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What is CNC milling and what are its advantages?

CNC milling is one of the most common processes for parts manufacturing. Learn more about the process and its advantages here.

What is CNC milling?

CNC milling involves cutting, engraving and routing using a rotating tool with metal teeth or plates that removes excess parts from the workpiece. This technique can be performed on different types of materials such as wood, aluminium, steel, bronze, technical plastics and much more to give a specific shape to industrial parts.

What is the CNC milling process

When talking about the CNC milling process, it is necessary to know the fundamental difference between conventional machinery and CNC (computer numerical control) Although they have a similar appearance to conventional milling machines, CNC milling machines, being computer-controlled, have screens instead of cranks to regulate the milling motors. This type of machinery makes the technique much more precise and the milling machine gains a greater number of movements, as it has 3, 4 or even 5 cutting axes instead of acting only in the horizontal and vertical planes.

By using CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) programmes, the process of producing the required part takes place The end result is higher quality and more efficient than manual milling processes.

How does a CNC milling machine work

A CNC milling process requires the creation of a program in the machine language, either manually or by means of a CAM program. . The tools, cutting parameters and paths are defined in this program The CNC milling machine carries out the calculations for the displacement of the machine axes, as well as the necessary speed, and the control software starts the milling process.

Once the milling process begins, the machine carries out the machining by swarf removal. As a result, the milling machine acts autonomously, allowing the production processes to be automated, thus achieving greater optimisation.

Three parameters need to be set correctly in order for a CNC milling machine to work properly: the cutting speed, the depth of cut and the type of cut. These depend on the type of tool used and the material to be cut Depending on these characteristics, the milling process can be optimised to a greater or lesser extent.

The advantages of CNC milling

The advantages of CNC milling are fourfold:

  1. Improved accuracy and efficiency of cutting processes.
  2. Realisation of more complex designs with fewer errors
  3. Reducing the amount of waste generated
  4. Increased operator safety

CNC milling machines gain in efficiency compared to conventional milling machines, achieving a much lower return on investment and obtaining higher quality results.

What are CNC milling machines used for

The uses of a CNC milling machine are very versatile and can be used in the manufacturing process of very disparate parts in different types of industry Some examples are:

  • Helical and spur tooth gears used to produce gears.
  • Screw heads and threads used in machinery.
  • Plastic injection moulds.
  • Different parts used in the manufacture of turbines, as well as bushings and rotors for the wind energy sector.
  • Die-cutting tools
  • Labelling designs.
  • Landing gear and fuselage system elements for the aeronautical industry.
  • Prostheses used in the medical industry.

CNC milling machines are also used in the production of relevant parts for the packaging and bottling sector, as well as in architecture and interior design.

Which materials are most suitable for CNC milling?

A wide variety of materials can be used in the CNC milling process: resins, magnesium, composites, aluminium, brass, carbon fibres, titanium, nickel, steel, foams, zinc, wood and technical plastics such as polyethylene. This means that most plastics, wood and metals are suitable for cutting on CNC milling machines.

EONSI, CNC milling parts experts

EONSI are experts in CNC milling. We design and create simple or highly complex parts with different production levels to meet any industrial need. Contact us and discover all the advantages of machining parts.