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Thread: getting into CNC programming,

  1. #1

    Default getting into CNC programming,

    Im a time served toolmaker, I am converse will manual machines such as lathes, millers, grinders etc. I have worked as a cnc operator before, but not for long. Would like to get into programming I have a decent education and I am keen to learn. The trouble is there seems to be demand for cnc programmers but yet its very hard to gain experiance. Didnt really enjoy the cnc operator to much think i could really get into the programming. Should I do a course or teach myself, but then I would have to lie to recruitment agents to stand a chance of getting a interview you must have work experiance in programming.
    Could anybody advise me on the quick way to get involved in programming while still holding down a o.k wage.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    Check out heinz putz. He goes on practical machinist forums often. For $800 you can get his mill and lathe.

    Also, I would pick up solidworks.

  3. #3


    As far as learning, I say do BOTH! Go for the CNC course, and learn on your own as well. It did me a world of good.

    As far as programming jobs go, starting as an operator is usually the only route, you really need to get a feel for running a machine. Then you can see how you can perhaps do better and improve on things, or maybe, learn from someone who's doing a really good job.

  4. #4


    I agree with Douglas there is no substitute for experience at the machine. I. Feeel taking a course is agreat way to get your feet wet and getting some book knowledge but it is like the engineer right out of colledge he has a nice sharp pencil but not a lot of experience with parts in the real world. As far as a course look at your local vo-tech school I actually teach a night class for CNC programming maybe you local sxhool also offers it.

    Hope that helps,

  5. #5

    Default cnc academy

    Has anybody heard of the cnc academy they seem quite good. I know what you mean about experiance on the machine but the cnc operator jobs sometimes are a dead end and you can pick it up in month, changing offsets and setting up. The larger firms seem to keep the operator and programmer seperate.

  6. #6


    I have not heard of the cnc acadeny but there is a nice online course called toolin u this offers a lot of good topics and tests. As far as going the operator route any good shop owner or shop foreman is not going to leave you as an operator if you show a good work ethic and you show a willingness to learn. This trade is always looking for good skiLed labor and if you are good and keep learning they will see that. I have been running cnc shops for the past 12 years and maybe 1 out of 20 guys has what it takes to keep mocing on but the good one get trained and moved along

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