A milling machine or mill for short, functions by spinning at very high speeds, a cutting tool (eg- a mill or drill) relative to the work piece (or part to be converted from raw material into finished good) which is held stationary. In some cases the work piece is moved in very slow relative motions in coordination with the cutting tool. When the high speed cutting tool comes in contact with the raw material it starts to shave away the surface layer of the material in small chunks or chips. A good analogy for this would be the way a chisel works on wood, or even a knife through butter. As the cutting tool takes more and more material off, the automated controller continues to extend the tool into the part until the desired shape or dimension is achieved. The speed at which the spindle (the element that holds the cutting tool) spins is referred to as the Spindle Speed or often just Speed. The rate at which the tool moves relative to the work piece (movement along an X, Y or Z axis) is referred to as the Feed Rate or just Feed. The Speed and Feed rates are very critical and need to be highly controlled to conform to the unique characteristics of different materials, cutting tool types, and features being machined. In a CNC this process of material removal is automated and therefore highly controlled and very repeatable.
Metal is perhaps the most common material type to be machined on a CNC Milling Machine, but these machines can also process various plastics, woods, composites and ceramics along with myriad other elements and compounds. Metal machining ranges from carbon and stainless steels to aluminum alloys to brass and copper to a variety of specialty and exotic metals like Inconel, Hastelloy, etc.
Sincerely Steel Technology
Client Success Team (CRM),
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