Computer numerical control milling or CNC milling is a manufacturing process that uses rotating cutting tools and computerized controls to cut material from a workpiece. CNC milling services are used to produce custom-designed products or parts from various materials, such as plastic, metal, wood, fiberglass, and more. In fact, cnc milling services offer various capabilities that include chemical, mechanical, thermal, and electrical processes. Being a mechanical process, the material is eliminated from the workpiece through mechanical means.
CNC Milling Basics
CNC milling uses computerized controls to manipulate and operate machine tools that shape and cut the workpiece. The process is not different from other CNC machining processes, and it follows these production stages:
Design of CAD model
Conversion of CAD model into the CNC program
Set up the equipment
Executing the operation
The milling process starts by creating a CAD design, which is then converted into the CNC machine program that dictates the actions of the machine. The operator must set up the equipment and workpiece properly. When the process is initiated, the milling machine rotates the cutting tool at high-speeds.
CNC Milling Operations
You should note that CNC milling service is suitable for making high precision prototypes and small parts. The process makes it possible to achieve a wide range of tolerances. In fact, some of them can achieve extreme tolerances of up to -/+ 0.0005 inches. Due to its versatility, this manufacturing technique can be used to make products for different industries and for various parts and designs. These are the common CNC milling operations.
This technique refers to machining with cutting tool’s axis is perpendicular to the workpiece. Ideally, the technique utilizes face milling cutters with teeth on the tool face and its periphery. You should note that the peripheral teeth are used to cut and face teeth for finishing applications. Face milling is suitable for making contours and flat surfaces on finished pieces. With this process, you can be guaranteed of quality finishes as compared to other milling operations. Side milling and end milling are the common forms of face milling.
It is also called slab or surface milling. In this case, the cutting tool rotates parallel to the workpiece. It uses plain milling cutters that have periphery teeth for cutting operations. This technique allows for both slower feed rates and faster cutting speeds.
In this process, the cutting tool rotates at an angle relative to the workpiece, and single-angle cutters are used. This technique helps produce angular features that include grooves, serrations, and chamfers. The common application is the making of dovetails.
This technique is used to make contours, outlines, and irregular surfaces. For instance, it is used to make flat and curved surfaces. Common applications include making beads, intricate designs, and hemispherical activities.
Advantages of CNC Milling Services
Before you order for the manufacture of components and parts, you need to know the benefits of CNC milling service. It does not matter the product or business; the benefits are evident.
CNC technology eliminates human error. Moreover, attaining an accuracy of 1/1000th is possible. As a result, high precision components manufactured can find uses in military and medical industries.
When you use it with CAD software, CNC milling machine can create products that cannot be made by conventional milling machines. Even the best engineers cannot make products with traditional machines that CNC machines can do. In fact, with this manufacturing technique, you can produce any texture, shape, and size.
Another advantage of CNC milling is utilizing less labor. Ideally, few operators are required to run production tasks. For instance, a programmer can run multiple autonomous machines. On the other hand, a conventional machine needs one operator per machine plus supervisors. The savings made on labor are passed to customers. In this way, you can have a competitive edge for your business rivals.
High speed, specialization, efficiency, less labor, and precision improve the bottom line of a manufacturing business. The savings made can be re-invested into the business. Making and saving more money are some of the benefits of CNC milling.
CNC milling services produce components or parts that match. However, if you use a conventional milling machine, you will produce parts with slight variations. Fortunately, with CNC technology, all parts match according to the exact specifications of the prototype.
Although manual machining has many applications, it is prone to human error. Also, if you lack adequate skilled operators, you will face financial issues. You do not want to deal with operators who cannot perform to your expectations. Fortunately, CNC machining eliminates all these concerns.
After loading a design into your CNC machining software and creating a rapid prototype, you can easily retrieve the design and use it to manufacture the component again. With the master file, you are sure to get the same results even with change if operators or machines. Also, you do not need to keep up with different versions of the design that only exist on a flash drive, computer, or disk.
With CNC milling service, you can create nearly any component you can think about. Some CNC milling machines have advanced accessories and features that simplify ad expedite the manufacturing process.
CNC milling machines do not need much service. You only need to change cutting tools and do some cleaning. As a result, you can save money as you do not have to seek a professional maintenance service.
Other than the consistent and quick production process, operators have a safe working environment. Unlike the conventional milling, with CNC machines, operators keep a distance from sharp tools, drills, and punches.
If you have not checked how your parts are being made, it would be a good idea to consider embracing CNC milling services. That is because this type of service offers a lot of benefits. Although it is not the cheapest option, the initial cost is an investment. Your business can enjoy efficiency, high-quality products, reliability, long-term savings, client retention, and more. It also increases volume, reduces set up time, and allows for the manufacture of complex components.