Background Edit Fanuc

Category : Beginners Fanuc

Classroom Training Click Here

Background edit, I only really get to hear about background edit when people get stuck in it. It’s a bit like being accidentally locked in a toilet you feel a bit of a twat and very embarrassed in equal measures.

This button is your closest friend

Now I made it real big because one day it will save your life.

You know when you play Monopoly and you get one of those cards that says “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE”

If you get sent to jail you just present this card and your sentence is immediately quashed it’s a bit like having Donald Trump as a mate.

It doesn’t work for shop lifting by the way I tried it as a child when I nicked a tin of Spam from the Coop. Fortunately in those days the police were never involved as they knew your parents would beat you to within an inch of your life at the slightest hint of petty larceny.

Anyway press this button background edit all your woes will cease.

And if that doesn’t work this one is the nuclear option.

background edit

The first one is for the program you’re actually background editing. Don’t forget you can have more than one program that you are background editing, more on this later.

Anyway this button stops them all, a clean sheet as it were.

Oh Dear

The reason people get into such a mess with this is because you can actually get into background editing by accident it’s easy.

If you are in a folder and you press INPUT then whatever program your cursor is on immediately comes up for background editing.

If you do this a few times then you can have several programs on the screen to edit.


You can switch between these programs and edit any one. You can copy and paste between them which makes writing programs from templates really easy.

Use the FORWARD and BACKWARD softkeys to switch between programs

To escape this lot you need the help of this key

background edit

This will end it all.

Background Edit is Amazing

Yes background edit is really useful, maybe amazing is stretching it a bit, but it does have many uses. Editing a few programs together is the bit I like.

If you want to edit whilst you are running a program then that’s also useful.

Background edit Warning

Don’t hit the fuckin reset button!!!!

Obviously this will stop everything so why would you do it?

Well maybe you are one of those very naughty boys who uses it to get to the head of the program when editing.

When in background edit it’s easy to press reset except this time you just stopped everything because your program is running.

Change Your Habits

Use rewind, some controls have a rewind button

use this to get to the head of the program.

On other controls it’s LINE SEARCH then press TOP or BOTTOM

This will take you directly to the head of your program or the end of your program.

Nothing is stopped and no one is harmed.

background edit


Why I Hate Background Edit

It’s an absolute pain in the bollocks mainly because it is so easy to accidentally get into background edit and not even realise.

You keep pressing the MDI button and the screen just wont change. If you have Guide i then you will get a warning when you switch over and you can’t do anything until you end it.

To be honest I don’t hate it at all. You just need to be aware that you need to come out of it to do various other things.

Another Useful Feature

If you want to use a program for reference. In other words you want to look at what’s in it but you need to be careful not to alter it.

Press BG EDIT then type in your program number


Your program will appear in green meaning it is “read only” so you can’t accidentally alter it.

What’s Running in The Background?

You can also call your running program in background edit. This will also appear in green and be read only.



Driven Tools (Live Tooling) Milling on a CNC Lathe

Category : New Stuff Useful Stuff

Classroom Training Click Here

This article is about driven tools (sometimes known as live tooling) on a CNC Lathe and how we use G12.1  (G112) to mill shapes.

At the CNC Training centre we have a three day course which covers all aspects of driven tools on a CNC Lathe. You will learn about machines with a Y axis and machines that use a virtual Y axis. There is also a lot of advanced CNC Turning material too and you get to test it all out on your own virtual CNC machine.

Everything we do is demonstrated on a real machine.

  • Sub Spindle Machining
  • Y axis machining
  • Using a B axis
  • Axisl and radial drilling
  • Part transfer to sub spindle
  • Everything you wanted to know about mil turn machining but were just too embarassed to talk about.

If you want to apply for this classroom course, then don’t  bother reading this article.

By all means read on, in fact you’ll probably not need to do the course and waste your money!

A new CNC Machine is a very expensive investment even a simple two axis X Z lathe would represent a large investment to most companies.

If you want your lathe to be able to do milling with driven tools as well, then it will cost considerably more.

driven tools

First of all you will need special holders for the driven tooling. That means the tools in your turret can rotate so you can have drills end mills taps all sorts of shit spinning around in your turret. Not all at once mind.

And you will need special holders for  your driven tools like this to do axial holes (holes in the front face).

driven tools

You will need a holder for driven tools like this to do radial holes.

driven tools

So now when you turn a part you could mill some flats on it or maybe drill and tap some holes in  the front face of the job.

