Mill Machine Tools

Introduction to mill machine tools

The mill machine tools are also called the milling tools, cutting tools or drill bits. Though there are a rather wide variety of mill machine tools, they can all be referred to as the machining tools or cutting tools. The mill machine tools are used in the mill machining operations. In order to perform the milling operations, the milling tools will be mounted onto the spindle head of a milling center. The milling center is also known as a machining center, a turning center or a lathe. To date, the machining works in modern manufacturing and engineering industry are performed primarily on a CNC turning center.

In general, the goal of the mill machine tools is to remove part of the materials from a work piece. The removal of the materials is done by milling, drilling, boring, tapping or threading, etc. These cutting tools are mounted onto a spindle head, and hence they will rotate as the spindle is turned on. The rotating milling tools will be advanced toward the surface of the work piece until they contact with the pieces. When they do, the tip of the milling tool rotating at high speed will pierce through the work piece and remove the materials. In a CNC machining operation, the path of the cutting tool is programmed and controlled by a computerized control unit.

There are several factors that affect the result of the milling operations and the most essential one is the choice of the mill machine tools. The types of material of work pieces may vary and the milling tools to be used should be chosen carefully in order to carry out the best cutting results. The internal and external profiles are also important because it has to do with the desired finish of the part surfaces and the amount of stock to be removed from the work pieces. If the choice of mill machine tools is not done correctly, the machine tools wear out faster and the machining result can be less ideal.

Types of machining

The application of particular cutting tools has to do with the types of machining they are going to be included. The machining operations can be roughly classified into three categories: turning, milling, and hole-making. These machining operations are sometimes referred interchangeably but the nature of these operations is in fact slightly different from each other.

Turning is the operation that is used to produce rotational axially symmetric parts that have features such as holes, grooves, tapers, and various diameter steps. A CNC turning center is the machining lathe that is capable of performing such operations. Since the turning operation includes a series of machining works that are similar to other types of machining work, it is commonly referred to as the general machining works.

The milling operation is typically performed to produce parts that are not axially symmetric and have features such as holes, slots, pockets, and contours. Here is the key difference between the turning operation and the milling process, the axially symmetry to the work pieces.

Though it seems like all these types of machining operations are yet to create holes in a work piece, the hole-making operations are actually a type of machining operation that is particularly used to cut a cylindrical feature in a work piece. The hole-making operation can be conducted on a variety of machines, mostly a turning center or a CNC lathe. This type of operation includes drilling, reaming, tapping and boring.

Types of mill machine tools

There are hundreds of varieties of mill machine tools that are involved in the modern manufacturing and engineering industry. Sometimes even the professionals find it hard to clearly categorize all these tiny pieces of cutting tools. The milling tools range in size from small manually operated machines to huge console style production machines. The most common types of milling tools are those used in turning machines, boring mill, drilling machines, milling machines, and grinding machines.

The turning machines

The turning machines are the motorized machines that are considered the most important of all the machine tools. They are said to be the father of all other machine tools because a turning machine has the fundamental mechanical elements that are later incorporated into other types of machine tools. The modern turning machine tools are the CNC turning centers. A CNC turning center is a powerful and versatile machining platform for almost every type of machining operations such as drilling, boring, reaming, counter-boring, threading, tapping and more.

The milling machines

The milling machines are one of the machines that also apply the rotating mill machine tools. The milling tools on a milling machine are frequently referred to as the milling cutters. The milling cutters are used mostly in creating flat surfaces, grooves, shoulders, inclined surfaces, dovetails or T-slots. The most common types of milling cutters are the end mill, face mill, ball mill, side and face cutter, gear cutter, fly cutter, hollow mill and shell mill, etc. Generally speaking, there are two very basic milling cutters: the end milling and face milling.

An end mill uses both the end and the sides of the cutting tools to perform the machining operations while the face mill applies for horizontal cutting. The end mills often have a flat bottom or sometimes round or radius bottoms. They are similar to the drill bits as they can both cut axially while the end mills can cut laterally. On the other hand, the face mills cannot cut axially. The cutting edges are always located on the sides of the cutting head.

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