The kind of tools and equipment used in manufacturing and design are generally not designed for doing work with multiple axes of motion. The consequence is that, many CNC machines have to be designed by adding axes, where the machine can execute multiple functions. The most popular form of this type of design is known as 5-axis machine control.
The type of material that makes up the CNC machine is often fine-tuned and optimized for the purpose. A whole variety of material properties are possible with a specific material. For example, the results of an X, Y, or Z position can be measured, while a laser can be used to build a full model of the machine.
Different manufacturers choose a different way of implementing the five-axis technology into their CNC machines. Some may use the technology to make specialized parts. This technology also allows for more precise turning and cutting of machine parts, as well as solid object removal of material components.
At some point in time, the CNC machines need to be connected to another machine for some reason. This may be part of a standard manufacturing process or in a special manufacturing environment. A connection requires a user to configure a series of command codes that direct a machine to follow and operate on another machine.
There are three main types of connections that may be implemented. The first type is called slave connections. It is the simplest type of connection and is the most commonly used. A different kind of connection is called master to slave connections.
A master machine acts as a controller of other machines. A slave machine is just like a person whose job it is to perform CNC tasks. The third type of connection is called networked connections.
The use of a networked connection is very similar to the use of a command set in a human-based system. The two sides of the network communicate using different kinds of codes that execute different functions. Networked connections are also known as shared controller systems.
A host computer provides the programming needed to send commands to a CNC machine. The machine is programmed to act upon the input from the host computer. A slave machine or software program enables the machine to perform a particular task.