What are the Different Types of Milling performed by CNC Machine Shops?

Computer numerical machining (CNC) machining is an important process used for forming parts from different metals, plastics, and composites. CNC machining assures high repeatability and precision, which makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of manufacturing applications. CNC machining is a comprehensive term for a wide range of machining processes including CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC drilling, and so on. Of these, CNC milling is an important CNC machining process employed for industrial and commercial production of components. Having said that you may think – what does a CNC milling process involve? What are the types of CNC milling performed by the CNC machine shops? Read this post to know the answers.

A Brief Overview of CNC Milling Process

CNC milling assures a high level of flexibility and versatility, which makes it an ideal machining process for most CNC machine shops. The rate of material removal is high compared to other CNC machining processes and the parts possess excellent surface finishes, too. This process employs multiple rotating, multi-point cutting tools. These tools rotate and help transform a plain workpiece into the desired shape. In the CNC milling process, the workpiece is usually fed into the CNC machine in the same direction as the cutting tool rotation. The CNC milling can be employed for cutting deep cavities, as well as flat, shallow, and flat-bottomed cavities in the workpiece.

The CNC milling is further distinguished into different types depending on the shapes of workpieces formed. The next section introduces you to some common types of CNC milling processes performed by the CNC machine shops and their outcomes.

Different Types of CNC Milling Processes Performed by CNC Machine Shops

The following are a few common types of CNC milling processes performed by CNC machine shops.

  • Plain Milling:

    Plain milling is used for machining flat and horizontal surfaces. This type of milling is also known as slab milling. Plain milling can be classified into up-milling and down-milling depending on the movement between the table and material.

  • Face Milling:

    In face milling, the tool axis is kept perpendicular to the surface of the material. The tool used for material removal has several teeth compared to those used for plain milling. The teeth in contact with the flat materials are used for finishing whereas the teeth on the edge are used for cutting a raw material.

  • Straddle Milling:

    Straddle milling utilizes a pair of side milling cutters to machine two parallel surfaces of a workpiece. The cutters are placed in opposite directions and they are placed such that the workpiece is straddled by them. This type of milling is preferred for milling a couple of vertical surfaces in a single cut.

  • Gang Milling:

    In gang milling, multiple milling cutters are used on a single arbor to cut different horizontal surfaces. The cutters used in this process have different diameters and the cutter speed is calculated from the cutter of the largest diameter.

  • Form Milling:

    In form milling, the parts with irregular contours are produced using form cutters. The cutters used for this purpose can have round, convex, and concave corners.

  • End Milling:

    This CNC milling process is employed for producing vertical flat surfaces, narrow slots, grooves, and ways on the workpiece. End milling can be performed vertically, horizontally, or at an angle concerning the table.

  • Angular Milling:

    In this type of milling, the cutting tool is positioned at a particular angle from the workpiece surface. The angular groove may have a single or double angle. It is used for milling flat surfaces that are neither parallel nor perpendicular to the axis of the cutting tool.

  • T-Slot Milling:

    In this type of milling, a disc-shaped tool is used to cut a channel in the workpiece. In T- slot Milling operation, first a plain slot is cut on the work-piece by a side milling cutter and then the t-slot milling cutter is feed from one or the other end of the work-piece.

The above mentioned are only a few popular CNC milling processes employed by CNC machine shops. Each of the processes mentioned here has typical applications and an experienced CNC machining services provider knows it better. If you are looking for a trustworthy and experienced CNC machining services provider for your next project, then you can consider BDE, Inc. The machine shop offers precision CNC milling services in Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, and works with different metals and plastics. You can get in touch with the team at the company to discuss your CNC milling requirements and the experts will inform you about the right CNC milling process and its impact on the finished part.

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