You could even mill a radial slot or drill some radial holes.

This machine will need a rotary axis. Well it already has one its called the spindle and it has a great big chuck stuck to the end of it.

On this type of machine you will be able to lock into your spindle and it becomes a rotary axis. On your position display you will see X Z and C.

The C is the rotary axis.

You can even engage your handwheel and rotate it manually.driven tools


It is usually known as a C axis (Because it runs through the Z axis)

This works just like any other axis except it is programmed in decimal degrees. C90. is 90 degrees. It works as a simultaneous axis so that means you could program a move along with a C move.

G1 Z-30. C1080.

Your C axis would do three full turns (360 x 3 = 1080).

Meanwhile your Z is moving 30mm that is 10mm every turn.

That gives you a spiral with a 10mm pitch.

driven tools

You can program angles down to .001 of a degree like C123.456

By the way these are all machines that don’t have a Y Axis.

Get live demonstrations as well as hands on experience on this course.

Y Axis

Crudely (and I am known for being crude) a Y Axis means your turret can go up and down.

So when you are milling on the front face of your part the machine behaves just like a milling machine cutting in X and Y.

Here is what milling a hexagon looks like when you have a Y axis machine.

driven tools

Having a Y Axis is awesome the options are endless. But before you get too excited these machines come with a government bank balance warning.

driven tools

You got it they don’t come cheap.

And…. in any case that’s not what this article is about.

Lets forget the Y axis for a minute just buy one of these with the money I’m gonna save you.

There is another way to machine that hexagon (I never wanted a stupid Y Axis anyway)

Take a look at this.

driven tools

What’s happening you ask? Well there is some clever shit going on here.

Get live demonstrations as well as hands on experience on this course.

(Horay who needs a fuckin Y axis?)

The X axis is moving in and out and the C axis is rotating and magically the hexagon is produced.

Soooo…. no Y axis?

Sometimes known as Cartesian to Polar Coordinate Transformation.

Google it if you don’t believe me and no it’s not a sex change or something out of Doctor Who.


Thanks to

You would be forgiven for thinking you need a CAD/CAM system to produce this result.

The answer is yes and no. A CAD/CAM system would produce a bucket full of code to do this.

But actually you don’t need it.

This is what you need………

G112 and G12.1

G112 (G113) or G12.1 (G13.1) comes to the rescue. It kind of turns your lathe into a virtual milling machine.

Once you activate G12.1 or G112 (depending on your control) you can write a program just like on a CNC milling machine.

Now this does vary from one control to another so please smart arses back off. I’m just trying to make an honest living here.


If you want to go feed the cat at this point I’ll forgive you.

A gratuitous silly animal picture for all you pussy lovers. (David please, please save this crap for Facebook. No one laughs at your childish sexual inuendo either )

This is the program.



T0505 (16MM ENDMILL)

G97 S100 M4 (Start Spindle 1000 RPM)
G0 X100. Z-5. C0. M8


G1 G42 X50. C-14.433 F500.
X0. C28.867
X-50. C14.433
X0. C-28.867
X50. C-14.433
G40 X64. C14.433
Z3. F2000




Ok so it’s a bit hard to get your head around.

So let’s first of all see how it would look if you programmed it in X and Y on a CNC Mill.

driven tools

Ok so I’ll go make a cup of coffee while you digest the above.


cnc macro programming training courses

I’m back now.

So all you do is double all your X figures (because you are in the diameter mode).

Then you put a C in the place of Y.

And you have what is below.


driven tools


Stupid you say. Why do they do that? Well you better write to Mr Fanuc and ask him. Some machines like Mazaks just let you program it in X and Y just like it’s on a milling machine.

Hitachi Seiki is the same.

But sorry it’s what we are stuck with.

Template Program

So once you get your head around how all this works I suggest you make a template program.

Once you have a program that works in your machine it’s real easy to come back to it and modify it for another job.

Also there are lots of things, like changing from feed per rev to feed per minute, that you need to remember to do. If these are all in a template program you won’t get into any of those annoying situations.

You could put all the stuff you need in a sub program and call it before you start using your driven tools. That way you could use it each time you use driven tools.

Get live demonstrations as well as hands on experience on this course.

On-site Training

The CNC Training Centre (that’s me David) recently trained some guys at a company I can’t mention for legal reasons.

They had a couple of really nice Matsuura Machining Centres and this baby below.

It’s a Nakamura – Tome CNC Lathe with a C Axis and driven tools.

