What does a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic do?

Develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Jobs Roles

  • Determine the sequence of machine operations, and select the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes.
  • Revise programs or tapes to eliminate errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved.
  • Analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and design data to calculate dimensions, tool selection, machine speeds, and feed rates.
  • Determine reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and compute angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures.
  • Observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to ensure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.
  • Compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to verify accuracy of instructions.
  • Enter coordinates of hole locations into program memories by depressing pedals or buttons of programmers.
  • Write programs in the language of a machine's controller and store programs on media such as punch tapes, magnetic tapes, or disks.
  • Modify existing programs to enhance efficiency.
  • Enter computer commands to store or retrieve parts patterns, graphic displays, or programs that transfer data to other media.
  • Prepare geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper.
  • Write instruction sheets and cutter lists for a machine's controller to guide setup and encode numerical control tapes.
  • Sort shop orders into groups to maximize materials utilization and minimize machine setup time.
  • Draw machine tool paths on pattern film, using colored markers and following guidelines for tool speed and efficiency.
  • Align and secure pattern film on reference tables of optical programmers, and observe enlarger scope views of printed circuit boards.
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