A useful guide for businesses dealing with manufacturing. An introduction to CNC turning and milling will provide you start with the basics.

CNC stands for ‘Computer Numerical Controlled’, and in short means that the process in question will be carried out by machines that are controlled by a computer, as opposed to being manually controlled.

There are plenty of options here, for example, CNC Lathe is used for cutting. You also have CNC turning and milling, which we will explain below.

CNC Milling

CNC milling is a process that can be used on an abundance of materials, including aluminium carbon steel, fibreglass, copper, titanium, stainless steel, brass, and much more. During the process, the computer will translate the design into instructions regarding drill movement in order to create what is required. The drill can tilt at an angle, move up or down, and the table can also move the part laterally. We may also rotate the part if the demands are complex. 

The advantages of CNC milling are extensive, including cost efficiency, quicker turnaround times, the ability to overcome complex engineering issues, automated cooling, and greater precision – typically 0.0001 inches or better!

Companies tend to have both four and five-axis milling available. The latter is ideal for those with complex requirements. Repeatable accuracy of parts is guaranteed, as parts can be completed in two different settings. 5 axis machining can be utilised on a wide range of different materials, from basic materials, like stainless steel, to more exotic materials, such as high-temperature superalloys. If your project doesn’t have any awkward or complicated demands, 4 axis milling will ensure optimal precision and cost-efficiency. 

No matter what CNC milling solution you require, you need to choose a company with care. Take the time to conduct plenty of research to ensure that the company has a great reputation in the industry and that they use the most modern machinery to ensure the very best results.

CNC Turning

CNC turning is a process that uses large pieces of material to generate parts with tubular or round shapes. A cutting tool with a single point is used during turning. It is inserted parallel to the material that is going to be cut. This material is rotated using different speeds and the cutting tool traverses the 2 axis motion to create cylindrical cuts with precise diameters and depths.

Just like CNC milling, turning has become an automated process due to the fact that it offers greater accuracy, quicker turnaround times, and cost-efficiency. The best experts will have invested heavily in the latest CNC turning equipment to ensure the best results, and you will need to ensure their team has the necessary experience and qualifications to carry out this work to the optimal standard. 

The best companies in the industry can supply CNC turned parts that look, fit, and seal together like a dream, with tolerances down to 10 microns and a surface finishes down to 0.4 Ra. From medical plastics and polycarbonate to stainless steel and aluminium, they can work with a whole host of materials with exceptional surface finishes.

Once you’ve read our introduction to CNC turning and milling, do let us know if you found any other useful knowledge or even had theoretical experience that may benefit our readers.

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