If you’re like a lot of machining enthusiasts, when you hear the words “milling machine,” you think of all of the applications associated with the term. You could probably rattle off a handful of uses and know exactly what you’re talking about. But to the average Joe, milling machines can be a little confusing. If you’re unfamiliar with milling machines, then it’s helpful to at least have a cursory knowledge of what they are and what they’re used for.
A milling machine is a tool that shapes solid metal products by strategically removing material from a larger piece of metal. They can be used to cut a variety of metals, and they can perform a number of applications to craft a range of metal tools and parts. Milling machines are also often used for shaping steel blocks that are used for task like coining and molding plastics.
Depending on the type of metal that a milling machine needs to cut, they can adapt their cutting speed. Generally, softer materials are cut at higher speeds and hard materials are typically cut at a slower pace. The hardness of a material also influences how much material can be milled at a time, so harder metals typically take much longer to mill than soft metals.
Milling machines have been around for a long time, and they have always been able to make very precise and accurate and cuts, but with the dawn of computer numeric control, they became even more versatile. Today, milling machines are used in a variety of industries for a wide range of purposes.