CNC milling is the most common type of CNC machining. It can produce precise and complex parts, and under conditions of multi-variety and small-batch production, it can improve production efficiency and reduce the time required for production.
CNC milling involves the use of rotating cutting tools to remove small pieces of material from the workpiece to shape it or create holes. It can process various types of materials, including metals, plastics, and wood. As a CNC milling machining manufacturer, we will provide a detailed introduction to the parts, materials, and tolerances that CNC milling machining can produce.
Different types of milling operations
CNC milling can process various high-precision and complex features, including threads, chamfers, and slots. However, creating these features requires various milling operations, such as:
Face milling is the process of using a multi-tooth cutting tool to remove material from the side of the workpiece.
Shaping and finishing
End milling involves rotating cutting tools parallel to the workpiece surface, using the regular teeth of the milling cutter to perform the cutting operation.
Narrow-end mills can achieve deeper cuts, while wide-end mills are used for cutting larger surface areas.
Angular milling refers to cutting tools with a rotating axis relative to the workpiece surface at a certain angle.
Angular milling is one of the best milling operations for creating grooves, chamfers, slots, and other complex features.
Profile milling uses special tools to create more complex contours.
Profile milling can be used to process surface contours, circular edges, circular grooves, and parts with curved or completely bent surfaces.
It allows for precise cutting of the desired geometric shapes and dimensions on the workpiece surface or internally.
Common types of slot milling include flat, circular, square, irregular, and more.
Advantages of CNC milling machining
- High Precision Parts: CNC milling ensures excellent precision, making it the ideal choice for producing parts with strict tolerances.
- Fast and Efficient Part Production: CNC milling produces parts faster and more efficiently, ensuring higher consistency in part production.
- Reduced Material Waste: CNC milling minimizes material waste significantly. The process allows for precise cutting and chamfering, which maximizes material utilization.
- Multiple Material Options: CNC milling can process various materials, including alloys, non-ferrous metals, composite materials, and plastics.
- Lower Production Costs: CNC milling is an economically efficient manufacturing process that reduces production costs in several ways. It minimizes raw material waste, reduces damaged parts, and lowers energy consumption. This is particularly important for businesses relying on third-party manufacturers.
CNC milling applications in different industries
CNC milling has significant advantages in precision, production speed, energy efficiency, and cost reduction, making it a valuable technology across various industries.
CNC milling can produce complex shapes, precise tolerances, and high-quality parts. These parts find applications in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical fields.
CNC milling is widely used in the aerospace industry for producing precision components, such as aircraft parts, engine components, wing parts, and landing gear components.
- Aircraft Parts: Sleeves, hinges, fixtures, brackets, and customized components.
- Engine Components: Turbine blades, compressor blades, shafts, housings, and fuel system components.
- Wing Components: Wing ribs, wing beams, flaps, and wing tracks.
- Landing Gear: Landing gear components, including struts, beams, brackets, and support structures.
- Cockpit Components: Control panels, instrument housings, brackets, and mounting seats.
- Spacecraft Components: Structural elements, satellite components, and space exploration systems.
CNC milling machining in automotive manufacturing can produce high-quality automotive parts with strict tolerances and complex geometric shapes.
- Powertrain Components: Engine blocks, cylinder heads, and crankshafts.
- Suspension Components: Control arms, brackets, and bushings, among other suspension components.
- Exhaust Components: Manifolds, flanges, and inner pipes.
- Carburetor Housing: Carburetor housings. CNC machining can accurately process complex shapes and features in these housings.
- Fluid System Components: Connectors, fittings, and reservoirs.
- Bushings and Valves: Valves for engines and other vehicle systems, as well as valve retainers.
- Custom Performance Parts: Intake manifolds, throttle bodies, and fuel rails.
- Lighting: Headlights and interior lighting fixtures. Acrylic glass may require additional grinding and polishing after CNC machining.
- Interior Panels: CNC milling is used to manufacture interior components such as dashboards.
