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Experience Quality CNC Milling with ETCN!

Experience precision engineering and quality CNC milling services with ETCN. Our advanced machinery, skilled staff, and strict quality control protocols ensure the highest level of accuracy for every project. We offer a comprehensive range of CNC machining options to meet all your manufacturing needs, with cost-effective solutions that guarantee superior product performance. Take your business to the next level today – contact ETCN to learn more about our CNC milling services.

  • Get Quality CNC Milling Services in China

• Experienced team of engineers for top-quality CNC milling services
• Cutting-edge technology for accurate and consistent results
• Fast turnaround times and streamlined processes to save time and money
• Tailored solutions to match unique needs
• Professional service and support for reliable CNC milling in China

Recommend readingPrecision CNC Milling: Everything You Need To Know

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CNC Milling Service Specifications

SpecificationDescriptionConsiderations
Material TypeThe type of material being milled- Metals (e.g. aluminum, steel, brass) - Plastics (e.g. ABS, PEEK, nylon) - Other materials (e.g. wood, foam)
Part GeometryThe complexity and dimensions of the part- 2D or 3D milling - Number of axes (e.g. 3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis) - Size limitations - Undercuts and overhangs
ToleranceThe allowable deviation from the desired dimensions- Standard tolerances (e.g. ±0.005") - Tight tolerances (e.g. ±0.001") - Ultra-tight tolerances (e.g. ±0.0005")
Surface FinishThe final appearance and texture of the milled part- As-milled finish (e.g. Ra 250 µin) - Smooth finish (e.g. Ra 125 µin) - Polished finish (e.g. Ra 32 µin) - Anodized or coated finishes
Batch SizeThe number of parts to be produced in a single run- Prototype (1-10 units) - Low volume production (10-100 units) - Medium volume production (100-1,000 units) - High volume production (1,000+ units)
Delivery TimeThe time required to complete the order and ship the parts- Standard lead time (e.g. 2-3 weeks) - Expedited lead time (e.g. 1 week) - Rush lead time (e.g. 2-3 days)
Machine TypeThe type of CNC milling machine used- Vertical milling machines - Horizontal milling machines - Gantry milling machines
Process ControlThe methods used to ensure consistent quality and accuracy- In-process inspection - Statistical process control (SPC) - First article inspection (FAI)
Quality Check SystemThe systems in place to verify the final quality of the milled parts- Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) - Optical comparators - Surface profilometers
CAD/CAM SoftwareThe software used for designing the parts and generating toolpaths- Autodesk Fusion 360 - SolidWorks - Mastercam - HSMWorks
Cost RangeThe expected cost for CNC milling services based on the specifications and requirements of the project- Low complexity parts: $50-$200 per part - Medium complexity parts: $200-$500 per part - High complexity parts: $500+ per part Note: Costs may vary depending on factors such as material, batch size, and additional finishing services.

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CNC Milling: Everything You Need to Know

Discover the fundamentals of CNC milling and make informed decisions for your business with ETCN’s essential guide to CNC machining. Gain a better understanding of the milling process and its terminology while exploring the potential benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing your milling needs. Start your journey towards mastery today with ETCN.

What is CNC Milling and How Does it Work?
Part - 1:What is CNC Milling and How Does it Work?

CNC milling utilizes computer-guided machines to shape materials, involving diverse components and machine types, streamlining complex design production.

Vertical and Horizontal Milling: Which is the Best Choice?
Part - 2 :Vertical and Horizontal Milling: Which is the Best Choice?

Vertical and horizontal milling offers distinct advantages, with vertical machines excelling in versatility and ease of use, while horizontal machines provide increased precision and power for heavy-duty projects.

Understanding Different Types of CNC Milling Machines
Part - 3:Understanding Different Types of CNC Milling Machines

Explore various CNC milling machines, from 3-axis to 5-axis systems and horizontal or vertical machining centers, each catering to specific manufacturing needs.

The Essential Components of CNC Milling Machines
Part - 4:The Essential Components of CNC Milling Machines

CNC milling machines rely on essential components like milling cutters, spindles, workpieces, machine tools, and axes for precise material shaping and design execution.

CNC Milling Process: Step-by-Step Guide
Part - 5 :CNC Milling Process: Step-by-Step Guide

The CNC milling process follows a step-by-step guide: design a CAD model, convert to CNC format, load the program, install tools and workpiece, and run the machine for precise manufacturing.

