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Turning Center Programming, Setup, and Operation

TCPO Startup page.jpg

                                                                             Startup Page

What is an eLearning Class?

This is NOT an online class. All files are downloaded to your computer and you can keep them even after you earn your certificate of completion. About 1.5-gb hard drive storage is required.

How it works:

After purchasing this class:

  • We send you a Google Drive link to a .zip file.

  • You download the .zip file and unzip (extract) its folders and files to your hard drive.

  • Invoke (double click) the "Startup" file to call up a PowerPoint presentation (shown above) that provides links to all of the class activities (underlined items in the Startup file above are the links). We provide PowerPoint Viewer just in case you do not have PowerPoint installed on your computer. 

  • Start the slide show to make the links active.

  • View the presentation and study the reading materials for the lesson.

  • When you're ready, submit the exercise for the lesson (if there is one).

  • When you're ready, take the test for the lesson.

  • Repeat the last three steps for each lesson.


A few more notes about our eLearning classes:

  • Presentations are browser based so you do not need special software to view them.

  • Reading materials are provided in .pdf files.

  • Tests are automatically graded and submitted. You must have an email account and an Internet connection is required.

  • Exercises (coordinate sheet exercises and programming activities) are submitted using the "Communicate with your instructor" activity. You must have an email account and an Internet connection is required.

  • In order to receive a certificate of completion, you must complete all tests and submit all exercises.

Maintaining "active student" status:

  • Your instructor will support you (answering questions and grading tests & exercises) as long as you are an active student. Your purchase of this class includes 90-days of active student status.

  • A 30-day extension can be purchased if you need more time (purchase link can be found at the bottom of this page).

  • While all of the class content is yours to keep, we ignore contact (questions and test & exercise submissions) from inactive students.

  • Active student status can only be achieved by the original student. If multiple students will be taking this class (and expecting instructor assistance), additional purchases of the class must be made.

About the certificate of completion:

  • Students achieving an overall score of 70% or better earn a Certificate of Completion.

  • Students achieving an overall score of 85% or better additionally earn a letter of recommendation.


The Course

This on-line course will help you master what it takes to program, setup, and run a CNC turning center. We begin in a basic manner - assuming you have no previous CNC experience. We do, however, assume you understand basic machining practices as they apply to turning centers. You must understand machining operations like rough and finish turning and boring, rough and finish facing, drilling, threading and necking, as well as the cutting tools that perform these operations.

While we begin in a basic manner, we will continue to build upon previously presented information. By the time you’re finished, you’ll know what it takes to utilize a turning center, and you will have worked on twelve practice programs.

Pre-Requisites We Recommend

Prior to taking these CNC classes, students should understand several basic machining practice topics, including:

  • Shop safety

  • Shop math

  • Blueprint reading

  • Tolerance interpretation

  • Measuring devices

  • Machining operations (related to the machine of study)

  • Cutting tools (related to machining operations performed)

Scope of Our Content

The content is comprehensive. We cover all three tasks a person must master in order to become fully proficient, including programming, setup, and operation. Upon successful completion, students will be able to write programs at G-code level (manual programming). They will know how to get a machine ready to run production (setup). And they will know how to operate the machine and complete production runs (operation).

Estimated time to completion

We estimate that students will average approximately 40 hours to complete each class, including time to study the materials, to take the tests, and to do the exercises. Actual time will vary, of course, based upon the student's motivation and aptitude.

The Key Concepts Approach

We use our proven Key Concepts approach, which allows us to stress the reasons why things are done as importantly as how they're done. We constantly build on previously presented information, providing a logical and highly tutorial method for instruction. There are ten key concepts. Six are programming-related and four are setup and operation related. If a student can understand ten basic principles, they are well on their way to becoming proficient CNC users.

Though we begin with programming, any time we come to a topic that is related to setting up or running a CNC machine, we cover it during programming presentations. These kinds of topics (for the turning center class) include assigning program zero with geometry system offsets, using wear offsets & tool nose radius compensation, and issues related to sizing in the first work piece and making sizing adjustments during a production run.

When the student gets to the setup and operation part of the class (Key Concept 7), they will already possess a good understanding of what it takes to get a machine up and running production.

Key Concepts and Lessons

The ten Key Concepts are further divided into lessons. While the same ten Key Concepts apply to both milling and turning machines, the lessons vary from one machine type to the other.


When you complete this class, you'll know what it takes to program a CNC turning center at G code level (programming). You will also know what is involved with getting a machine ready to run production (setup). And you will know what is required to operate a CNC turning center and complete a production run (operation). While you will still need hands-on practice with an actual machine (practice you must get from your school or employer), you will understand the concepts needed to utilize a machine.

Qualify for the student price for NCPlot

NCPlot is a great tool path verification tool.  I use it to grade the programming activities done in this class.  If you register for this class, you'll be eligible to purchase NCPlot for the student price ($99.00). 


Though it is not a requirement for taking this class, NCPlot is a very helpful programmer's tool.  With NCPlot, you will be able to see the tool path for programs you work on during this class.

Possible Post-Requisites We Suggest

After completing this class, students will be ready for classes on advanced manufacturing topics, like computer aided manufacturing (CAM) systems and computer integrated manufacturing systems.

Need More Information?

Contact us by phone (847-639-8847) or email ( if you have any questions about our eLearning CNC classes.


ELC-TCPO ~ Turning Center Programming, Setup, & Oper. On-Line Class ~ $299.00

AT-TCPO ~ 30-Day Extension for eLearning class ~ $50.00

Note: Allow one business day for us to complete your registration and send the welcome email that contains your download link.

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