What is Milling?
Milling in short; is a machining method based on cutting and drilling materials at different angles in more than one axes. Milling machines are a type of machine used to remove material from a workpiece using rotary cutters. These machines can drill, cut, and shape a range of materials. The process of separating the parts of the material in the direction of the tool axis is called milling, and therefore the machines used in the process are called milling machines.
Milling machines are one of the most common and useful machine parts in many industries. However, they come in many variations with nuanced purposes, designs, and functionality. In this guide, we will show you what milling machines are, what they do and how they work. We will also look at the different types of machines so you have a clearer idea of which machine is best suited for your needs.
At Aktif Lazer, we perform chip removal processes using high-quality milling machines. Just call us for chip removal prices.
What is the purpose of milling?
Milling is a rotating cutting tool and is done on milling machines. It is used as a metal removal method on a workpiece. Milling methods are used for workpieces that cannot be turned.
What is CNC Milling Machines?
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This is programmed code that tells milling machines to move, cut, and drill just as accurately as they do. The result of this programmed code on a CNC milling machine is precision-manufactured components in varying quantities. CNC milling machines are computer-automated versions of manual milling machines.
CNC Milling involves fixing the required material to a workbench inside the milling machine. The required tool is placed on a vertically or horizontally aligned spindle. Along with the material, the table moves relative to the tool to make accurate cuts to contribute to the desired finished object.
The table moves according to the entered computer numerical control code. This code is either taken from the CAD software and converted to coordinates, or the program is written using some variation of G code.
There are several different CNC milling machines. One factor that differentiates milling machines is the number of axes of motion they have. CNC milling machines can be between 3 and 5 axes.
Types of Milling Machine
Milling machines used in chip removal work consist of horizontal, vertical, and multi-axis machines. These machines, known as cantilever milling machines, are divided into 3 as Universal milling machines (3,4,5 axis), horizontal milling machines, and vertical milling machines.
Universal Milling Machines;
- 3-Axis Milling Machines
A 3-axis milling machine cuts in any direction. Therefore, this CNC milling machine cuts along the X, Y, and Z axes.
- 4-axis Milling Machines
A 4-axis milling machine cuts like the milling machine above but gives the 4th axis the ability to rotate the tool by 90°.
- 5-axis Milling Machines
Following the pattern, a 5-axis milling machine is the most complete CNC milling machine with the function of rotating the A and B axis.
However, the number of axes is not the only factor that sets milling machines apart. Although all CNC milling machines are controlled via a computer, there is a difference between CNC and manual milling machines.
2. Vertical Milling Machines
On a vertical milling machine, you will find that the spindle axis on the mill is oriented vertically. A vertical milling machine often used to create car parts, is one of the simplest types of milling machines. They consist of 5 main parts, the worktable, head, saddle, knee, and upper arm, and use a vertically suspended drill.
3. Horizontal Milling Machines
A horizontal milling machine has the same cutting techniques as above, but the milling is oriented horizontally. This horizontal milling usually has a built-in rotary table that allows milling at various angles; this is called the universal table.
What are the Methods of Milling?
In many ways, milling machines are used to achieve results similar to lathes. However, unlike lathes, which rotate the workpiece, milling machines hold the workpiece using a vise. Milling machines use cylindrical tools such as drills and end mills to remove material. Milling machines are primarily used on flat surfaces, but can also work on some irregular surfaces.
Face milling: Also known as face milling. A face mill processes a flat surface of the workpiece to provide a smooth surface. The depth of the face is typically very small, can be machined in a single pass, or can be achieved by machining to a smaller axial depth of cut and making multiple passes. Face milling is one of the vertical milling methods. It cuts with the help of a cylindrical milling cutter and different workpieces are produced by using different tips.
Peripheral milling: makes circumferential or slot cuts through the workpiece, determined by pitch, to machine a specific feature such as a profile, slot, pocket, or even a complex surface contour. For example, the depth of the feature can be machined in a single pass, or it can be achieved by machining at a smaller axial depth of cut and making multiple passes.
Profile milling, which is the most commonly used chip removal method, is used on workpieces where fine workmanship is required. It is made using 4 or 5 axis milling machines using high-speed machining techniques.
As you can see, milling is a successful method used among the machining methods. Accordingly, call us for more information.