There are many different operations that fall under the general category of machining. One of the most often used for shaping the exterior of a workpiece is milling. The choice of CNC milling services means that the milling process is controlled by the computer, allowing for precision parts and components shaped to extremely high tolerances.
The Milling Process
The choice of CNC milling services is very common when there is the need for a complex shape to the exterior of the part, or the component, such as a flat surface or a stepped surface. The cutting is completed by a specialized multi-point cutting tool that removes small amounts of the metal or the workpiece to produce the desired shape.
The option to use milling over other types of surface shaping is ideal when there may be parts of the workpiece that are not shaped during the process. The cutting tool is able to complete what is known as intermittent cutting, which means it can lift up and off the surface in some areas and lower down in others.
During milling, the multi-point cutting tool is rotated as a specifically selected speed. This speed, which is measured in RPMs or revolutions per minute, is adjusted based on the hardness and physical properties of the workpiece material. The rotation and velocity of the cutting tool increases as the material becomes harder, creating a smooth, finished surface even with very hard materials.
The workpiece moves on the worktable, while the cutting tool remains in a constant position. In this type of application, precision control of the worktable and the RPM of the cutting tool is essential for quality cutting. In addition, and with hard materials or extensive cutting, CNC milling services can also include cutting fluid as part of the process, both to flush away chips and also to reduce heat generation during the process that can impact the physical properties of the workpiece.