6. CNC milling and routing

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling and routing are two of the most firmly established digital fabrication techniques, with a 40-year history in relation to architecture. Although specifically used as a ‘prefix’ for these applications, the CNC process actually underlies most digital making technologies since it uses a computer system to generate coded instructions that in turn control the movements of a machine tool. This basic explanation shadows a complex procedure in which the CNC program coordinates a number of different tasks at any given time, including motion control, tool changes and spindle operation. Here we begin to encounter the vast array of options available to designers when organizing the movement ...

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