our cnc guide


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going the cnc route will increase efficiency
modernize your practice
save you time + money
innovate + inspire your design/build projects

The automated cutting process is much faster and more accurate than a manual movement of tools and work pieces done with levers and gears on older equipment. CNC was ground-breaking in its contributions to the construction/building/manufacturing & engineering/design trades. And, as it continues to advance, it is becoming more popular and in-demand in other industries like interior design, fine art & furniture.

cnc basics, care & attention

CNC stands for “Computer Numerical Control”. At first, it can appear intimidating, but once you understand the basics of what you need, you’ll be on your way to modernizing your practice and reaping the benefits.

CNC machining is the process of using a computer-driven machine tool to produce a part out of solid material into its desired shape. We have 6 different types of CNC machines here at DDF that we use for specific reasons (you can learn more about them HERE). The CNC machine will depend on digital instructions usually made with Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. 

Production starts with you approving our Proof.

Then we will use your CAD/CAM files to program a “G-code” that the controller (a device) on the machine, can read.  For us to program, we need to make sure we know what you are looking for. And this is why we produce a set of drawings (for you to approve) to move your project into production (you can learn more about drawings and our pre-production process HERE).

During the programming of your parts, we can adjust the behaviors of what we want the machine to do. Even small adjustments to machine settings (like the speed) can make a big difference and cut down finishing/cleaning time once your part is off of the machine. We will use your files and approved drawings to create “tool-paths” for the machine. The tool-paths are instructions on what tool (a.k.a “bit”)  we want to use and how we want it to follow certain paths or directions. This highly technical and mechanical step in getting your parts CNC’d accurately and efficiently is DDF’s strong suit.

Once your part is fully programmed we will save out the G-CODE file and open it on the machine controller.  The computer program on the controller interprets the design and moves cutting tools and/or the work piece on multiple axes to cut the desired shape from the work piece in exactly the way we programmed it to do so. 

materials we can cut & work with

  • alloys
  • metals
  • composites
  • stone | granite | quartz | marble | ceramic
  • glass (except tempered)
  • plastics
  • woods
  • fiberglass
  • foam
  • rubbers
  • and more

cnc cutting is at the core of what we do. but we also do much more than just this. when you bring a full, “turn-key” fabrication project to our facility, we can quickly and easily assess where and how we will utilize our cnc capabilities as we design, build & assemble your project.

using cnc for any or all parts to your project is a smart decision for any design/build practice and we hope you will be inspired to do more with your designs.

now that you are a bit more comfortable letting cnc do the work for you, check out our article on our production process to help you get started.

…if you still need a little more information on the exact machines we have in our shop and what they can do, head on over to our machine article to find out more.


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