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Teaching CNC with the Key Concepts approach - part seven

Part seven - Key concept number Six: Special Programming Features

At this point in your class, students should be able to write programs on their own. But they have been exposed to only the most rudimentary tools to do so. Point out that writing programs with only the tools you have seen so far will be quite tedious (I like to point out, for example, that drilling 50 holes using only G00 and G01 will take at least 150 commands).

In Key Concept number six, you’ll be showing several features that shorten programs, make programming easier, and in general, facilitate the programming process. A good review of all material presented so far may be in order. Confirm that students are truly ready to learn about more advanced CNC programming features.

Point out that while it is important for students to understand the various special programming features that are available, not all will be of immediate importance. What may be quite helpful and often-used for one programmer may never be needed by another. You should place an emphasis on the most popular features.

Especially in the area of hole machining, students may have been questioning the difficulty related to drilling several holes – they may have asked if there’s an easier way. In this Key Concept, you’re going to be showing the easier ways to accomplish programming tasks.

The number of lessons included in this Key Concept will vary based upon the kind of CNC machine you are presenting. For our machining center curriculum, we recommend four lessons:

  • Hole-machining canned cycles

  • Working with subprograms

  • Other special programming features

  • Programming rotary devices

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