The MX internally interprets a program ten lines ahead to allow for “continuous machining” avoiding slight interruptions as the machine waits for its next tool path command.
3. “Run Time” tells you how long it takes to run your tool path program.

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12. Use the “Go From Line” command to start in the middle of your program
If you ever need to begin your program from somewhere in the middle of it, use [Go From Line] which you can find under Tools. The Help guide will walk you through how to position the cutter without losing its position on the machine.

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13. Exact Motion Distance without over-stepping on an axis while jogging
Use “Relative ON” to enter a specific coordinate to jog any of your axes to an exact location without having to write a program. It’s like using “power feed” but easier. You can jog an exact distance on any of the axes without needing to keep the key pressed down and mistakenly over-step the movement releasing your finger too slowly off the jog button.
Let’s say you need to drill a hole exactly 0.525” using the Z. So you enter 0.525 in the Z box. Next, adjust the JOG FEED RATE slider for the desired feed rate. Then “click once” on the +Z or -Z button to activate the travel. In this case you click once the -Z button first to drill the hole exactly 0.525”. Then click once on the +Z button to drive the axis back up 0.525”.

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14. Teach Mode – Jog Input
You can create a tool path program by storing each point-to-point movement by simply jogging an axis one at a time. Click on either of the Jog Input buttons to store each movement on the Editor Screen. You can then add Spindle ON, feed commands, and press GO to run the new program as needed. This is a great feature to help you learn to create a program by the movements you make on the machine without necessarily writing out an entire program first.

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15. Override on the fly to adjust the Jog Feed to Rapid or the Spindle Speed during the middle of a program
1. Jog Feed and Rapid with Override: You can adjust feeds using the slider from slow minimum 0.1″ per minute to a rapid of 100″ per minute of travel. You can even micro-step your jog as low as 0.01”/min. The [-][+] buttons allow you to fine tune feeds in 5% increments while the program is in motion.
2. Spindle Speed with Override: You can adjust speeds using the slider from a slow minimum RPM to the max RPM according to the machine setup. The [-][+] buttons allow you to fine tune feeds in 5% increments while the program is in motion.

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16. Adjust Counters using Pre-Set if you cannot begin the program from 0.00
In a situation where you cannot begin your cutter at it’s 0.00 location, you can “Pre-Set” directly into the counters by typing in your beginning coordinate. You can press Go from here to run your program. You can also “zero all” or “zero” your counters independently. With one click of the [Return to 0.0] button, all axes will travel back to its respective 0.0 on the machine.

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17. Set and Save your 0.00 position for future runs
Set and save your 0.00 position on the machine. These coordinates will be recorded as the first line of the program in the Editor Screen. Should you desire to return to this program at a later date, you only have to click on the Set Zero Return button. This will command the machine to automatically jog each axis to its saved “set” 0.00 position according to the recorded coordinates at the first line of the program.

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18. Create a “Home” position to clear your application and run multiple times
Let’s say you need to machine one application times 100 pieces. This usually requires a jig to retain that physical 0.00 position. But in this case, you want the program to end with a clearance of the axes to easily switch out the next piece of stock and start again. With Save Home, you have the ability to save this offset (home) position while still retaining your Set Zero position where the machine will mill your part out. Pressing [Save Home] will record this new position under the Set Zero line in your program.
Pressing [Go Home] will jog your axes back to your “saved home” position where you originally pressed the Save Home command. You can also input GO_HOME from the Pick Menu as its own tool path in your program. At the completion of your program the axes will end at your Home position. Replace your part, then press [Return to 0.0] button to allow the axes to return to its zero position, and press Go to start your next run.

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