Computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining is used to craft a huge range of products and parts, from many different materials. Milling is just one type of machining that can be performed by CNC, but milling is far from just one process! Have a look below at the many different types of milling that can be carried out by a CNC milling machine, and the unique features of each!
Plain milling, sometimes referred to as slab milling, is the primary type of milling to be used on plain, flat, and horizontal surfaces. Plain milling can be performed as down-milling, where the cutter rotates in the same direction as the curvature of the cut, or up-milling, where it rotates in the opposite direction.
Straddle milling is typically used for milling various vertical surfaces in a single cut. This is achieved by a pair of side milling cutters, placed in opposite directions on either side of the workspace, so that they material to be cut has been straddled by the cutting tools.
In face milling, the tool has several teeth compared to the tool used for plain milling. The tool is also kept in a perpendicular axis to the surface of the material, the teeth in contact with the surface provides a finished texture whereas the teeth on the edge are for raw materials.
Gang milling uses a single arbor with multiple milling cutters on it to cut different horizontal surfaces. The cutting speed depends on the cutter with the largest diameter as the cutters vary in size on the arbor.
End milling is used in various ways, whether it be horizontally, vertically or at an angle. This CNC milling process is flexible in its application, it can produce flat surfaces, grooves and narrow slots on the workpiece.
Last but not least, we have angular milling! In angular milling, the tool is arranged in an angle from the surface of the workpiece. The tool may have one or a couple of angles and is used for non-perpendicular and non-parallel surfaces to the axis of the tool.