This is a sample part. They are producing some real high precision parts for racing motorbikes on this beast. This is a test program we ran on it.

So back to driven tools (live tooling). So if you don’t go for a Y axis you save shit loads of money and you get to buy a Lambo.

There is more to it though. If you don’t have a Y axis there are restrictions on what you can do radially.

Like this slot.

driven tools

You couldn’t do this without a Y Axis. You would only be able to slot sideways by moving your Z axis. That means you need your cutter to be exactly on centre and if it’s over size then your stuffed I’m afraid.


So if you have a Y axis you have choices but it does work out to be an expensive machine.

When you have a Y axis you can program with or without it. For larger profiles on the front face of the job (Axial) you more than likely won’t have enough movement on your X and Y axis to cover it. The G12 option is then going to be best.

All Without a Y Axis

If you want one of these I can make you one. Would look nice on your desk.

A Few Disadvantages

Driven tools need holders and they are expensive. Oh and you will soon run out of stations if you are doing lots of drilling and tapping for example.

Radial Holes

1 Spot Drill
1 Drill
1 Tap

Axial Holes

1 Spot Drill
1 Drill
1 Tap

That’s six holder!!!

A lot of cash.

These guys may help you. This is like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of turrets armed to the fuckin teeth.

Machine Tool Supplies

You can even get multi station ones like these. (Make sure you look to see if you need a Y axis or not.)

EWS Tool Technologies

More Disadvantages

You need a high level of skill to set, operate and prove out when using driven tools. Obviously that doesn’t include you cos you read my articles.

Driven Tools (Live Tooling)

Just one other point before you go. Now it’s no good me telling you to be careful not to crash your machine. If you do then it’s really important not to pretend it never happened or blame it on your mother.

Once the alignment is out then you are going to have loads of trouble. So you need to keep these machines in tip top condition, and the alignment must be spot on. The slightest bump then you need to check it.

Some machines are more sensitive than others it’s easy done just a sneeze on the turret and it’s completely shagged.

If you have no Y axis then the centreline of the tools is absolutely crucial and I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Most of the problems with these machines will come back to alignment, so make that the first check you do.

Get live demonstrations as well as hands on experience on this course.

Y Axis If You Have One (A Word of Caution)

Everyone loves being the hero don’t they.

Now I’m no exception to this rule. I’ll call it “The Y Axis Trick” or it might be just the opportunity to wear spandex.

When you have a Y axis you must always include a Y axis move when you first bring in a tool (even if you aint using it).

G0 X50. Y0 Z3.

Why??? You ask

Because if there is an offset in the Y axis it well stay in that position. If your last tool had 0.1 in the Y axis offset then your tool will remain 0.1 off centre.

If you don’t program a Y axis move to zero (Y0) the Y stays where it is.

It’s one of the first things I would look at when there is an alignment issue just check the position display (it’s a give away).

In Conclusion

Sorry there is no real conclusion but I didn’t know what to put for a title.

For those who like conclusions……

  1. I now fully get this driven tool bullshit so therefore stick the course up your fat arse.
  2. I kind of get it but you want to learn more. 
  3. None of the above.
  4. I enjoyed reading this article and feel so happy the next time I’m in a supermarket queue I’ll pay for a random persons shopping.

Please contact me for further information. All complaints are directed straight to junk email so don’t even bother.

Apply now for a three day advance mill turn CNC training course

Haas Programming

Haas Programming Training

Category : Haas Training

Haas Programming Milling and Turning

Call 07834 858 407


Click Here For:  Classroom Training Courses


Haas Programming, the Haas CNC control is very similar to Fanuc and all other ISO type controls. There are settings that you can alter to change its behaviour. This means that you can get it to perform in a similar way to your other controls.

Haas Programming

It is really useful if you need to be able to transfer programs from one machine to the other. It is well worth taking the time to get all your controls to function in the same way.

Link to all Haas settings.

That is probably the major downfall in using some of the special features that different controls have. It is always worth considering this if you are using some unique feature. It may not work on your other controls.

This is why a lot of people use the ISO option on a Mazatrol (Mazak) machine. It means that you can take programmes from your Fanuc or Haas machine and run them on your Mazak. With careful consideration to all your controls this flexibility can be achieved.

Haas Programming

Learning Haas Programming

The Haas control for example has a corner rounding feature whereby you programme a shape as if it has no corner radii. You then add the corners on as an afterthought.

