5 CNC Milling Techniques for Your Best Designs

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The tensile qualities of metal make it one of the most exacting materials to work with. This difficulty also poses a significant challenge to producing detailed and accurate components. Traditional methods just couldn’t keep up with the tighter tolerances that modern engineering calls for.

This is where CNC milling techniques come in. Today, it is among the most common metal-working industrial processes. While others, such as laser and plasma, represent cutting-edge technology, they can’t simply stand up to the capability and complexity a CNC mill can deliver.  

To best understand CNC milling techniques, let’s take a look at what it is and how to use them. When you need accurate production on complicated designs or have a fabrication issue that needs to be solved, contact Elemet Manufacturing. We provide innovative solutions for manufacturing problems of all shapes and sizes.

What is CNC Milling?

CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-controlled rotary cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. The milling process can be used to create custom parts and prototypes from a variety of metals and other materials.

CNC milling machines are generally more accurate and efficient than traditional machining methods, and they can be used to create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to produce with other methods.

CNC milling is an essential machining technology for the modern manufacturing industry.

CNC Milling Techniques

As you can expect, there are various ways in which a CNC machine can achieve the various designs you create. You begin with a computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D model of the component you want.

The software then translates the model into a machine-readable form, which the Computer Numerical Control reads. The CNC mill carries out the instructions and uses different paths and movements to achieve the product. To accomplish your goal, a CNC machine may use the following techniques. 

1. Surface or Plain Milling

As the name suggests, the CNC machine employs various tools to subtract material from the surface of the item it is machining. During this process, the mill’s rotation axis moves parallel to the work item. 

The type of tool you use depends on the outcome you are expecting to achieve. If you’re looking for a quick outcome, use a wide cutter to remove material from the workpiece quickly. The result, however, may not be the finish you are looking for. 

To get a finer finish, it’s best to utilize a tool with finer teeth. You end up using fast cutting speeds and slow feed rates. The outcome is well worth the effort. 

2. Face Milling

industrial metalworking cutting process by milling cutter

When using the face milling technique, the machine’s rotational axis will be perpendicular to the surface of the workpiece. The tool faces the workpiece face down for the express purpose of removing material from it. 

It would be best if you relied on face milling for more intricate contours with a fine finish. The results tend to be superior in comparison to plain milling because the side teeth do the cutting while the tip teeth do the surface finishing.

3. Angular Milling

The angle milling process the metal plate part by flat end mill tool.

The cutting tool in this technique faces the workpiece’s surface at an angle. If your design has angular cuts such as dovetails or grooves, then this technique will take care of them quite easily. 

If you’re using a 3-axis mill, putting different cutters should be the way to go. You can count on dovetail cutters to attain angled grooves and a conical cutting head if you’re looking for chamfering. 

4. Form Milling

Form milling is your go-to technique when you want to get radii, counters, or curves. You employ different cutting tools to achieve specific accuracy for each detail you’ve worked into your design. Therefore, you spend less time switching between cutting heads.

Done right; you can realize the non-flat cuts in a single session. The tools can help you obtain various outcomes, such as round edges and recesses. They’ll need to be the appropriate tools to attain the result you want as accurately as possible. 

5. Profile Milling

CNC Milling Techniques

For concave or convex designs, it takes a three-step process to get desirable outcomes. These are rouging, half-finishing, and final finishing. For a proper profile milling session, use round inserts for the roughing and then ball-nose end mills for the semi-finishing and finishing steps of the process.  

Do You Need Advanced CNC Machining Services?

Then look no further than Elemet Manufacturing Services. We have been a market leader in providing innovative solutions for problems facing manufacturers all over the globe. We are a joint venture between Precision Waterjet Concepts and Aitkin Iron Works that merged; we provide you with over 100 years of experience.

Not only do we provide advanced CNC machining services, but we also offer 5-axis waterjet cutting, painting, welding, and other solutions. Our combined knowledge and experience make us a manufacturing powerhouse.

Let our team solve your manufacturing problems. Get in touch with us today.

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