What Are CNC Machine Tools?
CNC machine tools are computer-controlled devices that fabricate machine parts. The three main axes of a CNC machine are the X, Y, and Z axis. These axes are responsible for the linear movement of the cutting tool. A CNC machine can create everything from car engine blocks to medical implants.
The parts created by a CNC machine must meet very tight tolerances, meaning the machines must be very precise. CNC machines use high-speed spindles and cutting tools to create such precise parts. These tools can move at speeds of up to 10,000 RPM, allowing them to remove material from the workpiece quickly.
Tips To Consider Before Selecting the Right CNC Machine Tools
There are many factors to consider before selecting CNC machine tools for your next project.
The most important factor is the material you will be cutting. Aluminum, brass, and bronze are different materials that require different milling cutters.
Another is the depth of the cut. CNC machine tools come in various depths, so selecting the correct depth for your project is essential. The wrong depth can cause problems with the finished product.
Another is the type of milling cutter you will need. There are end mills, ball nose mills, and roughing mills. Each type of milling cutter has its advantages and disadvantages. Selecting the right type of milling cutter for your project is essential.
You also need to consider the speed at which you will cut the material. CNC machine tools come in different speeds, so selecting the correct speed for your project is essential. The wrong speed can cause problems with the finished product.
Different Types of CNC Milling Tools
Various types of CNC milling machine tools are available to be suitable for different milling operations. Some of the more common ones include:
An end mill is a milling cutter, a cutting tool used in industrial milling applications. It is distinguishable from the drill bit in its application, geometry, and manufacture. While a drill bit can only cut in the axial direction, a milling bit can generally cut in all directions, although some cannot cut axially. End mills are suitable for milling applications such as profile machining, tracer milling, face milling, and plunging.
Ball End Mills
A Ball End Mill, especially machines with three-dimensional contoured shapes, such as those found in molds and dies. It has a rounded tip that cuts these complex shapes.
There are two types of ball end mills: the standard type and the long type. The long type is better suited for machining deep cavities, while the standard type is more versatile and can be used for various applications.
Roughing End Mills
A roughing end mill is a milling cutter used in mechanical engineering and manufacturing applications. It quickly and efficiently removes material from a workpiece, typically metals. Roughing end mills are available in various designs, including square, ball nose, and corner radius.
A slab mill is a significant, flat-bottomed tool to shape and smooth wood slabs. It is similar to a router but is much larger and heavier. Slab mills remove excess material from the edges of wood slabs and create smooth, even surfaces on the faces of the slab. Slab mills also create decorative edges on furniture and other woodworking projects.
Shell End Mills
A shell end mill is a milling cutter used for machining operations involving removing material from a workpiece. The main difference between a shell end mill and other milling cutters is how they are attached to the cutting tool holder. Shell end mills have cutting edges on the outside of the body, while other types of milling cutters have their cutting edges on the inside.
Side Milling Cutters
Side milling cutters machine the sides of a workpiece. They are available with either straight or spiral flutes and can be suitable for roughing and finishing operations. Side milling cutters are typically suitable for pairs, with one cutter on each side of the workpiece.
When cutting with side milling cutters, keeping the cutting tools sharp and clean is important. Dull or dirty cutting tools can cause the workpiece to chatter or produce poor surface finishes. In addition, side milling cutters should be operated at the correct speed and feed rate to avoid damaging the workpiece or causing excessive wear on the cutting tools.
Different Types of Lathe Cutting Tools
Lathe-cutting tools are essential pieces of equipment for any machinist or metalworker. These CNC machine tools allow you to shape and manipulate various materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. Many lathe-cutting tools are available today, each with a unique purpose and advantages.
Lathe grooving tools can cut V-shaped grooves into spinning metal cylinders. These CNC machine tools are indispensable for heavier cutting applications in fabrication or manufacturing operations. Many grooving tools have an adjustable cutting blade, allowing for greater control and precision when cutting narrow grooves or making complex shapes.
Thread Cutting Tool
A lathe thread-cutting tool is a precision tool that creates different thread forms per the requirement. The primary use of the lathe thread-cutting tool is to make screws, bolts, and nuts. These tools are necessary for the manufacturing, construction, aerospace, and automotive industries.
Lathe turning tools are versatile, precision tools for shaping materials like metal and plastic through rotation. There are many uses for lathe turning tools, including producing intricate designs such as fluting or filigree, cutting accurate cones, and creating screw threads and fittings.
Parting off Tool
The lathe parting-off tool is a narrow cutting tool that cut material cleanly from a workpiece. It is an essential tool that has several uses in the manufacturing industry. It can separate a finished part from a workpiece, which is particularly important in mass production environments, where fast and efficient separation of parts is necessary.
Boring tools come in various shapes and sizes, including straight, offset, and tipped styles. They are versatile tools for various tasks, including drilling, reaming, and tapping. Boring tools also create large and deep holes when a specific diameter or finish is required.
Chamfering tools are suitable for precisely cutting angles and making chamfers on the edges of workpieces on a lathe. The main purpose of chamfering is to remove sharp edges, reducing the risk of injury and improving the workpiece’s appearance.
A lathe knurling tool creates knurled patterns on the surface of cylindrical or round objects made of metal or plastic. This CNC machine tool is often suitable for industrial manufacturing operations, such as in producing automotive or aerospace components.
The facing tool is an essential cutting tool used in lathe machines. It is mainly used for machining surfaces of workpieces to make them smooth and flat. The facing tool can be used on various materials ranging from soft metals like brass and aluminum to harder materials like stainless steel and carbon steel.
What Type of Materials Are CNC Machine Tools Made From?
The vast majority of CNC machine tools are made from either cast iron or steel. This is because these materials are incredibly strong and durable, able to withstand the high force and stress exerted during the machining process. However, there are a few instances where other materials, such as aluminum or brass, may be used. These materials are typically suitable for less strenuous applications where the forces exerted are not as high.
No matter what type of material your CNC machine tools are made from, keeping them well-maintained and lubricated is important. This will help to prolong their lifespan and prevent them from breaking down prematurely.
A CNC machine tool is a computer-controlled device that uses various cutting tools to shape or form materials. You should consider several factors when selecting the right cutter for the job. Before purchasing any cutting tools, it is important to consider the application’s specifics to select the most appropriate tool for the task at hand.
If you need help finding the right CNC cutting tools for your next project, or if you would like more information about our CNC machining services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today！