Engineering Blog

The development of NC programming technology in the present era


In the past, when the emergence of CNC machine tools, the computer was used to help people solve the problem of NC machining programming of complex cnc machining parts, resulting in computer-aided NC machining programming. Nowadays, with the rapid development of computer network technology, CNC programming technology has a qualitative leap. So, what is the development of NC programming technology? Let’s take a look at it today.

History of NC programming technology

Computer Aided NC machining programming technology originated in the United States. Not long after the emergence of electronic computers and their commercial sale, a company in the United States cooperated with MIT to develop the world’s first CNC milling machine. From then on, the development process of NC machining and programming began. In order to solve the problem of forming in NC machining, MIT designed a special programming language for NC machining of mechanical parts, called apt.

The development of apt programming language

Apt can process the grinding of two-dimensional contour and three-dimensional surface, including multi coordinate machining with tiltable tool axis. But apt is a huge system, which is difficult to master. Therefore, on the basis of SPT, countries all over the world have developed apt derivative languages with certain characteristics and stronger specificity.

Apt language is to write the source program in special language and input it into the computer. After compiling and calculating, apt processing program outputs the tool center track, and then after post-processing, converts the tool position data to the NC instruction format required by the NC machine tool.

Features of apt programming language

Using apt language to compile NC machining program has the advantages of simple program and flexible tool feeding control. It makes NC machining programming upgrade from assembly language level oriented to machine tool instruction to advanced language level oriented to geometric elements, point, line and surface. But apt still has some shortcomings

  • 1. Drawing is used to transfer data between design and processing of parts, which hinders the integration of design and manufacturing.
  • 2. Mechanical drawing interpretation and machining process planning need to be completed by technical personnel. It is difficult and easy to make mistakes to improve the technical level of users.
  • 3. On the one hand, the ability to describe part model with apt language is limited, on the other hand, the geometric definition part of APT system is too large.
  • 4. Apt language is lack of visual graphic display of part shape and tool path and verification means of tool path.

In view of the shortcomings of these apt languages, a company in the United States, after years of hard work, has successfully used imager aided design, drawing and NC programming system, known as cadam, which has been widely used in the field of machining.

Alan Lan
the authorAlan Lan