January 5, 2022

What is a milling machine used for

What does a milling machine do?

A milling machine removes material from a workpiece by rotating a cutting tool and moving it into the workpiece. The cutting tool is called a cutter. Milling machines come in versions, and that is vertical or horizontal. The machine makes flat and irregularly shaped surfaces and drills bore and cut gears, threads, and slots.

Milling is a process that involves the use of milling or cutting tools to remove material from the surface of a workpiece. They use cutting tools rotating at set speeds and bring the cutting tools with the workpiece to start removing materials when they come with the workpiece.

Milling removes crevices from the surfaces of metals that cause corrosion. It gets rid of excess material off the surface of a workpiece. It prepares metals for the application of corrosion-resistant coating.

Milling machine uses

Milling machines mill flat surfaces and machine irregular surfaces. The milling machine produces slots into a workpiece. It shapes and cuts solid materials such as metal, wood, plastics, or even brass.

How to use a milling machine

The CNC milling machine requires the management of computer numeric controlled equipment. Set up the equipment for operation as it produces parts and tools from different materials. The materials include plastic and metal and the monitoring machine. It inspects finished products so that there are no chances of giving under-produced machine parts.

Test runs are for accuracy and adjustments, and the operator has to oversee the CNC machines. The quality parts need specific tools, and the drawings are engineering-centered. I tell users to undertake high-skilled professionalism to work with the machines.

Attention to detail is a prerequisite. Set up and manage the machines as you drill, grind, and mill. Translate the engineering drawings into different dimensions for the production of parts. Follow the guidelines. Since the milling machines are automatic, you should not fold your hands. Be in control of your milling machine.

Make changes for improved results and inspect the machinery for quality functionality. There is a need for keeping records on the productions completed and quality logs. Keep up with the timelines. Meet your expectations and regular CNC machine assessments. Formal training and knowledge are required to avoid more time and create poor quality parts.

The tooling location and dimensions used for cutting have to be known. Run tests to spot technical faults and ensure accuracy. The machine has to be at zero for accuracy. The plasma machine is in manual mode by pressing the positive X-axis transverse button for one second. Press the Y and Z axis buttons. The milling machine is set to a reference point based on a home position.

The dial indicator has to be placed on the spindle and manually. The tip of the indicator is on the front jaw and the tools have to be in a tool turret and teach mode. The milling machine automatically brings each milling tool to the probe, and there is a beep sound expected.

The machine determines the depth cuts. The edge finder should be on 1,000 rpm and bring the edge finder closer to the material. Take back the spindle to a home position. Start the program. Rapids determine the speed of the spindle during tool changes.

Milling machine parts

Column and Base

The column and base are the sources of support on a Milling machine. It has a small tank for oil and a pump that keeps your milling machine lubricated, and the column rests on the base.


The rectangular base on top of the saddle is convenient as it keeps all your extra equipment closer to you. It comes with T-slots that can keep your jigs. You can operate it using your own hands or by power.


The shaft you hold when driving the cutting tool is the spindle. It mounts onto the bearings as the electric motor drives it into motion.


The knee is a casting that supports the saddle and table. Gearing mechanisms are within the knee. They are secured to the column by dovetails. These are supported and are adjusted by a vertical positioning screw called the elevating screw. It adjusts the knee up and down, raising or lowering the lever, using the help of a hand or power feed.

Types of milling machine

  • Hand milling machine.
  • Plain or horizontal milling machine.
  • Vertical milling machine.
  • Universal milling machine.
  • Universal milling machine.

Column Milling Machines

The column milling machine is a vertical column attached to the bed consisting of all gear drives which rotate the knee and saddle. The knee is on the base that provides vertical motion to the workpiece or moves up and down.

Turret Milling Machines

The turret milling machine is for small and medium-sized jobs, such as making plaques and parts for toys. Turret milling machines are for those who wish to work on heavy solids such as metals. It is a milling machine that works vertically and creates a wide range of objects.

C-Frame Milling Machines

The C-Frame milling machine is very robust and runs on a hydraulic motor. It is more powerful than a turret and ideal for industries. They are for producing duplicate parts based on the master model. What makes them competitive in the market is their sturdiness and power.

Horizontal Milling Machines

A horizontal milling machine is a milling machine tool with a spindle parallel to the worktable. It processes various planes:

  • inclined planes,
  • and grooves with cylindrical milling cutters,
  • disc cutters, angle cutters,
  • forming cutters,
  • end mills, and more tools.

Tracer Controlled Milling Machines

Tracer-controlled milling machines are for machining cams, grooves, contoured surfaces. Tracer-controlled milling machines feature copying capabilities through tracer control. They reproduce or duplicate external or internal geometries in two dimensions.

Planer-Style Milling Machines

A planer is a metalworking machine tool that uses the linear relative motion between the workpiece. It has a single-point cutting tool to cut the workpiece. It is like a shaper but larger and operates with workpiece moving. In a shaper, the cutting tool moves.

Bed Type Milling Machines

A bed-type milling machine features a stable and a low-vibration machine bed. It is highly rigid and stable. What makes it versatile are its multitasking capabilities. You can choose to have a heavy-duty bed-type universal milling machine for large format work.

David D. Hughes

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