3rd May 2018 Blog

cnc turning vs milling

The turning machine process

Computer numerically controlled metal turning is an automated manufacturing process where a lathe turns around on various axis at high speed. Cutting tools, controlled by an intelligent computer software, are moved to cut away excess material. The lathe is versatile and must be able to manoeuvre the complexities of the product design to find the most appropriate solution. Here is the process that takes place:

  • The designer creates a blueprint design of the metal product.
  • The CNC turning machinist programmes the machine by interpreting the design and translating into a numerical language that the computer understands.
  • The CNC machinist must also set up the lathe and tooling to carry out the work with optimum precision.
  • The CNC turning machines begins work on the metal material.
  • The Machinist must ensure that the process is monitored throughout.
  • Once the material has gone through stringent quality control checks, it is able to move on to the next stage in the manufacturing process.

CNC milling machine operation

Similar to CNC turning, CNC milling is also an automated manufacturing process. Completed by a computer numerically controlled device, milling is accomplished using a rotating tool that moves in a variety of directions which ultimately brings the initial design to life. The process that takes places is as follows:

  • The designer creates a blueprint design of the metal product.
  • The CNC milling machinist programmes the machine by interpreting the design and translating into a numerical language that the computer understands.
  • The machine then understands how the drill needs to move in order to create the intended shape.
  • The drill moves up and down or is able to tilt at an angle. Simultaneously, the table moves the part laterally.
  • The CNC milling machinist must monitor the process at all times and rotate the part if necessary during the process.
  • Once the material has gone through stringent quality control checks, it is able to move on to the next stage in the manufacturing process.

Advantages of CNC machining

The industry relies heavily on CNC machining as opposed to more conventional methods of sheet metal manufacturing. Industries such as aerospace, automotive and more all produce products at a high rate and modern manufacturing processes must be able to keep up. The two most notable advantages of CNC turning and milling are:

  • Higher throughput
  • Greater precision

Want to find out more about CNC milling and turning? Take a look at our resources section for more information.