Produce Refined Parts with CNC Milling Machines

Computer numerical control (CNC) milling is a machining process that uses computerised controls and cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece for a custom-designed part. You can find a pre-owned CNC milling machine for sale on eBay to use with a variety of materials. The process receives input from a computer aided design (CAD) software application and converts it into numbers, which are used as coordinates for the design cutting movements. 

What types of CNC machines are there? 

These are the basic types of desktop CNC milling machines and other types of milling machines available:  

  • Vertical mill - A vertical mill has a vertical spindle, which allows the machine to cut directly into the material. The size, angle, and shape of the cutting tool depend on the product the machine is milling.
  • Turret mill - A turret mill is a vertical mill with a stationary spindle and a table that moves parallel and perpendicular to the axis of the spindle. You can cut vertically either with the table or the milling cutter movement.
  • Horizontal mill - A horizontal mill has cutting tools mounted on a horizontal arbor. The cutters mill the product by shaving the material. A horizontal machine has a universal table for cutting items at various angles.
  • Bed mill - A bed mill is a vertical mill that has only perpendicular movement. The spindle moves parallel to the axis, which creates a more defined movement.

Types of CNC milling processes 

There are several different processes that CNC milling machines use during the machining application:  

  • Face milling - Face milling is the process of the milling operation wherein the cutting tool is perpendicular to the workpiece. This process uses a face milling cutter with teeth on the periphery and tool face, with the peripheral teeth used for cutting and the face teeth used for finishing. Face milling is typically used on finished products for higher-quality milling.
  • Plain milling - Plain milling processes are milling operations where the cutting tool rotates parallel to the workpiece, and the teeth on the cutters are on the periphery. Narrow cutters are used for deeper cuts, and wide cutters are used for larger surface areas.
  • Angular milling - This is a milling operation where the cutting tool rotates at an angle relative to the surface of the workpiece. This process has single-angle cutters that are angled to the requested design for features like chamfers, grooves, and serrations.
  • Form milling - This process uses milling operations on irregular surfaces and outlines on parts with curved surfaces. Form milling uses formed milling cutters and fly cutters that are specialised for the desired application.

What software do CNC milling machines use? 

The CNC milling process uses CAD software applications to code the initial part design and CAM software to generate the program with the machining instructions that will engineer the part. This CNC program is loaded to the CNC milling machine in order to execute the process.