Mills: what are mills and why are they used?

Milling machines are chip processing machines, which work in the “milling” method. Machining is a very important approach in the manufacturing world for processing raw materials and creating different parts and products. Milling machines are a particularly prominent type of machine, in regards to the realization of manufacturing processes based on machining. This is a type of subtractive manufacturing, unlike the additive manufacturing approach, which you see for example in 3D printing. What does this actually mean? All the answers in the article in front of you.

Charsomat: What is it?

Machining can be realized in different ways depending on the desired results. In each of the ways, the basic principle is the same – gradual removal of “chips” from the raw material (hence the name chip processing) in various shapes and in a wide range of sizes. At the end of this process, only what we wanted to receive remained from the original block of material. Whether it is a single part of a product or the final product in itself. The process is carried out using the “charsumat” machine, which in its basic and old form is a manually operated machine. There is also a computerized version, which is called Computer Numerical Control. Using a CNC machine, you can perform machining work according to work programs that are on the computer, all of this automatically, quickly and extremely precisely. A typical milling machine performs its function by rotating a milling head, the various properties of which depend on the task and the material to be machined. Also, such a machine will have several types of complementary systems: security systems that will prevent injury to the machine operators and the object being processed, and special liquids used, if necessary, to cool the area being worked on. There are also measuring and quality assurance and auditing equipment. Since milling machines are a very important type of machine, they are available by themselves as a product in a wide variety of models. This way you can choose engravings in different sizes, in different price ranges and of course in technical specifications that suit your requirements. Of course, when you contact a large company that provides machining services, it should have machines of all types that will allow you to fully respond to your requirements. 

What types of milling machines are there?

These machines can be divided into two main types:

Conventional milling machines

Manually operated milling machines are the basic type of machines in this field. Their operation sometimes requires quite a bit of skill and experience. The operator should, among other things, move the object being worked on in different axes of position and movement and also the head of the machine itself. This is the original and oldest type of machine that still exists in the field. These are simple and relatively cheap machines with which you can do a lot. They can, for example, achieve the necessary precision in such works, since they themselves are precisely built, strong and stable. Unlike using manual tools, the head that processes the raw material is part of a heavy and stationary machine. The raw material itself is also held by the machine, so the whole system works well. On the other hand, this is a slightly slow solution, so there is also a more modern version for mills.

Numerically controlled milling machines ( NC/CNC )

The CNC machines that we mentioned earlier open up new and extremely important possibilities in relation to the manual milling machines. They can be used for extended work for extremely fast processing of large quantities of products. The milling machines save another important resource – manpower, although of course human supervision is needed and above all someone to plan the way the machine works. The work instructions are sent directly from the computer to the CNC mill. The computerized format also makes it easy to save multiple work programs and transfer programs for this purpose from computer to computer.

So which type of machines is better – conventional milling machines or CNC milling machines? Technically, CNC machines are better. Financially, for those who purchase them, this question is much more complex. In a small scope of work, a manual machine may be the most cost-effective solution. It is also a simpler solution that does not require a computer and software. Approach the machine and simply do directly and immediately what is required. In large production quantities or when extremely fast production is required, CNC is often the answer. In many cases, both types of machines are used, each at a more suitable time and place. But those who hire machining services should not be bothered by this – the products they order will be processed with the most appropriate tools.

What types of milling exist?

It is possible to perform the “milling” work in the material in many ways and according to the desired result. The operation may be in different types of milling machines:

  • Disc milling – a type of milling that is mainly intended for cutting work.
  • Face milling – a nickname for the process of processing different surfaces using milling.
  • Drunk milling – a milling pattern, which is mainly used to create grooves.
  • Finger milling – a solution for making grooves, for various cutting and finishing works and more.

For all these, there are suitable tools that work with the gnawing. It is important to emphasize that a grinder is a fairly flexible machine, also in terms of replacing such heads. It is possible to combine suitable heads in it, depending on the need, in different shapes and sizes. The heads are of course very strong products in themselves – they are built in such a way that the chips they remove from the material will be pulled upwards, away from the object they are working on. Despite their strength, the milling heads wear out over time and must be replaced. Also, choosing the right head for the task is an important consideration that may be complex.

What are milling machines used for?

Milling machines may be used to produce many types of products including:

  • Electronic Zivod equipment – the production of the hard shell of electronic equipment for its various types.
  • Unique spare parts – special spare parts, which are not produced in mass production.
  • Parts for the medical field – production of parts for the medical equipment field. This field often requires precision and production quality, at particularly high levels.

In fact, there are many more uses for these machines and they are not even limited to metal. In the field of carpentry, for example, the possibility of milling with a manual machine (“rotter”) is known. Anywhere where precise metalworking is required, such as the aerospace industry, you’re likely to find a use for milling cutters.

What are the differences between a milling machine and a drilling machine?

Drilling is a kind of point milling for depth, therefore a drilling machine and even manual drills can be described as a simple version of milling work. This is essentially milling which is limited to a relatively thin bore shape and thickness. Milling machines are more sophisticated machines, which enable operation and result at higher complex levels. They offer more work directions and movement axes. In a general view, both a milling machine and a drilling machine are two types of machining machines, from a wide selection of options. There are other machines that specialize in a specific mode of operation or for a special purpose. Where many or particularly advanced engraving works are required, engraving machines can be used as a complement to milling machines. Machining using a laser, may add to the capabilities of fast and accurate processing. The same goes for the electro erosion method, which expands the possibilities regarding product processing. Even in relation to the specialized machines such as a drilling machine – a crucible is a very versatile product.

In conclusion

If you are interested in machining, an introduction to the world of milling will be an excellent starting point for this.

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