Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling is a common type of automated machining process. These machines are specially used for drilling, facing, and turning functions. Their classification is based on the number of axes they have. These axes are labeled as x and y for the two horizontal directions while z is for vertical movement. CNC milling is a cutting process that is used to remove metal or plastic from a block of stock material by the rotating action of the tool. The tool is moved in three (or more) directions to get the desired cut of the material.

CNC Milling machines have been programmed with the help of a set of commands called G-codes. These codes are special CNC functions in alphanumeric format.

The cutting tool is usually rotated along the axis, which is perpendicular to the table where the material to be cut is placed. There are different cutter shapes (called milling bits) such as round (ball end), square, and angled.

Advantages of CNC Milling

A large variety of 2D and 3D shapes are possible. Complex shapes from rod, block, or sheet material can be created and is cost effective for short runs.

Specifications for CNC Milling

• Rigid materials such as metals and hard plastics are used.
• Alternative machines for 2D sheet shapes that include Laser Cut, Turret Punch and fixed punch are used.

• CNC Milling requires software program tooling or work holding jigs.
• To contain costs avoid large variations in work piece height and avoid thin walls.

The CNC Machining centers are computer controlled vertical mills which can move the spindle along the Z-axis. When the machine is used in combination with conical tools or a ball nose cutter it improves the milling precision without affecting the speed thus providing an economical substitute to flat surface job that requires hand engraving.

During the milling process pressure is applied to the material therefore it is better to avoid weak shapes, long thin shapes, or ones with thin walls. CNC milling offers a cut surface that has a visible pattern due to the rotation and movement of the cutter.

eMachineShop offers you information about a vast number of products and machines and CNC Milling machine is one of them. A unique online CMC provider allows you to design and even order custom CNC machined parts. Visit the site to get details about these and other services. While you’re there, don’t forget to download the company’s free 3D CAD software which makes designing CNC milled parts a snap!

Source by George Ure

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