Subtractive machining procedure: Milling

Milling is a process consisting in cutting material with a rotary cutter that can have one or several blades. Cutting occurs by combining the rotation of the tool with movement of the tool or the workpiece.

It depends on the design of the machine whether it is the tool or the table that moves, or a combination of both.

This movement is done in the direction of any of the three possible axes along which the table, with the workpiece attached, can move.

The machine used is called a milling machine, which often has multiple options and variations.

As it has another motion, the workpieces made in a milling machine are much more varied and can be more complex compared to those manufactured with a lathe.

Therefore, a milling machine is a machine with a cutting tool attached to the spindle and with linear motion in three directions (X – Y – Z). The workpiece is attached to the table using the chosen fastening procedure, and the movement in these three directions is what is called the axes of the machine (hence, 3-axis milling machine).

When a numerical control milling machine has an automatic tool changer, it is called a machining centre.

Depending on the number of axes, optionally it may have 4, 5 or, in very special cases, more axes.

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