You’ve probably heard of CNC, but did you know that it’s not only for milling? Laser engravers, 3D printers, and standard household paper printers all use CNC methods. As the term suggests, computer numerical control (CNC) is a way to control a machine using a computer to translate numerical data. A CNC can be as simple as a household inkjet or a basic 3D printer, but it can also scale to much more advanced systems of complete manufacturing and assembly. CNC systems have revolutionized the production of goods and made it possible to have many of today’s conveniences. Before the development of CNC, lathes, mills, wood carving, and other processes were all controlled by an operator or technician. Operators would use simple machines such as levers, hand tools, or lead-screw spindles to control the lathes or mills and modify the workpiece to a final product. Many of these early machines were specifically built to do that one task on the workpiece and required large setups and investments.  One of the key promises with computer technology is to create accuracy, reproducibility, and flexibility through software. Computers allow simple tasks to take less time and scale to b...