Numerical control (also computer numerical control, and commonly called CNC) is the automated control of machining tools (such as drills, lathes, mills and 3D printers) by means of a computer. A CNC machine processes a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) to meet specifications by following a coded programmed instruction and without a manual operator directly controlling the machining operation.
A CNC machine is a motorized maneuverable tool and often a motorized maneuverable platform, which are both controlled by a computer, according to specific input instructions. Instructions are delivered to a CNC machine in the form of a sequential program of machine control instructions such as G-code and M-code, then executed. The program can be written by a person or, far more often, generated by graphical computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. In the case of 3D printers, the part to be printed is "sliced", before the instructions (or the program) is generated. 3D printers also use G-Code.
CNC is a vast improvement over non-computerized machining that must be manually controlled (e.g. using devices such as hand wheels or levers) or mechanically controlled by pre-fabricated pattern guides (cams). In modern CNC systems, the design of a mechanical part and its manufacturing program is highly automated. The part's mechanical dimensions are defined using CAD software and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. The resulting directives are transformed (by "post processor" software) into the specific commands necessary for a particular machine to produce the component and then are loaded into the CNC machine.
Since any particular component might require the use of a number of different tools – drills, saws, etc. – modern machines often combine multiple tools into a single "cell". In other installations, a number of different machines are used with an external controller and human or robotic operators that move the component from machine to machine. In either case, the series of steps needed to produce any part is highly automated and produces a part that closely matches the original CAD drawing.
Wellingborough (/ˈwɛlɪŋbərə/ WEL-ing-bər-ə) is a large market town in the Wellingborough district of Northamptonshire, England, 11 miles (18 km) from Northampton on the north side of the River Nene.
Originally named "Wendelingburgh" (the stronghold of Wændel's people), the Anglo-Saxon settlement is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Wendelburie". The town was granted a royal market charter in 1201 by King John.
At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 49,128. The Borough Council of Wellingborough has its offices in the town centre. The town is twinned with Niort in France, and with Wittlich in Germany.
The town is predicted to grow by 30 per cent under the Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) study, and the government has identified Wellingborough as one of several towns in Northamptonshire where growth in jobs and housing will be directed. The area will see an addition of around 10,000 homes by 2031, mainly to the east of the town. Wellingborough, along with Corby and Kettering together comprise the core of the North Northamptonshire growth area, coordinated by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning and Delivery. The town also has a growing commuter population as it is on the Midland Main Line railway, operated by East Midlands Railway, with trains to London St Pancras International taking under an hour, and an interchange with Eurostar services.