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CNC Milling And Turning-Two Unique Processes
Mar 15, 2017

CNC Milling And Turning-Two Unique Processes


CNC milling and turning machines are found in precision engineering shops across the country. They offer a valuable and irreplaceable resource for communities as well as for businesses. All kinds of parts are made in CNC shops, parts being custom or bulk made to meet the individual demand of the customer. Below is a look at the different between two of the major processes that go on every single day in CNC shops; CNC milling and CNC Turning.

CNC Milling and Turning : The Difference

Firstly we will discuss CNC Milling. A CNC milling machine uses commands or G-Codes that are programmed into the machine via a software programme. The CNC milling machine recognises the codes that it is sent, and goes on to mill and drill along axes to cut the workpiece into the exact shape that has been programmed into the computer.

CNC Milling machines can be controlled by computer, or via a manual override. The manual override can perform tasks such as speeding up or slowing down the speed of the cutting or drilling. There are too many products made by CNC milling to mention. They include linkages, arms, pulleys, and valves. CNC mills will often be used to replicate a part, using a stronger material for the new part, such as replacing a plastic part with one milled from aluminium.

CNC Turning

CNC turning is similar, yet different from CNC milling, and relies on computer controlled machines to perform its actions. CNC Turning uses a cutting tool that is single-pointed, and that is inserted parallel to the material that is to be cut. The workpiece is rotated at varying speeds, the cutting tool being able to traverse the two axis of motion to produce cuts that are off exact diameters and depths.

CNC turning can also be used on the outer edge of materials, creating tubular shapes such as those that you find in drive shafts or bolts. A CNC turning machine can create a perfect circular outer edge to a workpiece, and it can also be used inside the material. When used inside the workpiece, it is used to create a tubular cavity.

Modern CNC turning is almost always automated, the levels of accuracy being far greater than those that could be reached with a hand held lathe. CNC turning is used widely for parts for the plumbing industry, where tubular parts are used for pipes as well as for couplings. A modern CNC turning machine can create several hundred identical parts in hours. A hand held lathe would take hours to make just one part.

CNC milling and turning are just two of the most common processes you will find in action when you visit a CNC machine shop. You will also find plasmacutters, and advanced CNC machines that can work on 4 or 5 axes. The speed with which parts can be produced allows for the resale value of components to be kept down. This in turns means that CNC is an industry that is forever growing and one that will never fade.