CNC Milling, or Computer Numerically Controlled milling (CNC)
is the process of machining physical objects from 2D or 3D digital information,
which is imported from CAD or other design programs converted to a specific
language understood by the machine.
The process of CNC Milling is a 2-Step Procedure.
Step 1: Toolpathing
- Toolpathing is the process
of translating a 2D or 3D computer model into a series of "paths"
for the CNC mill bit to follow as it excavates the model from a block raw
Step 2: Machining
- Machining involves translating
the toolpaths into commands to small stepper motors in the milling machine
that move the head incrementally in the X, Y and Z directions.
- Bit Size
- Bit Tip
Advantages of CNC Milling
- Very good for one-off or geometrically simple objects
- Virtually any material can be milled with a proper cutter,
therefore costs are low
- Complex parts can be milled with high detail
- Tolerances of 0.001" to 0.003" are possible
- Weights of parts from a few grams to up to 100 lbs
Disadvantages of CNC Milling
- A more reduced set of features possible
- Certain features are not possible, including internal shapes
- Size limitations depend on the actual CNC machine used
- More material waste than casting type processes
- Quite slow