One of the essential roles of a Minnesota machining company is to advise the OEM on the best production method for their precision part requirements. Different options from turning, milling, and even grinding can be used to create shapes on workpieces using CNC or computer numerical control technology.
Milling itself is not a new technology, but with today’s equipment and the ability to cut along multiple axes, shaping metal, plastic or other types of composite materials is fast, effective and can be completed with extreme precision.
Choosing precision CNC milling for the production of parts and components is often the right choice for low to high volume precision part orders. Working closely with an experienced Minnesota machining service can assist in evaluating options for the part that meet the standards required, the cost, and the order volume.
What is Milling?
Like all types of machining, milling uses specially designed cutting tools to remove material from the external surface of the workpiece to create the desired final shape. The use of precision CNC milling means the process is controlled by computer, ensuring precise cuts that are identical on all parts produced using the specific file.
For high volume orders or for ongoing orders over time, this means that each part is produced based on the original file data, resulting in parts and components that are identical to each other as well as to the original.
There are a variety of machines that can be used for precision CNC milling. The two specific milling machines most commonly used are horizontal or vertical milling centers. The size of the workpiece, as well as the desired angles of the cutting tool, dictates either the vertical or the horizontal orientation of the spindle.
In general, a vertical mill is an ideal choice for more basic designs, smaller parts, and fewer angles required, while the horizontal milling center is ideal for more angles, heavier and longer workpieces, and more complex overall designs.
There is also combination milling and turning machines, which can also be a cost-effective option where multiple axis and complex configurations are required.