Personally although this sounds very useful in practice it isn’t that common for a drawing to show intersection points. I think the best use is on a square shape. You might want to use it on a square shape to just break the edges. Certainly when Turning it is very useful for breaking sharp edges.

At the CNC Training Centre we can teach you on or offsite. So we could visit you and offer a training course to suit your individual needs. Alternatively if you want to escape your busy day-to-day environment then a classroom training course may be more suitable.


Haas Programming on the Job

Another way to train is to produce an actual part as we train. This has a lot of advantages.

  • You end up with a template part and program that you can use for other jobs.
  • Minimum production loss.
  • Problems are identified as they occur.
  • You make mistakes and increase learning speed.
  • Weakness in knowledge are recognised as they manifest.


My mission is to get the best use out of the technology that you already have (read this and see).

Haas machines are packed with common sense useful features. Your Haas Programming training will unlock the full potential of your machine.

It is very exciting when someone has had a machine for five or more years to show them features they never knew existed.

Contact me today if you want to learn  Haas Programming.

Don’t forget to watch my Tutorial Videos

Services offered at CNC Training Centre

Edgecam training.

Classroom programmer training.

Onsite CNC Machine Training.

CNC Training on all controls and machines.

Mazak Training Fanuc Training

Don’t forget we offer training on all types of Mazak Machines and all Fanuc Controls 6m to 31i Oi old to young.



Edgecam Support From CNC Training Centre

Category : Edgecam Training

Edgecam Support

The CNC Training Centre is a partner to Edgecam and are always working with the latest features of this innovative software. We can offer either Edgecam support on-site or Edgecam support off- site.

Edgecam Support

Lots of customers buy Edgecam and complete the standard Edgecam training modules.

After completing these modules they then find it’s not quite so easy when it comes to implementing Edgecam in their day-to-day machining. This gets put off and suddenly the guy who signed over the budget to buy Edgecam wonders why he didn’t just buy himself new car instead (well it might be second-hand).

Edgecam Support

One of the massive problems with any new technology in our day-to-day lives is we don’t get to use it properly. This can be due to several things but the most common is lack of time.

It’s easy to just scratch the surface or worse still leave it in the box. Now, honestly how many gadgets did you buy and never get round to using them? Come on we all did it. My misses still nags me about the George Foreman grill I bought, I think we ended up with a takeaway that night.


Anyway it’s time to change all that. We can offer you Edgecam support but sorry I can’t get you on that exercise bike, anyway you’d only break it.

If you want to come away from your busy environment with all its distractions then offsite training will be best for you.

It’s always best to give us loads of information before you start. Models, drawings, machine types, tooling, bank pin numbers.

Edgecam Support

That way we can work the way I prefer to work which is on real life components.

If you opt for on site training then we can really get down to the serious stuff. Link your machines properly to Edgecam with post processors that churn out code the way you like it. Code that is easy to read. Code that looks the same as hand written code with comments and well spaced out (not as in Ozzy Osbourne).

This way you will end up with real life working parts that you can use as templates for other projects.

On the job Edgecam support means that we don’t teach you, you learn. In other words we find real life problems that you encounter every day and sort them out there and then. And, because you make the mistakes the brain pathways are opened up permanently.

I am sure you have all been on training course where you only remember the first couple of hours of a three-day course.

Edgecam Support

That is because you didn’t make any mistakes in the real world.

When you make mistakes that’s when you really start to learn, that is providing you don’t kill yourself in the process.

So don’t hesitate talk to me today about getting your Edgecam system working efficiently linking directly to all your resources. Tooling, modelling CNC code and post processor.

This system can work brilliantly for you. We call it wasting time to save time. In other words we do all the stuff we need to do to get Edgecam running great.

At the end of the month when we need to get work out this would be perceived as a waste of time. Anyway when we have everything set up correctly Edgecam really starts to sing.

Don’t forget to watch my Edgecam Support Tutorial Videos

Other Edgecam Stuff

Edgecam Instruction Simulation

Edgecam Associativity How it Works

Layers in Edgecam

Roughing Edgecam (Centre Cutting Tool)

Edgecam Version Update Now

Services offered at CNC Training Centre

Edgecam training.

Classroom programmer training.

Onsite CNC Machine Training.

CNC Training on all controls and machines.

Mazak Training Fanuc Training

Don’t forget we offer training on all types of Mazak Machines and all Fanuc Controls 6m to 31i Oi old to young.

