Generally, several items are used to produce a finished product with CNC operation. Collectively, these tools are referred to as a toolchain (chain of software tools).
- Computer Aided Design (CAD): Using computer software to allow the generation of blueprints
- Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM): Software that takes the input of a supported CAD formatted drawing, and generates G-Code for execution by the motion controller
- Motion Controller: Hardware or software based, converts the G-Code to coordinated motion for the motor drivers
- Motor Drivers: Control units that command the motors to actuate whatever rotary to linear motion devices are attached (or in the case of a rotary axis, degrees of movement)