Category Archives: Beginners

CNC For Beginners, Order Code

Category : Beginners

Running Order (CNC For Beginners)

This is part of a series of articles, CNC For Beginners.

The order of your code in one block does not matter from the computer’s point of view (see below).

The computer gobbles up a line or block of code and then makes sense of it. you programme G90 G0 X50. Y50. Z50. all the axis will move together so G90 G0 Z50. Y50. X50. would be exactly the same. I just jumbled it up, not to confuse you, just to show you that it does not matter.

O0001 (G81 DEMO)
G21 G90 G40
(G90 G40 G21) Works the same

(M06 T01) Works the same

G90 G0 G54 X12.64 Y88.0 S2546 M3
(S2546 M3 G90 G0 G54 X12.64 Y88.0) Works the same

However it is best to keep the order the same. Create your own convention and stick to it.
G90 G0 G54 X12.64 Y88.0 S2546 M3

If you programme as above you will get used to the order and your programmes will be easier to read.

At a customers recently I got really frustrated by the inconsistency of the program. I did the only thing my upbringing has taught me to do.

Headbutt the nearest object.

CNC For Beginners

Consistency (CNC For Beginners)

G90 G0 G54 X12.64 Y88.0 S2546 M3

So you could begin with absolute or incremental (G90 G91).
Then rapid or feed (G0 or G1).
Then G54 (G55 G56…..) work offset.
Then X Y Z not Z Y X.
Then Speed S2546
Then turn on spindle M3

For example if the speed was always at the end of this line you would notice straight away if it was missing

It’s like reading telling the time we learn to recognise patterns.

So although the running order does not matter, in terms of the way the programme runs, it is important from a visual point of view.

Try to make your programmes consistent and to a regular pattern. Anyone using your programmes, including you, will find them easy to read and to fault find.

Remember if you are a programmer then the machinist, setters and operators are your customers so try and imagine the programmes from their perspective.

Heidenhain and Mazak

On these controls you don’t get any choice in the way the code is set out so you don’t need to worry. In fact you wasted your time reading this article.

Rules (CNC For Beginners)

I often say to customers that I work with that it does not matter how you do a lot of these things but you must have a consistent approach.

A good idea is to write a standard operating procedure (SOP) this would document exactly how the running order will be. If you are using CAD/CAM you will need to get into your post processor and make sure it outputs the code in accordance with your SOP.

Even down to leading zeros and training zeros do you programme G0 or G00 do you programme X.2 or X0.2. I know what I prefer because I hate wasting space (I am old school when memory space was sparse). It really does not matter but you must have a consistent approach and if you are not the only programmer, meet with your colleagues and come up with a plan.


If you don’t for example programme X50. Y60. Z80. in that order there is a good chance that you will alter the wrong figure and end up with two X figures or two Y figures.

Standardisation will mean less confusion and it will reduce errors.

Please contact me if you require:

  • Fanuc training.
  • CNC programming training.
  • Want to learn CNC programming.
  • Fanuc programming training.
  • Yasnac programming training.
  • Any type of CNC course.

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 do you become a CNC machinist?

Category : Beginners

How do you become a CNC Machinist ?

For On-site CNC Training Contact David: 0783 858 407


Every day at the CNC Training Centre we get calls from people wanting to get a job as a CNC Programmer or CNC Machinist .

We can’t get you a job but we can get you started on the path.

That’s why we put these courses together.

These courses are designed to get you started on CNC Machining.

If you are a beginner and want to do a hands on course that teaches you to become a setter operator then try these two courses. These are ideal if you think you can get a start on the ladder and don’t want to jump in at the deep end.

Setter Operator Beginners Turning

Setter Operator Beginners Milling

For absolute beginners with no experience at all. Looking to start a career in CNC Machining..

Beginners CNC Machining

If you work on a CNC machine already and you want to advance by learning some programming skills then look at these two courses.

Learn to Programme Basic Milling 

Learn to Programme Basic Turning

I’ve read enough just let me Apply Now


It’s important to realise that there is absolutely no guarantee that you will get a job at the end of this training.

Or a company car.

Read to the end of the article for the good news.

These are two day courses but it will take years to become a skilled machinist.

Beginners CNC Turning

CNC Machinist

Beginners CNC Milling

CNC Machinist

These courses are for people who have little or no experience and the idea is to get you on the first rung of the ladder.

Starting with moving the machine around in Manual Mode.

CNC Machinist

To creating simple programmes.


CNC Machinist


You’ll learn some basics about measuring equipment.

CNC MachinistCNC Machinist

And we’ll teach you about the common materials used in manufacturing.

Well maybe not gold but steel, brass, aluminium and stainless steel.

I served my time at Rolls Royce as an apprentice circa 1971 (do the maths I’m a real old git).

Well maybe not that old.

It took four years before you could even start as a proper engineer. Even then there was a kind of unwritten rule that you still needed a fair bit of time before you actually would be any good.

In them days there weren’t many people who could call themselves a CNC Machinist. That technology was in its infancy.

There were over 200 apprentices at Rolls Royce then. If you add to that all the other companies in Coventry alone. The pool was massive.

Manufacturing was destroyed in the UK in the 1980’s. Let’s not get political. But it isn’t any better now.



Before I put you off all together and you start looking into hairdressing let’s give you the good news.

The Good News

There is a huge demand for CNC Programmers, Machinists, Setters and Operators. That means it’s a good trade to be in.

Employers are inclined to take more of a risk as a result.

More Good News

There are no filters. Engineering is still old school if you can do it you’ll more than likely get the job.

In the smaller companies no-one cares too much about what qualifications you have if you can do the job.

Please don’t quote me on this it’s just an observation.

So that means if you’re a quick learner and you study hard you got a good chance.

