If you’re just trying to learn how to use your CNC machine, you’ll find that there are a lot of moving parts. You need the right machine, settings, bits, software and accessories to really make the most out of your unit.
So, before spending a ton of money on the wrong items, it’s important to know where to learn how to CNC.
Even if you’ve already bought your machine, bits and accessories, you can still use these resources to refine your usage. Over time, you’ll learn a lot of techniques that will allow you to CNC like a pro.
Where to Learn How to CNC: 4 Must-Use Resources
Books can help you go from beginner to professional in the shortest amount of time possible. There are a lot of book options, including options for Kinde that you can buy and download immediately.
I recommend doing a quick search on Amazon or any other book seller so that you can find books that answer your specific questions. A few of the most popular book options include:
- CNC Router Essentials. Randy Johnson wrote a great book on the basics of using a CNC Router. This book will cover all of the essentials so that you can start creating with a good foundation of what your machine is capable of producing.
- The Newbie’s Guide to CNC Routing. Prof. Henry offers another great read for complete beginners that allows you to get started with woodworking and other crafts.
- CNC Machining Handbook. A great read if you want to learn everything from the common types of machines, applications, different systems and how your machine works from start to finish.
Using books may be a good option for you, but if you’re more of a visual learner, why not check out a few YouTube channels or courses?
YouTube has a wealth of information from people across the world. You may have to watch a few ads every few minutes or so, but there are so many professionals offering invaluable information.
There are a lot of channels to explore, and you can find a link in the very first sentence of this article to a general YouTube query on the topic.
A few of the most popular videos that can help you better learn about CNC machines and what they can do are:
- CNC Basics. If you’re new to the whole world of CNC, this is a really great starting resource. You’ll be able to find information on everything to get started, from which machines you should use to tips that make the entire process less intimidating for hobbyists.
- Mistakes CNC Beginners Make. Cuttin’ It Close is a good channel to watch in general, and this video is all about mistakes that beginners make. You’ll learn all of the rookie mistakes without making them on your own. In short, if you want to save time and money, be sure to check out this video.
YouTube has a lot of additional videos, so go on the site, search out your questions or tutorials, and you’ll be well on your way to using a CNC to make the best product possible.
3. Question Sites and Reddit
If you want to ask questions and ask for help on a variety of different topics, you’ll be able to use forums and Reddit to assist you. There are a lot of professionals and hobbyists who are willing to answer your most important questions.
A few of the best resources in this category include:
- /r/CNC. A subreddit that has a wealth of information on questions asked and also 35,000 members. At the time of writing this, there are over 130 people online right now. Browse through the questions already asked, or you can decide to ask your own questions.
- /r/hobbycnc. Hobbyists and enthusiasts can also go to this subreddit, which is filled with great information. The subreddit has over 21,000 members that are helpful and willing to answer a lot of the questions that you may have.
- Quora. Another great resource that allows you to ask questions and have people with knowledge in CNC will reply. The site is a great choice for any questions you may have about virtually anything.
You’ll find that these are some of the most informative sites on CNC available.
Want to purchase a course? I’m sure that are so many more than what we’re going to list, but these are a few of the most popular options available on Udemy:
- Introduction to CNC Programming: A beginner course that has 24, easy-to-follow lectures that are spread over a total of 1.5 hours. This is a great course that is rated a 4.5-star by over 890 people.
- CNC Milling Machine Programming: G-code is the basis of CNC machine programming. The course is meant for intermediate users and spreads across 16 lectures and a total of 1.5 hours of instruction.
- Become CNC Master with Vectric Cut2D: A great course that goes beyond programming and into the design process. The course is spread across 2 hours and 26 lectures.
If you don’t speak English as your native language, you’ll also find a variety of other courses in different languages. The courses offer you a video approach on how to begin programming or creating new designs with your CNC machine.
Note: We’re not affiliated with any of these courses in any way. They seem like a great option for beginners, but the resources above will provide you with a lot of information on CNC usage, basics and programming.
Of course, you can also do a quick Google search and will find more than enough websites to keep you occupied. There are many sites, like the one you’re reading now, that have information on a lot of great CNC topics.
A lot of what you learn will be through trial and error, so don’t be afraid to start putting what you’ve learned into practice.
Now that you know where to learn how to CNC, it’s time to practice, experiment, and have fun.