Mistakes to Avoid in CNC Milling
Part - 6 :Mistakes to Avoid in CNC Milling

Avoid common CNC milling mistakes such as overloading the machine, neglecting maintenance, using incorrect cutting tools, ignoring safety protocols, and improper fixture setup.

Part - 1:What is CNC Milling and How Does it Work?

CNC milling, or Computer Numerical Control milling, is a manufacturing process in which a computer controls a cutting machine to remove material from a workpiece. The machine reads codes programmed by an operator to precisely guide the cutting tool, resulting in highly accurate and repeatable parts.

  • Overview of CNC Milling

CNC milling is a subtractive manufacturing process that can produce complex parts with high precision and accuracy. It is often used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical, where tight tolerances and quality control are essential.

Overview of CNC Milling
  • Understanding the CNC Milling Process

Understanding the CNC Milling Process

The CNC milling process begins with a design model created in CAD software. The model is then converted into machine-readable instructions using CAM software. These instructions, or G-code, are sent to the CNC milling machine to control the cutting tool’s movement. The cutting tool removes material from the workpiece until the desired shape, size, and finish are achieved.

  • Components of a CNC Milling Machine

Components of a CNC Milling Machine

• Worktable: provides a stable surface to secure workpieces during milling
• Spindle: principal rotating part that drives and holds cutting tool
• Cutting tool: rotary device that removes material from workpiece according to CNC controller commands
• CNC controller: computer reads and executes G-code instructions for precise milling

  • How does a CNC Milling Machine work?

How does a CNC Milling Machine work?

A CNC milling machine works by interpreting the G-code instructions programmed by the operator and sending signals to the cutting tool, spindle, and worktable to create the desired part. The milling process involves a series of movements, including the cutting tool’s rotation, translation, and feed rate over the workpiece. With precise control over the tool’s movement, a CNC milling machine can produce complex geometries and high-quality finishes.

  • Types of CNC Milling Machines

Types of CNC Milling Machines

• CNC milling machines come in three types: vertical, horizontal, and multi-axis.
Vertical milling machines use a vertical spindle that moves up and down; the worktable also moves along the X, Y, and Z axes.
Horizontal milling machines have a rotary spindle; the worktable moves along the X, Y, and Z-axes.
• Multi-axis milling machines can move the cutting tool in multiple directions and make complex parts.
• The type of CNC machine needed depends on the size, geometry, and complexity of the part.

Comprehensive Comparison of Three Types CNC Milling Machines

TypePriceAccuracyCutting ToolsPower ConsumptionVersatility & EfficiencyEase of OperationMaintenanceStrengthsWeaknessesBest Suited MaterialsMarket Trends & Future Predictions
VerticalLow-MidHighVarietyModerateExcellent in versatility, good in efficiencyEasyModerateFlexibility, easy setup, cost-effectiveLimited work envelope, less powerfulPlastics, metals, woodGrowing popularity, increased automation
HorizontalMid-HighVery HighVarietyHighExcellent in efficiency, moderate in versatilityModerateRegularIncreased precision, heavy-duty capabilitiesHigher cost, larger footprintMetals, alloysDemand for precision parts, energy-efficient models
Multi-Axis (5-Axis)HighExtremely HighVarietyHighExceptional in versatility and efficiencyComplexRegularComplex geometries, reduced setup timeExpensive, steep learning curveAerospace, automotive, medical industriesAdvanced manufacturing, continued innovation

Part - 2:Vertical and Horizontal Milling: Which is the Best Choice?

Vertical and horizontal milling are two common types of milling machines used in the manufacturing industry. While both of these machines have their unique advantages, understanding the differences between them is essential in selecting the best choice for your business operations.

  • What is Horizontal Milling?

What is Horizontal Milling?

Horizontal milling, also known as milling parallel to the spindle’s axis, involves the cutting tool being positioned horizontally. The workpiece is clamped onto a table and then rotated about a horizontal axis while the cutting tool moves in multiple axes.

  • Advantages of Horizontal Milling Machines

Advantages of Horizontal Milling Machines

• Horizontal milling machines are ideal for mass production and machining large parts.
• The horizontal spindle allows for high-speed machining with larger cutting tools.
• Workpiece can be quickly and easily loaded, reducing set-up time.
• Machines are versatile, allowing for precision cuts and drilling.
• They can be used for a wide range of operations like boring, milling, tapping, and reaming.
• Spindle is positioned close to workpiece, offering flexibility and precision.

