A CNC controller performs the following functions:
- Axis control: It controls the movement and rotation of the CNC machine tool’s axes. The number of axes controlled simultaneously depends on the specific machine, ranging from 2 axes for CNC lathes to 3 or more axes for CNC milling machines, boring machines, and machining centers.
- Preparation function (G function): This function uses G codes to command the machine tool’s movement modes, such as basic movement, plane selection, coordinate setting, tool compensation, canned cycles, and meter-inch conversion.
- Interpolation function: The CNC controller uses software interpolation to determine the tool’s trajectory during machining. It performs rough interpolation by dividing the data into small line segments and fine interpolation by converting them into individual pulses.
- Different interpolation methods: To process various part shapes, the CNC controller supports interpolation methods for straight lines, arcs, parabolas, sine curves, cylinders, splines, and more.
- Feed function: The CNC controller utilizes the feed function, commanded by the F code, to control the feed speed of each axis of the CNC machine tool during machining.
In summary, the CNC controller manages axis control, executes preparation functions with G codes, performs interpolation calculations for tool movement, supports different interpolation methods, and controls the feed speed of the machine tool.