What language does CNC use?

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What language does CNC use?

The programming language used by the CNC machine tool is essentially APT (Automatically Programmed Tool) language, which is a high-level programming language, its main founder is the American scientist Douglas T. Ross,

Douglas T. Ross was born in Guangdong, China and grew up in New York, USA. If you are interested, you can read his interview. In 1956, MIT launched the APT project, and at a press conference in February 1959, it was officially announced that the development phase of the APT system was basically completed.

The establishment of the APT language system architecture makes digital control processing possible. The language was widely used in the control system of CNC machine tools in the 1970s, and formed an international standard. After that, many derivatives were developed based on this international standard. The basic idea of APT language is to form the final complex part by programming the relative movement between the tool and the workpiece in space.

The APT language has been used before the appearance of the graphical interface, and the original APT language version appeared earlier than the FORTRAN language, belonging to the earliest ANSI standard, and later versions were rewritten in FORTRAN. A general-purpose computer language converts source text statements into instructions that can be processed internally by a computer. Similarly, APT language source text statements can be converted to obtain programs for driving CNC machine tools. The output of the APT processor is called “CLSF, Cutter Location Source File”, as shown below.

What language does CNC use?

What is G-Code? Why it is CNC Machine Language?

After the post-processing file corresponding to the specific machine tool, the tool location point source file can be converted into (NC Code) that can be run by the specific machine tool. Then, the various axes of the machine tool are controlled by running NC code to generate tool motion and other machine tool actions.

Among these NC codes generated by post-processing, the most common ones are commands in RS-274 format. The NC codes in this format contain many command identifiers starting with the letter G, so they are usually called G-code, also known as G-code. It is the G code we often say (as shown below) and it is why G-Code is CNC machine language.

What is G-Code? Why it is CNC Machine Language?

Therefore, not all CNC codes are G codes, but G codes are more common. Like the more advanced Heidenhain iTNC 530 system, it usually uses .H files, and a complete CNC code may not even have a G letter (as shown in the below), so it is not appropriate to call it “G code” at this time. suitable.

NC code (for iTNC 530 system)
NC code (for iTNC 530 system)

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Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

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