Published at Saturday, 04 August 2018. Milling Machines. By Corine Patrick.
CNC milling machines usually use tools that have been standardized to an extent. While European manufacturers prefer SK tooling, those in the US prefer to use CAT tooling. The newer US versions include BT tooling, which due to its symmetrical design is supposed to be more stable at higher speeds. The hollow design of SK tooling gives it better gripping attributes and its stability at high speeds makes it the preferred choice for many users. While there is a lot of standardization in CNC milling machines, manual machines have little or no standard tools.
CNC milling machines can eliminate a lot of the manual labor for you. The CNC machine is controlled through a computer software program. The computer tells the machine exactly what to do by the way the software program is written. CNC machines are operated on several different axes and the software program has to written to accommodate the different axis. In other words, if the Z axis is left out in the software program, the machine will not move up and down. The computer software program is essentially the brain of the machine.
Different from drill press, where in the work piece is held fixed and the drill is the one to move vertically to make a way to the material, milling too involves movements of the work piece adjacent to the rotating cutter, but it is capable of cutting to cut up the sides along with the tips. The movements of the work pieces and cutters are accurately controlled, usually via the precision ground slides along with the lead-screw or with analogous technology. Milling machines can be operated manually, by mechanical automation or by digital automation via the Computer Numerical Control or CNC.
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