Everything You Need to Know about CNC Milling
Machines have enabled us to work faster and more efficiently with every advancement in technology. From the mass-produced Ford’s from the late 1910s to today’s 3D printers, the ability to innovate and improve production techniques has affected every part of our lives.
With the introduction of computer-driven technologies, machine efficiency has increased thanks to the precision and accuracy from increasingly complex software programmes and equipment hardware. One example where industrial machinery blends with advanced computer technology is Computer Numerical Control – or CNC – milling.
CNC milling is a process by which a series of rotating multi-point cutting tools, which are directed and controlled by instructions from a computer, progressively removes material from a solid block of material. CNC milling is appropriate for a large variety of materials, including metal, glass, wood, and plastic, and allows various customised parts and mass-produced objects to be manufactured.
Such is the impact of these machines that they are regularly used throughout the US, particularly factories in industrial heartland states such as Wisconsin. With a wide range of advantages and applications, it is no surprise that the demand for CNC milling services is only increasing.
Here are some points about this revolutionary process:
The Process of CNC Milling
CNC milling machines are available in either vertical or horizontal models, depending on the specifications and requirements of the object being shaped. The essential hardware components of a CNC milling machine include the cutter, spindle, chuck, and interface.
The first step in the milling process is to develop a CAD model and convert it into a CNC program. Next, set up the CNC milling machine and cutter. Lastly, launch the milling operation via the computer interface. The machine will begin rotating at high speeds and cutting into the object to produce a well-defined end product.
The Operations of CNC Milling
The CNC milling process is incredibly versatile, which allows for a wide range of part features and designs. The CNC milling process is divided into four primary operations.
The first is face milling, where the cutting tool’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the object’s surface. This is generally used to create a flat surface and contours, giving a high quality finish to the object.
In contrast, plain milling is when the cutting tool’s axis of rotation is parallel to the object’s surface. This technique is used when the goal is to cut directly into the workpiece, which is why it is most commonly employed when removing large sections of material.
The third method is angular milling, where the cutting tool’s axis is at an angle relative to the object. A common application of this is in the production of dovetails.
Lastly, form milling refers to operations that involve irregular surfaces, contours, or outlines, or those that are a mix of flat and curved surfaces. This is commonly used when creating intricate designs and hemispherical or semi-circular cavities in an object.
The Advantages of CNC Milling
CNC milling allows the object to be shaped without imperfections. Thanks to technology, CNC milling is incredibly accurate. The capacity to match the specifications of a design everytime allows for exact reproduction. This enables the mass production of any object that requires milling as part of the manufacturing process. These benefits, in turn, helps decrease waste, increase productivity and efficiency, and boost your manufacturing capabilities