CNC machining is a term commonly used in manufacturing and industrial applications, but exactly what does the acronym CNC stand for and what is a CNC machine? The term CNC stands for ‘computer numerical control’, and the CNC machining definition is that it is a subtractive manufacturing process which typically employs computerized controls and machine tools to remove layers of material from a stock piece—known as the blank or workpiece—and produces a custom-designed part. This process is suitable for a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, wood, glass, foam, and composites, and finds application in a variety of industries, such as large CNC machining and CNC machining aerospace parts. When speaking in terms of the machine itself, the CNC machine definition is that it represents the actual programmable machine that is capable of autonomously performing the operations of CNC machining. Note the contrast between the process (CNC machining definition) versus the machine (CNC machine definition). Subtractive manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining, are often presented in contrast to additive manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing, or formative ...