What is CNC milling?
CNC is the abbreviation of “Computer Numerical Control”. CNC machines are computer-controlled and are used for the automated processing of materials and semi-finished products. The machines are programmed, which means that they can endlessly repeat the most complex processes with micro precision, both in series and as piecework.
CNC machines can be used for various machining processes, such as CNC turning and CNC milling. A CNC milling centre contains a cylindrical milling tool that rotates at high speed. The metal to be machined disappears as soon as it comes into contact with the sharp teeth of the machine headstock. By moving the headstock over the material, the machine creates an extremely smooth surface that meets high tolerance requirements. By so doing, we can process the metal from different axes and create various shapes, holes or slots. The main difference from CNC turning is that, in milling, the tool itself moves and rotates while the product remains stationary.
Automated CNC milling by using CAD/CAM software
The CNC milling centre relies on digital drawings to perform specific processes. We use CAD/CAM software for this. You provide us with 2D or 3D drawings or our technical draughtsmen create a digital design for you. We upload this drawing (the CAD design) to our CAM software which generates the machine code for the CNC milling centre. The machine relies on the machine code to know which operations it must perform at which turning and milling speed, what the product’s position in relation to the headstock is and which milling tools are required. The headstock has a tool change system and can perform multiple types of milling operations during one session.
Some CNC milling options
1. 3-axis CNC milling
In 3-axis machining, only the top side of the product is machined. The headstock moves perpendicular along the X‑, Y and Z axes.
2. 4-axis CNC milling
In 4-axis machining, the headstock machines the product along four axes of movement. The additional rotating axis can rotate the workpiece.
3. 5-axis CNC milling
In 5-axis machining the product is machined on five sides in one set-up. The fifth axis (the B-axis) rotates the spindle from left to right.
4. Vertical CNC milling
Vertical milling centres have a vertical spindle and do not take up much space. Due to their relatively small base, less floor space is required and the processing area is easily accessible to the operator.
5. Horizontal CNC milling
In horizontal milling centres, the spindle is in a horizontal position, which is excellent for the precision machining of large series.
6. CNC turning and CNC milling
The CNC turning and milling centre is ideally suited for parts that need both milling and turning. It combines CNC turning and CNC milling.
CNC milling is used to create bevels on parts of welded constructions. Thanks to the bevelled welded edge, parts can be welded together much more easily.
8. Face milling
Metalworking is subject to tolerances. There may be a deviation between the product and the nominal size, for example. Did previous machining of the metal influence this tolerance? We use face milling to eliminate any such deviation.