Photo of Common Types of CNC Machining Acronyms to Know  

Within the manufacturing industry, there has been a variety of nomenclature and terminology that’s been built out over time. Part of our Machinist Training curriculum at NTMA encompasses most of these acronyms, including: 

  • CAM – At NTMA, we specifically teach MasterCAM, which is a common CNC programming software which generates the tool paths (digitally) for a given CNC Machine,  
  • CAD – Before any part is manufactured, it’s first created in a CAD system, which is a 3D Modeling software designers and mechanical engineer used to digitally create their components.  
  • GD&T – Related to blueprint reading, GD&T is a set of standards and parameters which helps designers design parts that are within a certain tolerance or specification.  
  • OD / ID – Outside diameter/Inside diameter – This is most common with lathes/turning centers, and is measuring the diameter of a given dimension on a blueprint 

A large portion of gaining knowledge in the manufacturing field is memorizing these acronyms, knowing what they mean, and how they fit into the overall picture in a product development workflow. It can be frustrating at first, but with time these terms become second nature to most machinists.  

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