Asee peer logo

MAKER: Design of a Virtual CNC Mill by Unity Software

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Manufacturing Division Session - Virtual and Augmented Reality

Tagged Division


Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Jose Diaz

author page

Curtrell Trott

author page

Fatahillah Iskandar

author page

Ju Wang Virginia State University


Zhenhua Wu Virginia State University

visit author page

Dr. Zhenhua Wu, is currently an Associate Professor in Manufacturing Engineering at Virginia State University. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. His current research interests focus on cybermanufacturing, friction stir welding, sustainable manufacturing, and adaptive machining.

visit author page

Download Paper |


It requires a lot of hands-on experience to learn how to operate a computer numerical control (CNC) mill. Virtual Reality (VR) can serve as a way to teach how to properly operate it. The goal of this research is to create a virtual CNC mill that can provide interactive training for students. The Unity software was used for this goal. Unity is a game development engine used to produce video games, utility software, and more. The functionality of the CNC simulation was created with C# scripting. The visual representation of the CNC mill was built through 3D modeling, and then transferred into FBX 3D models which are compatible with Unity. The virtual machine is able to take G-code inputs via either an input field or a text file. For the current version, it can simulate G00, G01, and G02/G03 commands and is able to cut sample workpieces per input. It also can save the coordinates of the cutting path via json file and use a python script to view its movement on a line graph. The virtual machine emulates the input commands very similar to the actual machine. This can serve as a good learning tool for CNC machine operators. The virtual machine created through Unity is proof that a digital simulation is achievable for the CNC machine. Future research will include implementing and incorporating mixed reality. Incorporating these kinds of technology will help a more immersive learning experience for students.

Diaz, J., & Trott, C., & Iskandar, F., & Wang, J., & Wu, Z. (2021, July), MAKER: Design of a Virtual CNC Mill by Unity Software Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015