Machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts, a process known as machining.

Tool and die maker (toolmaker) are a class of machinist in the manufacturing industries who make jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, machine tools, cutting tools, gauges, and other tools used in manufacturing processes. Traditionally, working from engineering drawings, tool makers marked out the design on the raw material (usually metal or wood), then cut it to size and shape using manually controlled machine tools (such as lathes, milling machines, grinding machines, jig borers, and jig grinders) and hand tools (such as files). Many tool makers now use computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and CNC machine tools to perform these tasks.

 CNC systems, end-to-end component design is highly automated using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. The programs produce a computer file that is interpreted to extract the commands needed to operate a particular machine via a post processor, and then loaded into the CNC machines for production.

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the use of computer software to control machine tools and related machinery in the manufacturing of workpieces. CAM may also refer to the use of a computer to assist in all operations of a manufacturing plant, including planning, management, transportation and storage.Its primary purpose is to create a faster production process and components and tooling with more precise dimensions and material consistency, which in some cases, uses only the required amount of raw material.

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations.

The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) (pronounced eye-jess) is a file format which defines a vendor neutral data format that allows the digital exchange of information among Computer-aided design (CAD) systems. Using IGES, a CAD user can exchange product data models in the form of circuit diagrams, wireframe, freeform surface or solid modeling representations. Applications supported by IGES include traditional engineering drawings, models for analysis, and other manufacturing functions.

G-code  is the common name for the most widely used numerical control (NC) programming language, which has G-codes are also called preparatory codes, and are any word in a CNC program that begins with the letter G. Generally it is a code telling the machine tool what type of action to perform, such as:

  • Rapid move (transport the tool through space to the place where it is needed for cutting; do this as quickly as possible)
  • Controlled feed move in a straight line or arc
  • Series of controlled feed moves that would result in a hole being bored, a workpiece cut (routed) to a specific dimension, or a profile (contour) shape added to the edge of a workpiece
  • Set tool information such as offset
  • Switch coordinate systems

many implementations. Used mainly in automation, it is part of computer-aided engineering.


Direct numerical control (DNC), also known as distributed numerical control (also DNC), is a common manufacturing term for networking CNC machine tools. On some CNC machine controllers, the available memory is too small to contain the machining program (for example machining complex surfaces), so in this case the program is stored in a separate computer and sent directly to the machine, one block at a time.

Job-shop Machinist can be any combination of toolmaker and production machinist. Some work only as machine operators, whereas others switch fluidly between toolroom tasks and production tasks.

Center drilling

The purpose of center drilling is to drill a hole that will act as a center of rotation for possible following operations. Center drilling is typically performed using a drill with a special shape, known as a center drill.

Drilling: Drilling operations are operations in which holes are produced or refined by bringing a rotating cutter with cutting edges at the lower extremity into contact with the workpiece. Drilling operations are done primarily in drill presses but sometimes on lathes or mills.


Cutting Tool (or Cutter) is any tool that is used to remove material from the workpiece by means of shear deformation. Cutting may be accomplished by single-point or multipoint tools. Single-point tools are used in turning, shaping, plaining and similar operations, and remove material by means of one cutting edge. Milling and drilling tools are often multipoint tools. Grinding tools are also multipoint tools. Each grain of abrasive functions as a microscopic single-point cutting edge (although of high negative rake angle), and shears a tiny chip.

Milling (machining):  is the machining process of using rotary cutters to remove material from a workpiece advancing (or feeding) in a direction at an angle with the axis of the tool typically ( endmill ). It is one of the most commonly used processes in industry and machine shops today for machining parts to precise sizes and shapes.

CNC Machining Centers: most CNC milling machines are computer controlled vertical mills with the ability to move the spindle vertically along the Z-axis. CNC machines can exist in virtually any of the forms of manual machinery, like horizontal mills. The most advanced CNC milling-machines, the multiaxis machines, add two more axes in addition to the three normal axes (XYZ).

Turning (machining) is a machining process in which a cutting tool, typically a non-rotary tool bit, describes a helical toolpath by moving more or less linearly while the workpiece rotates. The part is rotated while a single point cutting tool is moved parallel to the axis of rotation. Turning can be done manually, in a traditional form of lathe, which frequently requires continuous supervision by the operator, or by using an automated CNC lathe.

Grooving is like parting, except that grooves are cut to a specific depth instead of severing a completed/part-complete component from the stock. Grooving can be performed on internal and external surfaces, as well as on the face of the part.

Boring is enlarging or smoothing an existing hole created by drilling,  the machining of internal cylindrical forms by mounting workpiece to the spindle and placing cutting tool into the chuck.


Knurling is the cutting of a serrated pattern onto the surface of a part to use as a hand grip using a special purpose knurling too (diamond knurling, straight or diagonal)


Reaming is the sizing operation that removes a small amount of metal from a hole already drilled. It is done for making internal holes of very accurate diameters.