  • What is Vertical Milling?

Vertical Milling

Vertical milling, also known as milling in a perpendicular plane with the spindle axis, involves the cutting tool being positioned vertically. The workpiece is clamped onto a table in a fixed position or rotated around a vertical axis while the cutting tool moves in multiple axes.

  • Advantages of Vertical Milling Machines

Advantages of Vertical Milling Machines

• Vertical milling machines offer precision and versatility for various operations.
• This is thanks to their vertical spindle, which is closely aligned with the column and provides increased accuracy and tool life.
• Additionally, they are easy to position about the workpiece and cutting tool.
• The accuracy of vertical milling machines is higher than horizontal milling machines due to the alignment of the spindle and quill’s depth control capability.

Part -3:Understanding Different Types of CNC Milling Machines

Optimizing the CNC milling process requires selecting the appropriate machine based on several key factors. These include the desired outcome of the project, the part’s size and complexity, as well as available resources. Choosing the right machine is crucial as it directly affects the production’s speed, efficiency, and overall quality. To assist in this decision-making process, manufacturers need to be familiar with different CNC milling machine types and their corresponding capabilities. With this knowledge, they can confidently select the optimal machine to create high-quality products.

  • 3-Axis Milling Machines

3-axis milling machines are the most basic type of CNC milling machine.
• These machines have tools to move along the x, y, and z axes to create flat parts like keyways, grooves, and holes.
• 3-axis CNC machines are common in woodworking, panel production, and mold-making industries.

3-Axis Milling Machines
  • 4-Axis Milling Machines

4-Axis Milling Machines

4-axis milling machines are similar to 3-axis machines but with the addition of a rotary axis.
• This allows for cutting tool rotation around the x-axis, creating four-sided parts.
• Common uses include the production of complex curved shapes and parts with irregular shapes and angles.
• These machines are often used in the aerospace and automotive industries.

  • 5-Axis Milling Machines

5-Axis Milling Machines

5-axis milling machines are the most advanced type of CNC milling machine.
• They differ from 3- and 4-axis models in that they can simultaneously move the cutting tool along five axes (x, y, z, A, B).
• This added flexibility allows for complex shapes and parts to be created more precisely and accurately.
• 5-axis machines are frequently used for aerospace, medical, and defense components.

  • Horizontal Machining Centers

Horizontal Machining Centers

Horizontal Machining Centers (HMCs) have cutting tools mounted horizontally and the workpiece positioned vertically, allowing for horizontal and vertical milling operations.
• An advantage of HMCs is the reduced setup time due to the ability to complete multiple operations on a single machine.
• HMCs are widely used in automotive, aerospace, and defense production.

  • Vertical Machining Centers

Vertical Machining Centers

• A Vertical Machining Center (VMC) is a type of mill in which the cutting tool is mounted vertically, and the workpiece is positioned horizontally.
• This setup allows for greater accuracy and precision compared to other mills, making it suitable for production of intricate parts.
• VMCs are commonly used across many industries such as medical, consumer goods, and automotive.

Part -4:The Essential Components of CNC Milling Machines

CNC milling machines are computer-controlled machines that are used to cut and shape materials using a rotating cutting tool. They are commonly used in manufacturing and fabrication and are capable of producing high-precision parts quickly and efficiently. There are several key components that are essential to the operation of these machines, including milling cutters, spindles, workpieces, machine tools, and axes.

milling cutters
  • What are Milling Cutters?

Milling cutters are the tools that are used to cut and shape the material being machined. They are attached to the spindle of the machine, and rotate at very high speeds while cutting into the material. The shape and size of the cutter will determine the shape and size of the part being machined. There are several different types of milling cutters available, each designed for a specific type of machining operation.

