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CNC Milling Machines

CNC Milling Machines

A CNC milling machine is the workhorse of the modern manufacturing industry. The simplest form of milling machine has a spindle that can move downwards in the z-axis, with the bed moving the part in the x and y-axes.

The type of machine required depends on the type of components being manufactured. The more complex the part, the more axes that are required for manufacture, resulting in higher costs.


Most entry level CNC mills have 3-axes of motion, the z-axis refers to the spindle which moves up and down and the x & y-axis refer to left and right, and forward and backwards movement. There are various ways in which these axes can be configured in a modern CNC mill.


A 4-axis CNC mill has the usual x, y and z-axes as listed previously but also has an additional a-axis. This axis rotates around the x-axis and is controlled by a servo motor.


A 5-axis CNC mill is a highly advanced machine that allows for the manufacture of highly complex components. It has all the axes of a 4-axis machine with an additional b-axis which rotates about the y-axis. This is also a servo controlled axis and does not spin at high rpm, so can not operate as a mill turn.


A 6-axis machine allows for advanced manufacturing and can offer a significant increase in manufacturing speed. Typical machines have a gantry style set up with the usual x, y and z-axes, however, the milling head has another 3 rotational axes which offer unparalleled capabilities.

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