Posts Tagged: CNC Mills


Notable Differences Between CNC Turning and CNC Milling

CNC MillMilling and turning are everyday operations in a machine shop. Both techniques use a cutting tool to remove material from a solid block to make 3D parts. Removing material is what classifies them as subtractive manufacturing processes, but there are key differences to these operations.

Turning is an operation for a lathe.

The name ‘turning’ refers to the workpiece because it rotates about a central axis. The cutting tool remains stationary and is moved in and out of the workpiece to make cuts. Turning is used to create cylindrical parts and derivatives of cylinders; think of parts shaped like baseball bats, shafts, balusters and columns, for example.

A chuck holds the workpiece centered on a rotating spindle. A base secures the cutting tool so it can move along the axis of the workpiece and in or out radially. Feeds and speeds come from the rate of rotation of the part, the radial depth of cut and the rate the tool moves along the axis of the piece.

Turning operations include OD and ID cutting and grooving, boring, treading and drilling. Since the cutting tool exerts a force on the workpiece perpendicular to its axis, it is crucial to support the piece to reduce deflection.

In milling operations, on the other hand, the cutting tool rotates while the workpiece is fastened securely to a worktable.

The cutting tool or the table can move orthogonally in the X, Y or Z direction for cutting. Milling can create more complex shapes than turning. It can even produce cylindrical shapes, but for cost effectiveness, those shapes are best left to a lathe.

In a CNC mill, a chuck holds the tool in a rotating spindle. The tool is moved relative to the workpiece to create patterns on the surface of the workpiece. Feeds and speeds are calculated based on the rate of rotation of the cutting tool, the cutting tool diameter and number of flutes, the depth of the cut and the rate the cutting tool moves across the part.

The limitation of milling pertains to whether or not a tool can access a cutting surface. Using longer and thinner tools can improve access, but these tools can deflect, causing poor machining tolerances, bad surface finishes and more wear and tear on the tool. Some advanced milling machines have articulating heads to allow for angular cuts and improved access.

Both turning and milling operations are useful for creating complex parts. The primary difference will be in the shape of the final part. For cylindrical parts, go with turning. For most other parts, milling works best.


Take Control of Your CNC Mill With a Touch Screen Computer

Touch Screen ComputerCNC machines have come a long way since the advent of the personal computer. Many modern CNC mills and turning stations can interface seamlessly with PC software that offers operators unprecedented control over these powerful tools. That’s why we offer a dedicated all-in-one touch screen computer that can be mounted directly to your CNC machine with a flexible VESA arm.

These computers are manufactured by Dell, run the latest version of Windows 10 and come with our own Master MX Software preinstalled. This CNC software offers an intuitive graphical user interface that makes it easy to write complex commands and make fine adjustments to your machine’s cutting tools. Operators can choose simple commands from the software’s menu options, or dial in precise coordinates using the computer’s on-screen keyboard.

The computer’s VESA mount arm offers operators an extra measure of convenience, allowing them to quickly enter commands and then move the computer safely out of the way during the machining process. The computer also includes a dust cover to prevent damage from flying debris.

To see our all-in-one touch screen computer in action, check out the video below! These computers can be purchased on their own, or they can be included with your order of a new CNC machine from CNC Masters. We’ll even mount it to the side of the machine for you so you’ll be ready to start working as soon as your order arrives. To learn more, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today.


A Brief History of CNC Machining Innovations

A Brief History of CNC Machining InnovationsCNC machining is a process that has been in use since the 1950s, when John T. Parsons collaborated with the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory to develop a new type of milling device. Numerically Controlled (NC) technology preceded Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technology. NC machines utilized hardwired operating parameters so that the millers could only use one machine for one specific type of cut. This meant that if a miller wanted to use three different cuts, that miller had to have three different machines.

Once CNC machines became commercially available, milling technology advanced rapidly, giving millers the ability to cut complex curves as simply and easily as they would with straight lines. Furthermore, CNC automation enabled manufactures to duplicate products countless times with great accuracy. CNC automation also allowed for more flexibility in the way machines held parts in the manufacturing process, and reduced the time required to change the machine to produce different components.

Today, more than 60 years after they were invented, CNC machines have become a staple of modern manufacturing equipment.

From sculptors to automotive designers, these machines have been employed by craftspeople for a wide variety of applications. CNC Mills are more accessible and affordable than ever, and the software that powers them has come a long way as well. At CNC Masters, we offer our own Master MX Software that’s designed to make the CNC machining process as easy and intuitive as possible. With a clear visual interface and straightforward functionality, this software is much easier to use than more primitive CNC programs.

Interested in learning more about CNC machines and their applications? Give us a call today to speak with a representative!


Factors that Affect CNC Milling Quality

Factors That Affect CNC Milling QualityThanks to their ability to execute complex instructions and fabricate products to precise specifications, CNC mills can be incredibly useful tools to have around. But just because you finally got your hands on a CNC mill doesn’t mean you’ll be able to press ‘Go’ and start machining engine blocks right away.

Ultimately, the quality of your finished product will depend on a few different factors.

There are two main factors that control the results of CNC milling: Hardware and software.

These factors determine the capability of the milling machine and, consequently, the quality of work that can be produced. It is important that the software and hardware of a CNC machine should complement one another. At CNC Masters, we include our own custom CNC Master MX software package with each of our CNC mills.

Hardware

A typical mill is composed of four axes or pivot points that animate the machine head. These pivots make it possible for the machine to rotate, turn, and work on surfaces that are at difficult angles with the head. The more axes in a machine, the more flexible and versatile it will be.

Software

Software, on the other hand, is what drives the axes for precision machining; this is the brain of the machine.

CNC stands for computer numerical control, a set of alphanumeric commands that operators can enter into the software’s user interface.

  • These commands are then translated into a computer language called G-Code.
  • Each code corresponds to a precise action that the machine can interpret and execute in sequence to achieve a desired end result.
  • A complex project might utilize thousands of these G-Codes, each of which constitutes one small step in the manufacturing process.

For more information and other valuable tips about CNC milling, visit contact us online or call 1-877-262-8895.