Milling machines are a type of machine tools that were used in machine solid materials. This type of machine has an existing two fundamental forms; the horizontal and the vertical form, the terms was derived from the direction of cutting-tool-spindle.
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.
Almost all CNC milling machinery were controlled by the computer vertical mills having the ability of vertically moving the spindle alongside with Z-axis. With this added point of freedom, it allows the use of die-sinking, engraving functions so as 2.5D surfaces like relief sculptures. Once joined with the neither helping conical tools nor ball-nose cutters, it will surely improve the milling accuracy devoid from impacting the speed, giving the cost-efficient alternatives to the majority of flat-surfaced hand engraving works.
CNC machines are able to survive to almost every form of manual machinery like the horizontal mills. Multi-axis machines are the mainly advanced feature of the CNC milling machine, it was added by two or more axes from the normal three axes, the XYZ.
The horizontal milling machine as well has the C or the Q axis that permits the horizontal mounted work-piece that can be rotated and basically permits the asymmetric along with the eccentric turning. B axis or fifth axis manages the tilting of tools by itself.
Once all of the axes were in union with one another, very complicated geometries are able to be made easily with this kind of machine. However, the ability to program the complicated geometry is beyond the most operators’ ability. For that reason, 5-axis mill machines at all time is programmed by the CAM.
Different types of milling machines and the basic parts
* Box or column mills – a very basic bench-mounted machine which features the head going up and down the column or the box ways.
* Turret or vertical ram mills – usually referred as the Bridgeport-type, with spindles that could be aligned to various positions.
* Knee mill or the knee-and-column mill – this is referred to any machine that the x-y tables are riding up and down the line on vertical adjustable knees.
* C-Frame mills – it features knee and set spindle head which only moves vertically.
* Planer-style mills – this is a large mill that was built like planers with the exception of milling spindle in place with the planning head.
* Floor Mills – it contains a row of rotating tables, along with the horizontal spindle fixed on the set of rails which runs parallel above the table rows. These mills are chiefly converted to Computer Numerical Control.