We often don’t know whether to choose a CNC milling services or a CNC turning services when we usually need to machine parts. This article will compare the two and hopefully will give you some references.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is a process widely used in the manufacture of parts, including but not limited to the automotive industry. CNC was developed to replace the manual forming process because of its reliability and accuracy in the production of the final product. In addition, it significantly reduces processing time.
CNC machining is the process of producing a ‘3D model’ by selectively cutting material to create a specified shape or tool from a 3D design. CNC milling and CNC turning are further types of the main processes, often referred to as CNC machining.
We will discuss the feasibility of both types in this paper.
Computer numerical control (CNC) milling is generally a metal manufacturing process; however, plastics can also be machined. CNC milling uses a computer to control the tool. The cutting tool then cuts the material from the workpiece to produce the desired shape or model.
The tool is the main working part of a CNC milling machine and can be moved in three or more axes. Normally, the workpiece remains stationary, however, modern CNC milling machines can swing or rotate the workpiece to obtain a better cutting angle. This feature also speeds up the process as the machinist does not have to reorient the workpiece when milling complex designs.
CNC milling is a fairly simple process, which is why it is the most widely used production process in the metal industry. From prototype to final design, everything is usually done in a CNC milling machine.
In the long run, CNC milling is very useful for industries dealing with multifunctional and complex-shaped products. This type of machining is an excellent method for producing such products
CNC milling has the following characteristics.
The production capacity of CNC milling is best suited to batch processing. In short, CNC milling equips companies that produce small quantities of parts in a single run.
CNC milling machines are designed to save and minimise material use. Compared to CNC turning, CNC milling methods consume significantly less material. In the long run, this means lower material costs and a better health and safety environment .
Milling does not necessarily require the use of a defined tool. You can use a completely different set of cutting tools for various operations. This is not only better than a lathe but makes them more efficient.
In addition, you can produce complex shaped tools on a milling machine, but you will be limited by the lathe that is often used in turning operations.
CNC milling can produce a wide range of parts. It can handle both complex shaped parts as well as simple ones. This makes it a versatile option for industrialists. However, this is not the only best thing associated with CNC milling, which has also proven to be a faster, more economical, and more accurate production operation.
A wide range of parts can be manufactured using milling. For example
- – Accessories and gears
- – Pumps
- – Engine parts
- – Surgical instruments and implants
Unlike CNC milling, CNC turning takes a completely different approach to manufacturing products.
CNC turning is mainly used for the manufacture of round parts and is also preferred for cylindrical and conical shapes. Although it is not as common as the former CNC milling, it is the second most widely used process for manufacturing mechanical parts.
The turning process mainly involves lathes and CNC turning centers, using chucks to turn workpieces quickly rather than moving tools. For this reason, CNC turning cannot handle workpieces that require intricate detail, although it is much faster at completing relatively simple cuts. The specialisation and advanced technology of modern lathes allow them to machine multiple workpieces on a single lathe.
Workpieces can be clamped using a collet, or multiple tools can be set up for the operation. Operations involving the cutting of material from the outside of the workpiece and the drilling of holes inside it can be performed relatively easily by turning.
CNC turning is a clear choice as it is not as cost-effective as CNC milling, however, the nature of the work that can be easily performed using a turning center or lathe may force you to complete it. Always consider the future prospects of your industry before making a decision.
These advantages make CNC turning a better product mix.
CNC turning is faster for boring, drilling, and forming operations. This allows industrialists to meet deadlines and increase productivity on the go. However, complex designs are difficult and take longer to complete.
CNC turning is more accurate and allows operations to be completed with precise machining. It is therefore relied upon for many important parts with rounded surfaces, such as rollers, bullets, gears, and drill bits.
CNC turning is highly adaptable and can be interconnected with CNC milling to meet industrial requirements. It is also possible to produce parts for other mechanical components, from bolts and nuts to torques and turbines. However, backwards compatibility and asymmetric design are essential for the beneficial effects of this interconnection.
It is very difficult to produce parts of circular design using milling and milling processes, not to mention that they often do not conform to the required dimensions and must be trimmed.
CNC turning, on the other hand, can handle these jobs perfectly. As a result, it can be used to manufacture some of the most important parts in industry. For example.
- Nuts and bolts
- Bullets and guns
- Beams and pipes
- Ball joints
- Round turbines
So, which process is right for you?
Now that you know what you can and can’t do with each of these processes, it’s easier to make decisions.
However, to give you the final perspective, you should bear in mind that CNC milling is generally considered to be the most recommended method for producing complex shaped parts, while CNC turning is equally suitable for simpler round shapes. Nevertheless, you can also use the two processes in sequence, as there may be scenarios where two operating processes are required.
If you are still hesitant and do not have a clear idea, it is a good idea to ask a professional mechanical designer to make a decision for you.
This article has taught me to choose how to select the right processing method and has helped me a lot, thanks!