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What is milling?

October 30, 2023

What is milling?

Milling is a machining process used to remove material from a workpiece to form the desired shape. Milling operations are typically performed on a milling machine, which is a machine tool that uses rotating cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. Milling is a versatile machining method suitable for workpieces of various shapes and sizes, including flat surfaces, curved surfaces, slots, holes and threads.

Here’s how milling basically works:

Workpiece Holding: First, the workpiece is mounted on the workpiece holder of the milling machine to ensure that the workpiece is fixed and cannot move. Clamping systems often come in a variety of designs to accommodate workpieces of different shapes and sizes.

Select the tool: Depending on the required cutting task, select the appropriate milling tool. Different types of cutting tools are suitable for different cutting operations, such as face mills, end mills, ball nose mills, etc.

Set cutting parameters: The operator needs to set the cutting parameters of the milling machine, including cutting speed, feed rate, cutting depth and cutting path. These parameters influence the quality and efficiency of the cutting process.

Start milling: Once the positions and parameters of the tool and workpiece are set, the milling machine starts and the cutting tool begins to rotate and move, gradually removing material from the workpiece and forming the desired shape.

Monitoring and measuring: Operators typically monitor the milling process on a regular basis and use measuring tools, such as micrometers or OD micrometers, to ensure that the size and shape of the workpiece meet specifications.

Completing Milling: Once the workpiece reaches the desired size and shape, the milling operation stops and the workpiece can be removed from the work holding fixture and prepared for further processing or use.

Milling is a versatile machining method suitable for a variety of different materials, including metals, plastics and composites. It can be used to manufacture various parts, such as mechanical parts, molds, gears, threads, flat surfaces and curved surfaces. Milling operations offer the advantages of high precision and surface quality and are suitable for mass production and precision machining.

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