Milling Machines are used for machining solid materials, including metal, plastic and wood, and commonly used to machine irregular and flat surfaces. The cutter is designed to rotate during the operation as opposed to a lathe, where the part itself rotates during the cutting operation. Milling machines commonly have self-contained electric drive motors, coolant systems, digital readouts, variable spindle speeds, and power-operated table feeds. They can also be used to drill, bore, cut gears, and produce slots and pockets.
Horizontal and Vertical Mills
Horizontal mills are designed so the cutters are mounted on a horizontal spindle. They are equipped with a rotary table, allowing for milling grooves, slots and other heavier cuts at several angles. They are commonly identified as a universal milling machine.
Vertical mills are designed with a spindle axis that is vertically oriented. The spindle can be extended, or the table raised and lowered, allowing for plunge cuts and drilling. There are two types of vertical mills:
- Bed mills, which have a fixed table and a head that moves in a Z-axis. This allows for additional weighted parts to be machined.
- Turret mills, which can be moved perpendicular and parallel to the spindle axis.
Knee Milling Machines are used for cutting the internal or external material of a workpiece by way of a rotating milling cutter. These machines are used for milling, drilling, tapping, facing, keyway, pocketing and slotting operations. Knee milling machines are engineered with a T-slotted worktable that has three T-slots used to clamp material to be machined.
Mill Drill Machines are used for accurately boring, drilling, milling or tapping into a workpiece. Their spindles are designed to handle side-cutting loads and feature rigid milling tables with X-Y movement. Mill drill machines are lightweight and used where space is a concern.
3-In-1 Machines combine milling, drilling and lathing in one convenient unit.
Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) milling machines are used with end mills for removing and shaping material during milling operations. They are programed with an alphanumeric code (called a G code) instructing the machine to cut a workpiece in a specific pattern or preform a certain function.) CNC milling machines are engineered to operate in 3- or 4-axis positions for vertical, cross and longitudinal travels as well as be used as a 4-axis rotary configuration.
Milling Cutters and Equipment from MSC:
End Mills are used for making shapes and holes in a workpiece during milling, profiling, contouring, slotting, counterboring, drilling and reaming applications. They are designed with cutting teeth on the face and edge of the body and can be used to cut a variety of materials in several directions. Find out more about the types of mills MSC offers and all the applications in which they can be used.
- Ball end mills, also known as ball nose end mills, are used for milling contoured surfaces, slotting and pocketing. A ball end mill is constructed of a round cutting edge and used in the machining of dies and molds.
- Corner rounding end mills are used for milling rounded edges. They have ground cutting tips that strengthen the end of the tool and reduce edge chipping.
- Square end mills are used for general milling applications, including slotting, profiling and plunge cutting.
Milling Cutters are available in a variety of shapes and sizes for various purposes. MSC offers a complete selection of angle, radius, side, T-slot cutters and more to tackle all your machining jobs.
- Side Milling Cutters are used in a wide range of operations, including slotting, side and straddle milling. They are available with straight and staggered tooth configurations.
- Dovetail Cutters are used for aggressive machining of steel. They are designed with a reverse bevel (inverted cone) that widens and produces a dovetail slot.
- Shell End Mills, also known as face mills, are used for heavy stock removal where a wider cut is required. They are used in conjunction with shell mill arbors.
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