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.