Understanding G and M Codes

CNC machining is one of the core processes in manufacturing that produce intricate and sophisticated products with applications in various industries. However, these processes would be difficult to execute without the machines that drive them. Without the G and M codes, these machines can’t function.

While you would find CNC codes being used together in most machine shops, they are quite different from each other. What are these codes? What are the differences? To find out the answers to these questions, read this article for more.

What is G Code and M Code?

As mentioned earlier, G and M codes are required for CNC machining. However, what is the exact function of the two CNC letters program? How do they control CNC machines? This section will answer these questions.

What is G Code? – G code – also known as RS-274D – is the most popular CNC programming language. Most G code commands are in alphanumeric format and start with G which stands for geometry. G-code is responsible for the movements of CNC machines, telling the machine where to start, how to move, and when to stop when fabricating a part.

What is M Code? – Like the G code, the M code also begins with the letter ‘M.’ The M code is a set of auxiliary commands that control all the machine’s non-geometric actions. Machinists refer to the code as miscellaneous codes as it controls non-cutting actions such as stopping programs, flooding the machine with coolants, and shutting it off after the temperature drops.

Differences Between the Two

Although machinists use G and M codes concurrently in any CNC machining process, they differ. Here are some examples of how G and M codes differ:

  1. G code commands tend to differ in most CNC machines, while M codes are similar in most CNC machines.
  2. G codes direct the machine’s motion and function, while M codes direct the operations outside movements.
  3. The G code activates the CNC machine while the M code activates the machine’s programmable logic controller.

Custom Tool & Grinding

Using CNC machines is one of the most important processes in CNC machining. However, these machines cannot function without G and M codes which instruct them on what to do. Understanding how to generate these codes is vital to the CNC machining process and successful parts production.

Need a company to handle your CNC machining project? Look no further because Custom Tool & Grinding has all the technical expertise you’ll ever need. With years of manufacturing experience, we have experienced staff in all areas of the manufacturing process.