Guide to the Types of Milling Cutters

Milling CutterDiameterCutting DirectionCutting MaterialsSuggested Application
Ball Mill CutterVaries, typically 1-20 mmUpcut or downcutPlastics, metals, wood3D contouring, die/mold work, surface finishing
Face Mill Cutter50-200 mmHorizontalMetals, alloysFacing operations, surface finishing, square shoulder milling
Slab Mill Cutter50-150 mmHorizontalMetals, alloys, plasticsSlab milling, peripheral milling, cutting large flat surfaces
Side and Face Cutter50-200 mmHorizontalMetals, alloys, plasticsStraddle milling, gang milling, deep slot cutting
Double Angle Cutter30-100 mmV-shapedMetals, alloysChamfering, V-groove cutting, dovetail cutting
Thread Mill CutterVaries, typically 1-20 mmUpcut or downcutMetals, alloys, hard plasticsInternal and external thread milling, helical machining
T-slot Cutter6-32 mmUpcut or downcutMetals, alloys, plasticsCreating T-slots for clamping in workpieces, machine beds, fixtures
Woodruff Cutter10-50 mmUpcut or downcutMetals, alloysCutting keyways, grooves, notches
  • What is a Spindle?

spindle is the part of the machine that holds the milling cutter

The spindle is the part of the machine that holds the milling cutter and enables it to rotate at high speeds. It is usually driven by an electric motor or other power source, and is designed to provide a precise and stable platform for the cutting tool. The spindle also plays a key role in controlling the speed and accuracy of the cutter, which is essential for achieving high precision machining results.

  • The Role of Workpieces in CNC Milling

The Role of Workpieces in CNC Milling

Workpieces are the materials that are being machined on the CNC milling machine. They are usually clamped onto the work table of the machine and then fed into the milling cutter. The design and size of the workpiece will largely determine the type of machining operations that can be performed, as well as the accuracy and precision of the machining results. It is important to choose the right workpiece material and design to ensure optimal results.

  • The Importance of Machine Tools in CNC Milling

Machine Tools in CNC Milling

Machine tools are the components used to control the movement of the milling cutter and workpiece. They include the worktable, the tool holder, and the various tools and fixtures used to steady the workpiece during machining. Machine tools are critical for achieving high precision in the milling process, as they help to maintain the proper positioning and orientation of the workpiece and cutting tool.

  • The Significance of Axes in CNC Milling

The Significance of Axes in CNC Milling

• CNC milling machines have three axes—X-axis (horizontal), Y-axis (vertical), and Z-axis (depth)—which refer to the different directions of movement for both the milling cutter and workpiece.
• The accuracy and precision of these axes is key for optimal results in machining.
• CNC milling machines can precisely control their axes, allowing for detailed and complex machining operations.

Part -5:CNC Milling Process: Step-by-Step Guide

CNC milling refers to a computer-controlled process of cutting solid materials using rotary cutters to remove material from a solid workpiece. The process is significant in the manufacturing industry because it allows for precision and accuracy in producing complex shapes and designs. CNC milling machines are used to create parts and products for a wide variety of industries, from aerospace to automotive to medical devices.

  • Step 1: Design the CAD Model

The first step in the CNC milling process is to design a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model of the part or product that needs to be produced. This design is created using specialized software that allows the user to create a 3D digital prototype of the part. The CAD model is based on precise measurements and specifications to ensure the final product is accurate.

Design the CAD Model for cnc milliing
  • Step 2: Convert CAD Model to CNC-Compatible Format

Step 2: Convert CAD Model to CNC-Compatible Format

Once the CAD model is complete, it must be converted into a format that the CNC milling machine can read. This is typically done using CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software, which takes the CAD model and creates a toolpath that the machine can follow to cut the part from the raw material. The toolpath includes information on the cutting tools that will be used, the speed and feed rate of the machine, and other parameters.

  • Step 3: Load the CNC Program into the Machine

Step 3: Load the CNC Program into the Machine

The next step is to load the CNC program into the milling machine’s computer. This is typically done using a USB drive or other storage device. The program includes the toolpath information created in Step 2, as well as information on the specific machine being used. Once the program is loaded, the machine is ready to begin the milling process.

  • Step 4: Install the Tools and Attach the Workpiece

Step 4: Install the Tools and Attach the Workpiece

Before starting the machine, the cutting tools need to be installed and secured in the machine’s spindle. The workpiece, which is typically made of metal or plastic, also needs to be attached to the machine’s table using clamps or other fixtures. The position of the workpiece is critical, as it must be accurately aligned with the cutting tools to ensure that the finished product is precise and accurate.

