Because rapid CNC services and rapid EDM services deal with computers, it’s changing all the time. After all, even though numerically controlled machines have been around since the 1940s, rapid prototyping keep getting better because of the advancements in technology. Computers were added in the 1950s, which saw the very beginning of CNC.

But you can probably guess that the computers used in CNC and EDM manufacturing have gotten much more powerful since the beginning of rapid prototyping. And while it was certainly difficult to work with the vacuum-tube computers of the mid 20th century, the advanced computers we work with today also have their challenges. Customers are looking for more complex prototypes in a shorter window of time. In other words, EDM and CNC machining has never been easier or harder at the same time!

So what does a career in rapid prototyping take? Who are the kinds of people you’ll be working with in electric discharge machining and computer numerical control prototyping? Today we’re going to take a look at the type of schooling and training necessary to work in prototype machining.


There are many paths to a career in CNC machining. In general, a CNC and EDM company will be looking for someone with at least a high school diploma. But nearly every considered candidate for a job will also have trade school experience or some college. In fact, up to half of people working in EDM and CNC machining services have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.

In general, most people who work with CNC machining or EDM wiring have sought certification as well. A certificate from either the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International can go a long way to helping someone secure a job.


What skills does a rapid prototyper require? Math skills are very important, as is blueprint reading. And while programming with a computer language is not necessary as it might have been in the 1950s and 1960s, it is very important to know exactly what the software is looking for so that it can be input properly.

Detail Oriented

With such high tolerances necessary in rapid prototyping, it’s incredibly important to be detail oriented in the job. It’s important to ensure that everything is perfectly within spec before, during, and after a prototyped piece of equipment is being made. Machinists need to be skilled with tools such as calipers and micrometers to verify everything is as it should be.

Operation Monitoring

There’s a lot happening on a piece of equipment as complex as a CNC machine or EDM machine. Workers have to be good at multitasking, especially when it comes to monitoring everything. Keeping an eye on both the computer and the machine’s gauges is vitally important to the process.


Of course, safety is key when it comes to working around CNC and EDM machining equipment. Everyone we work with has to have the common sense and self-preservation interest to make sure they’re being as safe as possible around equipment that can be incredibly dangerous. Anything that can drill through steel or burns at 14,000-degrees Fahrenheit isn’t something to be messed with!

Work With The Best!

At 3DM Tool, we hire only the best machinists to work on your projects. Contact us today for the best in rapid prototyping!