CNC programming is an arcane and daunting task. Never write your own CNC programming by hand again. Generate G-code with Fusion 360 effortlessly and make parts faster the first time.

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What is CNC programming?

CNC programming (Computer Numerical Control Programming) is utilized by manufacturers to create program instructions for computers to control a machine tool. CNC is highly involved in the manufacturing process and improves automation as well as flexibility.

Types of CNC processes

CNC programmers write instructions for CNC machines, where a computer is connected to the mill, along with electrical drives and sensors for a complete system. This computer controls the movement of the machine axis.

  • CNC routers

    CNC routers are commonly used in woodworking and can range in size and style from a desktop 3-axis to a room-sized 5-axis configuration.

  • Plasma cutters

    CNC plasma cutters are used to cut conductive metals using a jet of hot plasma. These CNC machines offer high precision at low cost.

  • Laser cutters

    Laser cutters can be used to cut a variety of types and thicknesses of materials, even metal, depending on the power of the laser.

  • CNC lathes

    CNC lathes rotate the workpiece and apply a variety of cutting tools to create parts with a revolved profile. These are often programmed by hand.

  • Mill/turn machines

    Mill/turn machines combine milling and turning into a single machining center. These machines can create spun profiles like lathes.

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  • Milling machines

    Milling machines are extremely versatile and come in a variety of configurations from 2- to 5-axis milling configurations.

  • Multi-axis milling

    Multi-axis milling is the addition of up to two rotational axes to a 3-axis milling configuration. This allows access to more of the part.

What is a toolpath?

Our top three learning guides

  • 2D milling

    Learn how to generate 2D toolpaths for your parts, from roughing to finishing, and then generating G-code.

  • 3D milling

    Get up to speed on generating 3D toolpaths and G-code for your parts.

  • Multi-axis milling

    Walk through the steps needed to generate multi-axis toolpaths and G-code for your parts.

Do your actions match your ambitions for success?

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Getting started in CNC programming software

Learn more about CNC programming with these Fusion 360 tutorials and guides.

  • Fundamentals of CNC machining

    Bridge the gap between your technical education and what you need to know to begin using CNC machine tools.

  • Getting started with G-code

    Review G-code basics to efficiently understand and write programs that product high quality products.

  • CNC 101

    LWatch an Autodesk presentation on the overview of CNC machines, process, and CNC programming.

Best CNC programming software

Effortless setup and CNC programming allows you to make parts faster. Fusion 360 offers post full NC programs so you can create toolpaths twice as quickly.


For professional machinists. Fusion 360 makes it easy to program your CNC machine faster for a fraction of the price.


For professional machinists. Fusion 360 makes it easy to program your CNC machine faster for a fraction of the price.

Find CNC programming resources

  • Get tips and techniques to meet your CAM programming goals with greater consistency and efficiency.

  • The market place for job-shops is rapidly changing, with competition coming from all directions as everyone tightens their machining operations.

  • Get CAD and CAM in one software package. Watch a Fusion 360 demo to learn how to reduce cycle times, CNC machine high-quality parts, and bring products to market faster.