A milling machine is a machine tool used to machine all kinds of mechanical parts. Generally outfitted with a cutting object called a miller, a milling machine is capable of removing material from an initial piece to transform it into a completely different piece. Milling machines can also be equipped with other parts such as drill bits, taps, or reamers to perform different operations such as drilling or tapping.
There are different types of milling machines that we will introduce to you. Depending on the orientation of the tool, milling machines can have 3, 4, or 5 axes. In the past, the different categories of milling machines were horizontal, vertical, and universal, since the axes were fixed. Today, machines with cranks are becoming increasingly rare, while digital machines let you simultaneously move axes. The classification is therefore done by axes – that is to say, based on the constraints encountered during the machining operations. Other types of special milling machines include circular, copycat, portal, or duplicating. Each of these milling machines may also include accessories and additional provisions to improve the task to be performed and make it more comfortable. Generally speaking, the pieces produced by milling are parts used in the manufacture of many items in the automotive, industrial, machinery, electronics, electricity, and telecommunications sectors.
3-axis milling machine
A 3-axis milling machine consists of a vertical spindle and a horizontal spindle, but in all cases, the milling machine is parallel to the table during machining. The table must therefore be positioned differently based on the desired aim on the piece. In fact, the horizontal spindle serves to remove the shavings more easily.
4-axis milling machine
The 4-axis milling machine generally has the same features as the 3-axis milling machine, except that it’s equipped with a turntable, which is a real asset in fields of mechanical production such as aviation or automotive.
5-axis milling machine
A 5-axis milling machine always has three linear axes as well as two rotary axes, which may vary according to the chosen model. In terms of the position of the rotary axes, there are three models, which are two axes on the machine head, two axes on the table, or a single axis on the table.
Manual, learning, CNC, and portal milling machines
There are also different types of milling machines, such as the manual milling machine, which, as previously stated, is quite uncommon, but whose movements are controlled directly by the machine. For their part, learning milling machines can memorize the movements previously performed by an operator by recording them to reproduce them alone. The computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine is a machine that’s directly connected to a computer control body that gives it the movements to carry out. In fact, the different commands are recorded in order of movement of the tools depending on the piece to be manufactured. It’s then controlled by an ISO program that allows it to perform the operations automatically. Finally, a portal or fixed-bench milling machine is a CNC milling machine that, thanks to its large size and the large dimensions of its table, can manufacture very large parts.
Machining projects carried out using the latest, most powerful milling machines on the market therefore let you create personalized, unique, precise, tailor-made objects in a short time.