When was the first CNC machine

The history of CNC technology: from NC to CNC programming

John Parsons (Cambridge / USA) laid the foundation stone for the development of CNC technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1949 and 1952.

In 1954, the Bendix company, also from the USA, took over the technology that Parsons had developed. They developed the first NC machine that was equipped with over 300 electron tubes. The machine was controlled by punch cards. The workpiece carriers were pushed back and forth by separately operating motors. The sequence of the individual path and control information was called the NC program. The forerunner of the CNC program.

In 1959, the first NC machine was introduced in the industrialized countries of Europe.

In 1965 it was already possible to automate the tool change.

In 1968 the first NC machine with an integrated circuit came on the market.

In 1978 the transition to CNC technology was completed and the first CNC machine was developed. The NC technology was now finally obsolete.

In 1979 the first machines were connected to the CAD system.

Between 1980 and the mid-1990s, CNC programs were painstakingly written by hand. For the programmer, this meant an enormous ability to concentrate. Even the smallest programming errors could damage the machine.

At the end of the 90s and around the turn of the millennium, people began to turn away from classic programming. Instead, the programs were generated directly from a CAD / CAM system. That is also today's standard.

In the future, programming will mainly take place via CIM. The aim is to implement the programming completely without human influence.