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CNC Milling

What is CNC Milling

CNC Milling is a specific type of CNC Machining. Computerised controls are used to produce a custom-designed part or product that is of high quality and precise finish. It is favored in many industries due to its accuracy, consistency and ability for high production and uniformity. The milling process starts with a CAD drawing (computer-aided design), and it is used to control the outputs of the CNC Milling machine. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This means that that milling machine is controlled by a computer. 

 

This guide will provide an introduction to CNC Milling, and will cover the following: 
What is a CNC milling machine?
How does CNC Milling work?
What does a CNC Milling machine do?
CNC Milling Process
Types of CNC Milling
How much does CNC Milling cost?
Features of a Milling Machine 
Benefits of CNC Milling process

 

What is a CNC milling machine?
A milling machine manufactures high-quality parts to a high level of detail and finish. CNC milling machines use rotary tools to cut away at material, with instructions originating from the CAD file, the part design. The function and coordinates of the cutter are controlled by the milling machines computer, with minimum human input needed to complete manufacturing. CNC milling machines are engineered to mass-produce many components from various materials and plastics. The core function of a milling machine involves mechanically cutting away at a workpiece into a desired shape.


How does CNC Milling work?

The CNC Milling process works by the machine reading coded instructions and then putting them into operation. It all starts with the development of a 3D CAD file representing the final part. Once completed, the design is converted into a machine-readable format. CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software then exports this to a CNC machine program, usually in G-code format, which then acts as the instructions, directing every move that the machine makes. This replicates the CAD design in the chosen material with a high level of accuracy and efficiency. 

CNC Milling can produce high and low volumes of highly complex and intricate parts using subtractive machining technology. Material is removed from a blank workpiece and the milling machine uses a rotating cylindrical tool called a milling cutter. Depending on the type of milling machine being used, the machine is able to cut in different angles and move along different axes. 

The final part will have first been designed via CAD, or Computer-Aided Design, before being inputted into the milling machine for final production. 

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What does a CNC Milling machine do?

A CNC milling machine makes intricate parts for a number of industries, using subtractive machining technology. The milling machine cuts away at the workpiece, and, via the 3, 4 or 5 axes, crafts the final piece. Depending on the number of axes the CNC milling machine has, the more complicated and intricate the final piece can be. A CNC milling machine is used by various industries - including aerospace and medical industries - to manufacture intricate parts. 

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