Boring machines use a rotating cutting tool to enlarge a pre-drilled hole in a workpiece. The common applications include manufacturing gun barrels, valve boreholes, and engine cylinders. The boring process can be controlled either manually or numerically (NC or CNC).
CNC boring machines are more prevalent than their manual counterparts in modern days because they offer higher accuracy and tighter tolerance. They come in various styles and have multiple working axes. In the following paragraph, we will talk about the horizontal and vertical styles.
This style has a boring axis parallel to the floor. The main spindle as well as the boring bit is positioned horizontally, and hence the name. With such a configuration, the machine bores a workpiece from its side. The figure down below is a standard 3-axis horizontal boring machine with an additional milling capability.
Fig. Horizontal Boring Machine, Chang Chun Hsiung
The vertical style is also common on the market too. It has a vertically positioned spindle. The tooling has an up-and-down movement and therefore the machine bores the workpiece clamped below. Just like the horizontal style, vertical boring machines also incorporate milling capability. It turns into a mill machine by simply changing the tooling.
Fig. Vertical Boring Machine, Summit
The machining axis refers to the moving direction of a machine tool. It also refers to a workpiece's movement during the machining process. The most typical CNC machine tool today has at least two or three axes based on its structure. A horizontal boring machine usually has three axes (as shown in the figure below).
Fig. Axes of a Horizontal Boring Machine, Jingyan
These movements, including the tooling and the workpiece, allows for higher efficiency and productivity. With the freedom of movement, the indexing and reposition of the workpiece can be significantly reduced. Multi-axis machining not only comes with the benefit of higher efficiency but the ability to carry out more complex designs on the workpiece.
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