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Posted on Jun 15, 2021
When it comes to machining, there are always multiple ways to achieve the same cut, and face milling is no different. Face milling is an effective process that produces excellent surface finishes on milling parts.
As lathes and machining centers become more powerful and efficient, the productivity of this process is constantly improving. In this article, we’ll provide you with a well-rounded outline for face milling, including the common cutting tools used to carry out this type of machining operation.
Face milling is a machining process that produces excellent surface finish on a workpiece. Lathes and machining centers are the most common machine tools for face milling processing for high-precision surface finishes. An end mill is sometimes used as the cutting tool to perform face milling, but more often with a shell mill or fly cutter.
Almost every machine shop today uses face milling for all kinds of milling operations, such as roughing, semi-finishing, heavy-duty milling and more. They understand how important it is to pick the right machine tool for the job. And as for the machine itself, there is often a choice between manual and CNC machines.
→Read more : What You Need to Know About The Insert End Mill
Facing on a milling machine or machining center involves placing the cutting tool perpendicular to the surface being machined. The process removes the material by rotating the tool counterclockwise as the table moves the workpiece across the cutter, producing a flat surface.
The main difference between a manual and CNC milling machine lies in the feeding mechanism. For CNC machines, the table along with the workpiece is fed automatically, whereas manual machines require manual feeding by the operators. The former is able to produce a smoother surface because of the more constant feeding. Therefore, always opt for the automatic feeding option in order to reduce human error in the process.
The most common types of cutting tools are shell mills, fly cutters, and end mills. Let’s take a look at them:
An end mill is not the best choice for face milling and often leads to poor machining results. It utilizes both ends of the cutter to create a flat surface on the same axis as the spindle. Compared with tools that are perpendicular to the cutter axis, it is simply not as strong. However, end mills can create intricate patterns on the workpiece thanks to the multiple teeth design.
Figure 2. Face Mill with Inserts
While end mills and shell mills create finishes at high speed, a fly cutter delivers a finer finish with less horsepower. Unlike end mills and face mills, a fly cutter is a single-point cutting tool. Although this results in slower machining, it can provide a more even surface finish. If you are only looking for fine finishes and speed isn’t a concern, you’ll be happy with a fly cutter. Fly cutters are also suitable for both soft and hard materials, such as aluminum and steel, respectively.
Here are some tips that will help your face milling operations translate to better result:
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