Conversational programming is the process of using a graphical interface program on the CNC machine to plan and execute machining cycles. This form of programming has become quite popular in recent years. With conversational programming, the program is created at the CNC machine. Generally speaking, the conversational program is created using graphic and menu-driven functions. The programmer will be able to visually check whether various inputs are correct as the program is created. When finished, most conversational controls will even show the programmer a tool path plot of what will happen during the machining cycle.
Conversational controls vary substantially from one manufacturer to the next. In most cases, they can essentially be thought of as a single-purpose CAM system, and thus do provide a convenient means to generate part programs for a single machine. Be forewarned, though, that some of these controls, particularly older models, can only be programmed conversationally at the machine, which means you can't utilize other means such as off-line programming with a CAM system. However, most new models can operate either in a conversational mode or accept externally generated G-code programs.[an error occurred while processing this directive]