Computer Numerical Control (or CNC) machines have brought high technology (CAM) to the workshop, by automating machining operations on metals, plastic and even wood.

Complex metal machining tasks, once the province of skilled tradesmen, are now routinely done by CNC machines that can start with an arbitrary hunk of metal and, amazingly, end up with a highly precise object. The instructions for machining come from macros programmed into a PC that is hooked up to the CNC machine. For example, some CNC machines come with a "chess set" macro that will automatically generate the 3d peices of a chess set out of unfinished metal.

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