How to Become a CNC Operator

Category : Beginners New Stuff

On or Offsite CNC Training
Tel: David 07834 858 407

A rabbit can’t be a CNC Operator.

Every career has to start somewhere. In the world of CNC Machining it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start as a cnc machine operator.

So Where Do You Start?

“Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” asked the White Rabbit.

Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

The perfect route would be just like me in the old days.

When I started at Rolls Royce in 1970. I phoned up Mr Rolls, or was it Mr Royce, and said “can you give me an apprenticeship?”

Fortunately he didn’t pick up on the fact that I was a lazy piece of shit and he gave me a job.

At the end of it all I got to earn £60 a week and had the “Freedom of The City”

When I asked what “Freedom of the City” actually meant, I was told that one of the perks was that I could drive my sheep across the common, in Coventry, whenever I wanted.

I was so pleased to be informed of this and couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mum and my dad.

Once the harsh reality hit and I realised I had no sheep, in fact no livestock at all.

I had a Guinea pig and was still mourning the death of my hamsters, Steven.


What the fuck is it with hamsters has anyone ever had one that lived more than eighteen months?

Is it gods way of helping children to come to terms with death?

I spent half my childhood years at hamster funerals, one friend or another would lose a beloved hamster almost weekly.

I wish I’d set up a business selling them I’d have made a fortune instead of spending my time writing all this crap.

They should have a fuckin expiry date tattooed on their ears or something so at least you could prepare yourself for their inevitable demise.

I blame my mother who wouldn’t let me have a Gerbil because they had long tails and she said that frightened her.

I mean she could have had the fuckin tail surgically removed cheaper than the cost of buying another bloody hamster every few months.

Hands off my fuckin tail I’ll ring the RSPCA you bastard

 The Fast-Track Route (CNC Operator)

So what if you don’t have time for an apprenticeship? You just want to get in there.

I have found that in engineering the most important thing is that you can do the job. Once you prove that your in.

No one really gives a flying shit weather you have a PHD, or a Grade One Swimming Certificate and a badge that says “I’ve been a Good Boy” from when you had your Polio vaccination.

At some point you need to find a company that will give you an opportunity as an absolute novice. Fortunately there are still plenty of these around.

Look for a company that has all the machines you want to work on. Then try and get a job, even if it’s only cleaning the shit-houses. Lots of people have started off in companies doing simple tasks like de-burring parts and then move on to the job they really want.

CNC Training Centre

I would recommend that you start by doing this course with us.

Absolute Beginners CNC Operator

This will get you started as a CNC Operator.

The course is for absolute beginners. The only thing you need to bring along is a real interest in CNC Machining.

It is a two day course that gives you an introduction to CNC Machining and operating a CNC Machine.

Virtual Reality

When you train at the CNC Training Centre You get your own virtual machine to practice on.

When you complete your training with us you can start applying for CNC Operator Jobs.

We recommend that you do the two day beginners course then continue with either Setter Operator Milling or Setter Operator Turning.

Be Patient

Your time will come. Keep listening and learning and watching.

YouTube has loads of CNC related stuff. You can learn about tooling and machining. When the opportunities come you will be ready.

CNC Operator, The Catch

You don’t have experience even though there are loads CNC operator jobs

Well yes this is a problem.

So What is, in your favour?

Don’t forget it’s not just about operating a machine.

  • You are reliable.
  • You can you get out of bed in the morning and you are never late.
  • Tidy worker?
  • Friendly?
  • Will you do overtime if asked?

The list goes on so sell your good points and don’t forget the fact that you trained with us and it was on your own initiative and enthusiasm.

Direct potential employers to this website to let them look at what you have already done.

You’ll get a certificate of completion so make sure you show them this.

Above all no bullshit. Make sure you don’t exaggerate. If you bulshit, everyone will end up dissapointed and your confidence will take a massive knock.

They will more than likely recognise the CNC Training Centre and may have had staff train here.CNC Operator

Next Step (Become CNC Operator)

Once you get a job as a CNC Operator don’t just read the newspaper (younger readers may need to google “newspaper”). Or piss around with your mobile phone all day.

  • Read the programme
  • Look at the modal G Codes
  • Try n work out what the machine is doing
  • Ask for a printout of the programme.
  • Ask loads of questions
  • Pay attention when someone is setting your machine for you.
  • Make sure you show a real interest in what’s going on.

When opportunities arrive to progress, and they will, you will be ready.

One day when you ask your setter to adjust something like an offset he will be too busy. This is when you get your chance.

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