CNC milling is a process used in metalworking that combines computer numerical control (CNC) with milling tools. It is used to create custom parts and components with precise dimensions and shapes. With CNC milling, digitalized project from a computer is used to control the machines, allowing for greater accuracy and precision than the traditional manual milling process. CNC milling machines are used in a wide array of industries and applications, including automotive, electronics, and industrial manufacturing. The machines can be used to produce a variety of parts, such as gears, shafts, pins, couplers, molds, and dies. CNC milling machines can also be used to machine complex shapes and contours with accuracy.
The process of CNC milling in metalworking involves the use of a CNC machine and a cutting tool, such as a drill bit or end mill. The machine is programmed with instructions that tell it how to move the cutting tool to create the desired shape or form. The machine then follows the instructions to create the part or component. The process can be repeated as many times as needed to create multiple components. CNC milling is often used for high-volume production runs, as it is efficient and cost-effective.
CNC milling has several advantages over traditional methods of machining metal, including, but not limited to, increased precision, faster production speeds, and reduced costs:
Overall, while CNC milling in metalworking has many advantages, it also has some drawbacks. The high initial investment and complicated programming can make it difficult to use, and it requires a certain level of skill and expertise to operate correctly.
CNC milling processes include face milling, angular milling, form milling, end milling, slot milling, side milling, gang milling, drilling, and reaming. The type of operation will determine the type of cutting tool used and the speed and feed settings of the machine.
The process begins with a piece of raw material, typically a block of metal. The CNC milling machine then moves the cutting tool based on the programmed instructions in order to cut out the desired shape. The cutting tool is moved in a series of steps, and the end result is a part with the exact dimensions and shape specified in the program.
In order to create the tool path and program the machine, a CAD (computer-aided design) software is used. This software allows the user to create the tool path and program that specifies the desired shape and dimensions of the part. The CNC milling machine then follows the instructions in the program to cut out the part.