Published at Saturday, September 08th 2018. by Gilda Puckett in Milling Machines.
Milling machines can be controlled through various different means. They can be operated manually. They can be digitally operated. They can be mechanically automated. They can even be operated through a computer system which is also known as computer numeric controlled (CNC).
At one time the machines were quite expensive to purchase and to operate. Now, because of the declination in the cost of computers and the availability of free operating systems, the CNC milling machines have dropped to more affordable prices. This has allowed many more shops to take advantage of this type of technology and has caused more competition in the machining industry. The shops now usually specialize in the type of work that they do.
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.
CNC milling machines are also known as machining centers. These machines are computer controlled as with all CNC machines. They operate on the Z axis and are vertical mills that move vertically. They offer precision and speed where one aspect does not affect the other. These CNC milling machines offer a cost effective alternative to hand engraving, flat surface work.
Basically, the CNC milling machine can operate completely on its own once the program has been written and downloaded to the machine. The operator will only have to get the machine set up with the right tools for the job and get the material into the proper position. From there, as they say, the rest is history. The machine will not stop until the complete program has been run through and the product is finished based upon what the program says. This will allow the operator to tend to other jobs or machines in the meantime.
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