Suggestion To Become a CNC Machinist

Do anything you can to get started in a small CNC Machine shop.

Cleaning up, making the tea anything. There is a good chance if you keep getting in the way, one day when they are really busy you’ll get a chance to run a CNC machine.

Mine is a single-shot-caramel-soya-latte in a Chevron Denby cup.

The number one criteria is to be reliable!!

Of course you need to keep reading the articles on this website.

Colleges are a good place to get the basic training as an engineer but you’re probably not in a position to go to full time college.

You may well have to take a drop in salary to get started but try not to think about the money.

That’s easy for me to say. What I mean by that is if you get any opportunity to learn then grab it. It may mean working over or coming in at the weekend but….

The learning is yours forever.

We offer onsite training and before I start working with my students I always talk to them about their own personal development.

The company they work for is spending a lot of cash to train them and will gain massively from the training. The student will be a lot more valuable as an employee.

That student may even get a pay rise.

The real gain

Knowledge is power.

Now I don’t mean you can go and invade some rich oil state or become a judge on the X Factor.

(Yes that is me) but I ‘m not trying to sell records today.

Your value on the job market is now much higher so every opportunity to learn you need to take. Don’t get me wrong a pay rise is lovely and not to be sniffed at but it’s only as good as it lasts. When you lose your job there is no guarantee you will get paid as much in your next position.

What I always say to students is that if they get made redundant they will gladly pay for college courses or training courses. They will in fact expect to pay.

So when offered any kind of training in the workplace keep this in mind. That is if you want to become a CNC Machinist.

When you get a chance to go onto a new machine or learn don’t hesitate. Yes you are helping the company but even if they don’t realise that think if your own personal development.

Remember knowledge is power.

Beginners CNC Turning

CNC Machinist

Beginners CNC Milling

CNC Machinist

So what you waiting for? Apply Now

Thanks for reading

 Contact Us

Siemens Sinumerik 840d 828 training


CNC Programmer How Do You Become a CNC Programmer

Category : Beginners Useful Stuff

How To Become a CNC Programmer

CNC Programmer Salary, what do they earn?

In 2023 it’s around £30,000 a year but it can be a lot more.

When I am training engineers to become CNC Programmers I always say programming is the easy bit. The programme is the tool that makes the CNC Machine do what you want it to do.

When the cutting tool starts chattering and squealing you will need to draw on experience to know why this is happening.

Tooling Knowledge

So you need a good knowledge of tooling.

CNC Programmer

In small companies you need to wear many hats

When a company asks us to programme parts for them these are the questions we ask.

  • Do you know what tools you want to use?
  • Do you have a machining method?
  • Do you have workholding?
  • Do you have feeds, speeds and depth of cut you want to use?
  • Do you have any tips for The Grand National?

More often than not the answers to the questions above are No No No No and “One For Arthur”

Anyway enough of Horse Racing.

Learn Now

Here are two courses that can get you on the right track.

Turning Learn to Programme

Milling Learn to Programme

It is all about experience and unfortunately I have come across quite a few programmers with none.

When you get there it’s not a bad job.

We would love you to come to us to learn to become a CNC Programmer but you will need a whole lot more skills before you will be able to produce good CNC Programs. Being able to program is just another tool and another skill.

What Does The Job Entail?

In  a large company you will find that roles are much more clearly defined. You would normally have a job that is…..

  • Planned (all operations and processes defined).

  • Fixtures would be designed and modelled.

  • All tooling procured.

  • Tooling companies would provide tool data (feeds, speeds etc)

In  a small company it’s much more ambiguous.

You might even have to clean the shit-houses (to my posh reader that’s lavatories). It’s a lot more interesting but the devil is in the detail as they say.

So it could well be all of the above.

CNC Programmer Salary

Around £30,000 per year is the average cnc programmer salary in the UK in 2023.

Contact us for more details

Thanks for reading


Leading Trailing Zeros CNC Programming Basics

Category : Beginners Fanuc

Leading Trailing Zeros

You do not need leading or trailing zeros in a CNC program (see below):

O0001(G81 DEMO)
G21 G90 G40
G90 G00 G54 X12.64 Y88.00 S2546 M03
G43 H01 Z15.00 M08
G0 Z100.00
G01 Z-0.1
Without leading Zero is exactly the same. (Trust me it won’t self destruct or start world war 3)
O1(G81 DEMO)
G21 G90 G40
G90 G0 G54 X12.64 Y88. S2546 M3
G43 H1 Z15. M8
G0 Z100.
G1 Z-.1

Try to keep your code consistent. As I mentioned before try to make all programs look the same.

Create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) which will cover all programming layout options. Haas controls will insert their own leading and trailing zeros so you won’t have a choice there.

Leading Trailing Zeros and Memory

Leading Trailing Zeros, if you are short of memory (not as in forgetful) this can save loads of space, and you might be surprised how small the memory is on some CNC machines, some have the memory of a fish.

Leading Trailing Zeros

CNC Programming

The main thing is that you are happy with the layout of your program.

If you are not consistent with your approach it can cause a lot of problems.

Please remember that when you are typing code into the machine it will take you considerably longer to type G01 X0.200 Y0.200 F100.00 than G1 X.2 Y.2. It could wear out your fingers or give you multi RSI.

A Haas control will automatically add leading zeros but just try to ignore it. Maybe Mr Haas likes to see them.

Main thing is you don’t need to type them in.

Take a look at this article.

Another way to save space on a Mazak control is to delete all the spaces (ISO G code programs only)

Contact David :07834 858 407

Services offered at CNC Training Centre

CNC Programming Course

Onsite CNC Machine Training.

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.

Background Edit Fanuc

Category : Beginners Fanuc

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.



WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By :