What is vertical machining?

Posted on Aug 24, 2020

Vertical machining

When you first see a vertical machining center, it looks similar to a drill, but there are some important design differences; for example a spindle that can transfer side loads as well as final loads and the exact method of transferring work relative to the spindle on all three axes. It is wise to remember these "X", "Y" and "Z" axes, since since the appearance of complex electronically controlled CNC milling machines, these terms have become common "talk."

Even outside of engineering departments. The original vertical machining centers had feed screws with calibrated hand wheel control movements on these three axes. Handwheel calibrations are fairly accurate and should be used whenever possible.

Vertical machining (also called milling) relies on rotating tools to remove metal from the workpiece. Vertical machining takes place on a vertical machining center (VMC), which uses a vertically oriented spindle. When using a vertically oriented spindle, the tool will droop straight from the tool holder and often cut through the top of the workpiece.

:: Read more : Introduction to Vertical Machining or CNC VMC, Introduction to Vertical Machining Centers


Three types of vertical milling machine - milling, drilling and boring

THREE TYPES OF WORK There are three basic types of machining that can be performed with a vertical milling machine: milling, drilling and boring. It would be difficult to determine whether a vertical mill or lathe would be the most valuable machine in the store.Theoretically, most vertical mills are capable of reproducing themselves with standard milling accessories such as a rotary table and centers. This would be impossible on a lathe without exotic modifications and attachments.

Milling in a vertical mill is usually done with the help of end mills. These knives are designed for both side and end cutting. Drilling is done by raising and lowering the entire milling head using the Z axis feed screw. Before drilling, use central drills to achieve any degree of accuracy. Please note that subsequent holes can be accurately "selected" from the first hole using calibrated handwheels. Each wheel revolution will give 0.050 "pitch on inch machines or 1 mm for metric machines. There is no need to start with the flywheel set to" zero ", although this can easily be achieved with optional zero handwheels to facilitate calculations. Drilling is a method of making accurate holes by rotating a tool with a single cutting edge, usually in an adjustable chuck called a boring head. Used to open drilled holes or pipes to the desired diameter.

Another type of milling is the adjustable fly blade that can be used for surface treatment. To ensure maximum safety and rigidity, the cutting tip should protrude from the holder no further than necessary. A 1-1 / 2 "diameter cutting wheel is quite efficient, and multiple passes above the surface should overlap about 1/3 of the wheel size. For aluminum machining, use 2000 rpm and remove about 0.010" (0.25 " mm) to pass.

It is important to understand that the cutting effect of the knife changes depending on the feed direction. Keep in mind that in one case the tool will tend to climb to work, while in the other case the tool will tend to move away from the cut. As a result, climb milling should be avoided, except for very light finishing cuts.

:: Read more : Vertical milling center


How to use it?

A vertical milling machine is a precision tool used for machining and production by removing material usually from metal components of steel and aluminum. The mill can also process plastics and other materials depending on the feed speed of the tool and material. Mill control systems can be operated manually, computer controlled (CNC) or a combination of both. Vertical machining involves removing and usually performed with a rotary knife gripped in the spindle chuck. Cutting options are more complex and variable than a drilling press because they have a movable table or vice / rotary table (x and y axes) and vertical spindle movement (z axis). Many vertical machines also have a revolving turret for the upper cutting head, which provides even greater machining capabilities (b axis).

Some of the common operations that can be performed on the mill include:

●     Milling - these operations provide a flat surface or spot on the workpiece, usually with a certain orientation relative to other elements, the surface or another element of the workpiece. Facing is sometimes applied to irregularly shaped parts to "truly" one surface at a time to ensure that all machined surfaces have sufficiently specific geometrical relationships with the other

●     Chiselling and grooves - Holes, flats or grooves can be cut using tools and fasteners.

●     Drilling or boring - where special shapes are required between workpiece elements, a vertical milling cutter is best to accurately index and process holes.


In the description of milling machines, the terms "horizontal" and "vertical" generally refer to the orientation of the spindle or cutting tool. The spindle, also known as cutting head, is positioned vertically on a vertical milling machine. Since the cutting head is mounted in a vertical position, there are other parts of the machine that move along one or more axes to move the material, so that it is in the right place to be properly milled.

There are two basic types of vertical mills: turret and bed. They work slightly differently and provide unique benefits:

●     Vertical Turret Mill: In the revolver mill, the spindle stays in a fixed place, and the working part of the machine that holds the material moves horizontally or vertically. Thanks to the possibility of manipulating the position of the material in both directions, the revolver mill is extremely versatile. However, these mills are usually limited to projects involving smaller components, because biaxial movement can be difficult for larger pieces of material.

●     Vertical Bed Mill: The bed grinder can use the movement of the material along the horizontal axis. With this type of milling machine, the spindle is limited to the vertical axis, but can be moved up and down as needed. The combination of the movement of the spindle and the horizontal movement of the bed can mill workpieces of various shapes and depths. Compared with the turret mill, the bed mill is more suitable for projects that require heavy and large workpieces.

:: Read more : What Vertical Machining Centers Are so Popular?


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