CNC Milling stands for Computer Numerical Control Milling machines. Milling is the machining process of drilling and cutting. It uses a cylindrical rotating cutting tool like a drilling machine. The only difference is that the milling machine does not move along only one axis but it can move in multiple axes and thereby create various types of shapes, slots and also holes. The CNC Milling devices have different axes which they work on. X and Y axis are used to denote the horizontal movement that is the movement from side to side when the plane is flat. The Z axis is for the up and down movement or the vertical movement. The W is the diagonal vertical movement.
Complex processes taken care of
These CNC Milling machines have 3 to 5 axes on which they operate upon. For highly complex milling, CAM or Computer Aided Manufacturing Programming is used and it helps to increase the performance due to the complexity of the machining process. In this machine, the computer that acts as controller is fed the program through a normal keyboard and the program is stored. If the program needs to be tweaked it can be done and different parts of the code can be reused depending on what needs to be produced. The reason why CNC Milling is required is because manual drilling machines are not able to produce shapes which a CNC Milling machine can produce. CNC Milling machines produce many components and the cost of these components has decreased as a result of the use of these machines. These are used for prototyping and fabrication work.
Some of the advantages
- The advantages of CNC Milling machines are that there is no need to turn them off.
- The only precaution is that regular maintenance needs to be done. This therefore increases the productivity of the machine.
- As it is computerized and numerically controlled, the precision of reproducing products is accurate.
- The original design can be replicated several thousand times without defect.
- As these machines are computerized, they do not require a lot of operators and so the cost of labor goes down and due to the continuous running of the machine, the productivity increases and therefore the cost of the product manufactured can decrease as well even though the quality will be consistently met.
- Training in the use of these CNC Milling machines is also available using virtual software in this way the materials are not wasted and the software is like a computer game.
- Due to the ease of this machine, the products can be designed even without making a prototype or a model. This is good as it does not allow time and money to be wasted.
- Also, one person can supervise many CNC Milling machines and dedicated people are not required for each machine as the machine runs on its own but only it needs the cutting tools to be replaced at times.
Disadvantages of the machine
- The disadvantage though is that this machine is more expensive than the manual devices.
- The workforce too needs proper training to use the machine and they should have mathematics as well as engineering backgrounds in order to operate these machines.
- Most countries do not teach their students to use traditional machines like lathes or manually operated milling machines and so the skills which are developed by a person who uses manual machines is lacking.
All types of material which can be drilled or all types of materials which can be cut can be machined by a CNC Milling machine. However, most of the work is done primarily using metals. Also, one should ensure that the proper tools are used for different materials else there could be problems.
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