Thanks to the reliability and versatility of CNC milling, countless products are possible today, from smartphones to supersonic jets. It is ideal for rapid prototyping and batch manufacturing of plastics and metals.
Digital technology and CNC milling machines can solve many problems that cannot be easily solved using existing methods. This technology handles workflow in a more efficient and efficient manner.
For example, the process of cutting metal for auto parts or even aerospace components would be far more risky without a CNC milling machine. With the support of a computer program, one can access and create high-definition designs that are easily converted to Cartesian coordinates. This process even helps reduce prototyping costs!
What is CNC milling?
CNC milling is a manufacturing process that selectively removes material from a raw substrate using cutting tools mounted on a rotating spindle. The workpiece is rigidly mounted on a table that moves or rotates in different planes, so the tool can work at multiple angles. Complex CNC milling machines can have 5 or more independent axes of motion to create more complex shapes or avoid moving the workpiece to a separate machine.
Learn about the CNC milling process
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling is responsible for revolutionizing machine shops, enabling them to mass produce detailed parts faster and more accurately than traditional methods. Once a CNC machine is programmed and set up, operators can produce more parts faster with good part-to-part repeatability, making the process ideal for high-volume manufacturing.
CNC milling machines combine computer-controlled precision to rotate and position multi-point cutters. As the raw material progresses through pre-programmed machining operations, the tool moves along the three main axes X, Y and Z to precisely cut the material. For intricate geometries, a 5-axis CNC mill will move along three linear axes, as well as two rotational axes.
Elimold is an expert in CNC milling and other CNC machining services, and we can help you choose the right material and method for your production run. This blog post will focus on CNC milling capabilities and common materials used in the process.
What are the advantages of CNC milling computer numerical control?
All these movements of a CNC milling machine rely on computer numerical control, a computer program derived from a 3D digital file of the desired finished part.
Early automated machine tools relied on punch cards to systematically control their basic movements. This technique works, but it’s a slow and cumbersome system, and punch cards cannot be modified once they’re made. These were later superseded by tapes, disk drives, and now all-digital instructions in G-code.
Not only is the control system fast and accurate, but unlike earlier systems, it can easily be modified in real-time line by line as needed to fine-tune machining programs for optimal CNC milling results.
How can CNC milling help you get quality parts?
Symmetrical parts that are essentially circular or radial are best machined on CNC turning centers for maximum efficiency and accuracy. But most of the parts we use are not circular or symmetrical, so they have to be machined on a milling machine.
Multi-axis milling machines are unmatched in creating squares, bevels, angles, slots and complex curves – any subtractive machining process can be done on a milling machine, including making circles. They are also accurate, typically holding a tolerance of 0.01 mm or 10 microns. We offer a wide variety of stocked materials for any application and offer the best incoming inspection and testing services.
When you send your CAD files to your Elimold business mailbox for a free quote, you not only get great parts and prototypes fast, but you also get peace of mind with the custom manufacturing services we offer.
CNC milling method
CNC milling is a form of subtractive manufacturing, which means removing material from a workpiece to produce the final design shape. The process begins with a computer-aided design (CAD) drawing or 3D model of the final assembly. This dimensional data is then exported into a language that computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software can understand. The CNC mill reads the generated CAM instructions and makes a series of precise machine movements along different paths and axes.
The following are the most common CNC milling methods:
Flat milling. Also known as surface milling, this milling process uses a cutting tool to remove material along the surface of a workpiece. In face milling, the axis of rotation is parallel to the workpiece.
Face milling. Face milling uses an axis of rotation perpendicular to the surface of the material. A cutting or grinding tool is placed face down on the workpiece surface to remove material.
Angular milling. This milling method positions the axis of rotation of the cutting tool at an angle to the surface of the workpiece to produce a design-specified bevel, such as a groove or dovetail.
Form milling. Form milling enables non-planar cuts such as contours, curves and radii. Each type of curve requires specific cutting tools to create precise shape cuts.
CNC Milling Applications
The benefits of CNC milling include its ability to cut a variety of materials and produce custom-designed parts faster than conventional machining. CNC milling can be used to machine parts in a variety of materials, such as:
Rare and Precious Metals
High temperature alloys
Fiber reinforced plastics
CNC milling can be used in any industry that requires precision components, including complex industries such as aerospace and military. Whatever your component geometry or material, Elimold can provide the right CNC milling process to meet your needs. To learn more about our capabilities, please contact us or request a quote.