G Code Programming vs CAD/CAM

March 22, 2021 8:46 am


@G-Code Tutor talks about the benefits of understanding both G-code programming and CAD/CAM, and when we should use each one.

Is it better to manually program a part using G-code or using CAD/CAM software? The answer to this question varies depending on multiple factors such as the type of part you are machining and its features, the number of parts you need to produce, the operations involved, the machine tool you are using, and many more.
According to Marc Cronin, CNC programming expert and Practical Machinist contributor, G-code programming is often quicker to program lathes and machining centers, thanks to the many tools that this programming style provides to speed up the process (canned cycles, subprograms, macro programming, etc). It allows machinists to keep the code simple and easily edit it, unlike CAD/CAM, and is the fastest option for one-offs and simple parts.

G-code programming, however, is not recommended for programming complex parts. In that case, CAD/CAM is your best option.
CAD/CAM software allows CNC programmers to create three-dimensional models and set the toolpaths within the software. It makes it easier to much faster to program large complex milled parts and it is pretty much the only option you have to program parts that will be machined on 5-axis machine tools.

To learn more about G-code and CAD/CAM or improve your CNC programming skills, visit Gcodetutor.com. Stay tuned for more machining videos!

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