- Other Miscellaneous Parts: Such as brackets, bolts, radiator hoses, clutch parts, gearbox components, etc.
CNC milling is applied in the electronics industry to achieve efficient production processes, rapid prototyping, and the creation of complex and customized electronic parts. Some applications of CNC milling in the electronics industry include:
- Housings: CNC milling is used to manufacture housings for electronic devices.
- Printed Circuit Boards (PCB): CNC milling can replace chemical etching for PCB fabrication and provide precise and reliable circuit layouts.
- Heatsinks: CNC milling is used to manufacture heatsinks with complex geometries and efficient cooling capabilities.
- Sockets and Connectors: Sockets and connectors used in electronic devices.
- Semiconductors: The semiconductor industry frequently uses CNC machining equipment capable of processing materials such as silicon and aluminum nitride.
Through CNC milling machining, manufacturers in the medical industry can achieve high precision, strict tolerances, and repeatability for their components.
- Healthcare Industry: CNC machining is used in the medical industry to manufacture high-precision medical components, such as surgical instruments, electronic housings, orthotics, and implants.
- Surgical Instruments: Scissors, forceps, clamps, and retractors.
- Optical Instruments: CNC milling is used to produce precision parts for optical instruments in the medical industry.
- Medical Equipment Components: CT and MRI scanner system components, respiratory equipment components, cardiovascular equipment, and cardiac device components.
- Dental Equipment Parts: CNC milling can be used to manufacture complex and precise dental equipment parts.
- Die-cut Parts: CNC milling is used in the die-cutting process to manufacture complex medical components using materials like plastic, rubber, and foam.
Oil and gas industry
CNC milling can produce precise parts required in the oil and gas industry, including pistons, cylinders, rods, pins, and valves.
- Pumps and Pumping Systems: Impellers, casings, and valves, among other parts, are also used to manufacture high-pressure pump components.
- Drilling Parts: Drilling parts used in oil and gas exploration.
- Hydraulic Components: Cylinders, pistons, rods, and valve parts.
- Electric Submersible Pump: Manufacturing components for electric submersible pumps.
- Atomizer: Manufacturing atomizer parts.
- Drive Systems: Valve and control mechanism components.
Material for CNC milling
CNC milling can process various materials, including metals and plastics. Below are some commonly used materials in CNC milling:
- Aluminum: Aluminum alloys such as 6061, 6082, and 7075.
- Stainless Steel: Grades like 304 and 316 stainless steel.
- Low Carbon Steel: Low carbon steels like 1018 and 1045, are commonly used and cost-effective materials.
- Titanium: Titanium offers excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature stability.
- Copper and Brass: Copper and brass alloys are known for their excellent conductivity and thermal properties.
- ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): ABS is a versatile and cost-effective plastic with good impact strength and electrical resistance.
- Nylon: Nylon has high strength, rigidity, and good chemical resistance.
- Acrylic: Acrylic, also known as PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate), is a transparent material with excellent optical properties.
- Delrin (Polyoxymethylene): Delrin is a high-strength plastic with good dimensional stability and low friction characteristics.
- Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate offers high impact resistance, transparency, and good thermal stability.
CNC Milling Machining Parts Tolerances
Tolerances are crucial for ensuring that products meet the required specifications and functional requirements. CNC milling tolerances refer to the allowable limits or variations in dimensions or measurements of machined parts produced through the CNC milling process.
Specific tolerances for CNC milling products may vary, depending on factors such as the machining material, part complexity, machining process, and intended application.
To ensure appropriate CNC milling tolerances for machined parts, engineers and designers need to consider various factors, such as fit and assembly requirements, functional dimensions, fit with other parts, and overall part functionality.
Specific tolerances may vary based on the requirements of individual projects. If you have any questions about tolerances, you can consult our engineers.
In conclusion, CNC milling stands as a cornerstone technology with widespread and versatile applications across diverse industries. From automotive and aerospace to medical devices, electronics, tool and die making, and custom prototyping, CNC milling plays a pivotal role in shaping modern manufacturing landscapes.