The Basics Of CNC Mills
CNC mills are automated cutting machines using a rotating spindle-head to cut away unwanted material. CNC milling machines come in a variety of sizes and different axis configurations. They are mainly utilized to cut harder metals but can work with workpiece materials ranging from plastic and aluminum to stainless steel and titanium.
How CNC Milling Works
CNC mills excel at profile cutting harder materials. Like all CNC machines, a CNC mill is controlled with G-Code created through CAM software. The Gg-Code instructs the machine where to move the tool head, how fast to spin the tool, how deep to cut, how to move the workpiece, and other factors relating to speed, feed rate, and coordination. The G-Code complexity depends on how many axes the milling machine has.
Mills can still be used for profile cutting of softer materials, but are not as cost-effective for that use as CNC routers. The main difference between these machines is that with a CNC router the workpiece remains stationary while the router cutting head is directed around the piece, while a CNC mill may move both tool head and workpiece. CNC mills are mainly used in industrial manufacturing, while CNC routing is more common for lower output manufacturing like woodworking.