information on cnc router codes
General code is the programming language that CNC routers read to cut a digitally created design into wood or another material. A basic code created by most computer-aided design and manufacturing software, G-code typically is written as a "g" followed by a two-digit code that indicates different aspects of the cutting job, such as cutting axis, motor speed or type of drilling. Similarly, M-codes are included in the programming language to operate external devices such as spindles or coolant systems, and to end the program.
Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software are required to develop the G-code necessary to run a CNC router. Sometimes, a software developer packages CAD and CAM programs together for better compatibility, shortening the time from design to finished product. CAD/CAM packages can cost thousands of dollars, however, especially when licensed and distributed by larger firms such as GibbsCAM or Delcam. Free basic CAD/CAM software packages such as Simple 2D or CNC Code Maker are available online.
CAD software typically exports designs as drawing exchange format files comprised of text-based digital code. A commonly used coding language, ASCII, gives DXF files compatibility with a wide array of software. Programs such as AutoCAD or MeshCAM can open DXF files, for translation into G-code.
Once a DXF file is converted to G-code, it's sent to the CNC router to manufacture the design. CNC routers connect to a computer through a peripheral component interconnect, or PCI, card, although many CAM programs that generate G-code can send the router codes directly. If a CAM program can't upload the G-code itself, separate CNC router control software can do so and, in some cases, allow you to edit the manufacturing job while in progress.