CNC Manufacturing Trends & Survey Results

manufacturing trends

Wondering what your peers are up to or what the manufacturing trends are?

Understanding manufacturing trends can be important for your business.  We do a fair number of surveys to manufacturers, CNC machinists and business owners.  As the Internet’s largest CNC-related blog, we get quite a bit of participation (hundreds of responses) to many of them, so the data is significant.  We make it easy to do your market research homework!

Access our surveys so you can see what your peers in the industry are doing and understand Manufacturing Trends:

Which CAD Package do you use? (2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 Results, 2017 Results, 2016 Results, 2015 Results, 2013 Results )

Which CAM Package do you use? ( 2021 Results, 2016 Results, 2015 Results, 2014 Results, 2012 Results, 2010 Results )

Which End Mill Brands do you use? (Results 2017 2016 2015 )

Hobby CNC Survey (2016 )

Which CNC Control Do You Use? (Results 2017 2016, 2012 )

Feeds & Speeds Survey (Results)

What’s Hard About Learning CNC? (Results)

What Kinds of Machines Do You Use?  (Results)

How Do Shops Invest to Be More Competitive?

Setup Sheet Survey

How Do Shops do Cost Estimation and Quotation?

Multi-Axis Machining

What’s Your Experience with Additive Machining?

What Size Manual Lathe Do You Use Most?

What’s Your G-Code Skill Level?

Alternate Input Device (3D Mouse) Survey

Our View

We talk to a lot of folks in the industry and we have the luxury of creating and analyzing these surveys firsthand.  We use them to guide our own business.

In all the years we’ve been at it, the market has been consistent.  Manufacturing is hard.  Labor costs are rising everywhere.  Competition is fierce.  Talent is scarce.  And, the political environment is constantly changing.

The one constant that arises from all of that, the one focus that every Manufacturer should be aiming for is Productivity.  Productivity is paramount to success.  If your business is more productive than the next, it is more competitive.  Ultimately, that means it is more profitable, grows faster, and is more stable in the face of change.

We believe Manufacturing Productivity stands on a tripod of three legs:


Talent is a scarce resource.  Take good care of the talent you attract to your business.  Work hard to recruit more talent.  And keep growing your talent through a constant process of education and training.


Repeatable Process is the foundation for continuous improvement.  If your organization is process-centric, if it understands and documents the processes it uses, and if it measures the outcome of these processes, then it is in a position to reap the benefits of continous improvement.  Any process can be improved.  Your job is to find the lowest hanging fruit and focus there first to achieve maximum results at minimum cost.


Tools are force multipliers.  They can help you implement process and they can amplify the talent of your staff.

Tools are what CNCCookbook is all about.  We sell software to help anyone, from the most experienced professionals to hobbyists new to CNC, become Better CNC’ers.

Having the right tools can accelerate your organization’s growth tremendously.

There’s a lot of talk lately about “Digitizing” manufacturing.  Tools are a big part of that Manufacturing Trend, so make sure you’re investing in them wisely.

Recently updated on December 29th, 2023 at 09:12 am