  • Step 5: Run the CNC Milling Machine

Step 5: Run the CNC Milling Machine

With the tools installed and the workpiece attached, the machine is ready to begin the milling process. The operator starts the machine and monitors its progress, making adjustments to the speed and feed rate as necessary. The machine follows the toolpath created in Step 2, cutting the workpiece to the precise specifications of the CAD model. Once the milling process is complete, the finished part is removed from the machine and inspected for accuracy and quality.

Part -6:Mistakes to Avoid in CNC Milling

Ensuring the proper use of CNC milling machines is vital for precision manufacturing. Avoiding common mistakes such as overloading, ignoring maintenance requirements, using the wrong cutting tools, disregarding safety protocols, and incorrect fixture setup helps produce the expected product quality. Machine operators and manufacturers must prioritize continuous training and supervision to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to maximize their CNC machines’ proper use.

Overloading the Machine
  • Overloading the Machine

Overloading the machine occurs when the workpiece being milled is too heavy for the machine to handle. This can cause the machine’s motor to stall or even break, which could result in costly repairs. It is imperative to pay attention to the maximum weight capacity limit for the machine in use and not to exceed this limit. In the event of an oversized workpiece, it is better to split the material into smaller components that can be milled separately.

  • Ignoring Maintenance Requirements

Ignoring Maintenance Requirements

CNC milling machines, like any other equipment, require regular maintenance to continue operating efficiently. Failing to follow recommended maintenance procedures can lead to a decrease in efficiency, as well as signal premature wear and tear. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and calibration checks should be conducted to keep these machines functioning at their best.

  • Not Using the Right Cutting Tools

Not Using the Right Cutting Tools

Using the wrong cutting tools can result in poor surface finishes, increased cutting forces, and, ultimately, damage to the machine and workpiece. There are various types of cutting tools, and each serves a specific purpose. Choosing the right tools for the job can save time, money, and effort.

  • Disregard for the Safety Protocols

Disregard for the Safety Protocols

Safety protocols and procedures are essential when using CNC milling machines. Machine operators and other staff must always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. This includes safety glasses, earplugs, and gloves when working with these machines. Failure to follow these protocols could result in injury to the operator or the destruction of the machine.

  • Wrong Fixture Set Up on the Machine Bed

Wrong Fixture Set Up on the Machine Bed

The fixture setup on the machine bed is crucial for the accuracy of the finished product. Incorrect setup can cause the workpiece to move, slip, or even shift slightly during the milling process. These errors can result in significant deviations from the intended specifications. Therefore, operators must take the time to set up their fixtures properly and double-check all alignments to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: CNC milling is a manufacturing process in which a computer program controls the movements of a machine tool to remove material from a workpiece. This process is used to create a wide range of complex parts and components in a variety of industries.

A: The main components of a CNC milling machine are the machine tool, the workpiece, and the axes. The machine tool is the piece of equipment that does the actual milling. The workpiece is the material that is being milled. The axes are the directions in which the machine tool can move.

A: CNC milling offers many benefits over manual milling. It is faster, more accurate, and can be used to create more complex parts. It is also more efficient, as it can run for longer periods of time with minimal operator intervention.

A: Some common types of CNC milling operations include face milling, form milling, plain milling, and angular milling. Each of these operations focuses on removing material from a workpiece in a specific way to create a particular shape or feature.

A: A machining center is a type of CNC machine that is designed specifically for milling operations. It typically includes a range of tools, such as drills and end mills, that can be automatically changed by the machine tool to perform different types of milling operations.

A: 5-axis milling is a type of milling operation that involves moving the workpiece and the milling tool in five different directions. This allows for more complex shapes and features to be created using a single machine tool.

A: Some common milling machine tools include end mills, face mills, and rotary tables. End mills are used to remove material from a workpiece using a rotating cutting tool. Face mills are used to flatten surfaces on a workpiece. Rotary tables are used to rotate the workpiece during milling operations.

A: Subtractive manufacturing process is a type of manufacturing process in which material is removed from a solid block of material to create a final product. CNC milling is one type of subtractive manufacturing process.

A: The main difference between manual milling and CNC milling is that in manual milling, the operator controls the movement of the machine tool directly, while in CNC milling, a computer program controls the movements of the machine tool. CNC milling is generally faster, more accurate, and more efficient than manual milling.

A: Yes, CNC milling can be used for a wide range of specialized milling applications, including gang milling, straddle milling, profile milling, and more. There are also specialized milling machines that are designed for specific types of milling operations.

Frequently Asked Questions
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