The Different Types of CNC Milling

The Different Types of CNC Milling

The Different Types of CNC Milling

The versatility of milling makes it one of the most commonly used processes in CNC machining.  With the use of a single tool, machinists can create endless designs, shapes, and custom creations.  Milling is a fascinating process that transforms a single piece of metal into a complex tool or part.  Because the process is so versatile, there are a few different categories to arrange the types of milling that can be performed.  These types are organized by the material being milled, the tool being used, and the motion of the workpiece.  Let's take a look at the different types of CNC milling.

Shoulder Milling

This type of milling involves a cutting tool that is also spinning and traveling along the edge of the workpiece.  It leaves an L-shaped shoulder on the product with a specified width.  This is used when products need to have a truly defined, 90-degree angle cut into it.  

Face Milling

Face milling involves using a cutting tool that has a rotational axis perpendicular to the workpiece.  Essentially, the face milling cutting process occurs when the workpiece is 'face down.'  This will grind away into a flat surface or create shallow grooves within a flat surface.  This is one of the most commonly used milling types.

Thread Milling

Thread milling involves using a cutting tool that spins along the surface that is being threaded.  This will allow the machine to thread into a hole or on the outside of a surface.  This method can create threads with a variety of pre-determined diameters.  This is one of the most productive methods of CNC milling, although it is not used very frequently.

Profile Milling

During profile milling, a spinning tool will cut along a vertical or slanted surface.  This can be done with a variety of cutting methods.  Sometimes, the cutting tool will spin around an axis that is either parallel or perpendicular to the workpiece.  Other times, the cutting tool will involve movement around adjacent surfaces.

Chamfer Milling

Another type of milling is called chamfer milling.  This refers to the cutting tool that is called a chamfer, which means that the parts are all positioned at an angle from the workpiece.  The result of this milling process is an angled surface, which is typically replacing a 90-degree edge or a surrounding hole in the workpiece.

Groove or Slot Milling

Similar to what it sounds like, slot milling, sometimes known as groove milling, will cut a channel into the middle of the workpiece.  This method uses a disc-shaped cutting tool to achieve the designed width and length of the channel in the workpiece.

These are the different types of CNC milling that are used to create many custom and complex finished products in CNC machining.  With the complexity of the products we make, our state-of-the-art equipment provides highly precise finished products.  If you are interested to learn more about our CNC machined parts and the process we use, contact Limea Precision today.

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