434 Sam Green Road, Greenhill Industrial Park, Tunney Ext 6, Germiston 011 828 7828

CNC Milling

What is CNC milling?

Computer numerical control (CNC) milling is a subtractive manufacturing technique in which material is removed from a solid block of material using rotating computer-controlled cutting tools like drills, end mills, and turning tools.

Custom milled parts are made of various materials like metals, plastics, and different custom CNC machining products, using the CNC milling process.

During CNC milling, the workpiece is rigidly held on a fixture and mounted on a worktable while the material is removed with a rotating cutting tool. The CNC milling cutting tool can move up to five axes.

Why you should choose CNC milling

  • CNC milling can be performed on almost any engineering plastic or metal to create custom milled parts.
  • CNC milling parts have a high degree of dimensional stability, repeatability, and precision machining.
  • Milling is the most adaptable and flexible CNC machining process in terms of part machining.
  • CNC milled parts are machined in multiple processes with a single setup with 5-axis CNC milling to machine multiple surfaces at once.
  • Mould parts, housing parts, and other parts with complex shapes or strict tolerance requirements can be machined using CNC milling.
  • CNC milling machines have a high level of automation and production efficiency. In addition, they can run continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making them ideal for production management automation.

Industry applications for CNC milling

Aerospace – CNC milling services can create parts for plane engines, transmissions, hydraulic manifolds, landing gear, electrical connectors, housings, and other aircraft components.

  • Automotive – CNC milled parts are required for custom car parts like gearboxes, turbochargers, and interior panels.
  • Electronics – A CNC milling machine can make electronic hardware, housings, metal slats, panels, engraved parts, and other electronic parts.
  • Food – CNC milling technology creates components for food processing machines, blenders, grinders, crushing machines, cleaning devices, and other devices.
  • Machine tools – The tooling industry requires CNC milling-designed parts like fasteners, fittings, shafts, hydraulic, and mechanical components.
  • Medical – CNC milling is used to make parts for the health and medical industries, including orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments.
  • Military – CNC milled parts for military aircraft, vehicles, weapons, and submarines are produced on 3-axis and 5-axis machines.

Benefits of CNC milling

  • Fast delivery – CNC milling services can produce CNC parts in a matter of hours.
  • Customised finishes – CNC milling provides high-quality parts with various grades of smooth finishes.
  • High dimensional tolerance – With CNC milling, parts with tight tolerances made of various materials can be produced.

The CNC milling process

CNC milling starts with a computer-aided design (CAD) file used to generate a toolpath – a set of instructions used by CNC lathes to move the cutting tools across the workpiece.

The cutting tools, often a rotating tool or end mill, move along different axes to create holes, slots, and other forms in the workpiece. As a result, CNC milling is ideal for producing even, precise shapes out of metal and other materials.

Materials suitable for CNC milling

The CNC mill can be used to machine several materials. This includes metals like aluminium, brass, stainless steel, and plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate.

As a soft metal, aluminium is strong yet lightweight, with excellent machinability, making it a popular choice for CNC milling.

Types of CNC milling cutting tools

Many cutting tools can be used in CNC milling. The end mill is the most common and comes in various sizes and shapes. Subsequently, they can be used for a wide range of machining operations. Ball nose end mills, Chamfer end mills, and dovetail end mills are also common CNC milling tools.

CNC milling finishing techniques

The finish on CNC milled parts can provide a protective and decorative surface that is both resistant to wear and corrosion and aesthetically pleasing. There are numerous finishing options for CNC mills, and the best option will depend on the specific project requirements. Polishing, anodising, powder coating, plating like electroless nickel plating, sandblasting, and other common finishing methods are available.

Contact Endres Dies & Moulds South Africa for details

Please contact our team today for more information about our CNC milling services.

  • 434 Green Hill Industrial Estate