Zone: Milling Tools

OVERVIEW: Milling is the work of producing a flat or precision-contoured surface on a machined workpiece by using a rotating tool, and generally by taking multiple parallel passes with that tool. The work can be done on a machining center or milling machine, and can also be done on a lathe, turning center or turn-mill machine that happens to have rotary tool (or “live tool”) capabilities. The tools for milling include both solid tools and inserted tools—the latter consisting of a tool body that uses replaceable cutting inserts. Carbide is the most likely material for milling tools, though high speed steel is another choice, as are ceramic, cermet and diamond tools in certain more demanding milling applications. A common milling tool variety is the “end mill,” which generally describes a relatively narrow cylindrical tool that can mill on both its tip and its side, and can reach into various constrained features and spaces. The end mill can be flat-bottomed for flat surfaces, or ball-nosed for milling up, down and along the contours of complex milled shapes such as die and mold surfaces. Another common milling tool variety is the “face mill,” a generally larger-diameter tool designed for efficiently milling a wide, flat surface in an economical number of passes.

Featured Zone Content

High-feedrate mill

Taking The Plunge

It doesn't take sophisticated technology to perform plunge roughing effectively. In fact, if you are making due with a less effective machine, plunge roughing deserves even more serious consideration. (Includes video.)...MORE

helical interpolation

The Key Points Of Helical Holemaking

VIDEO. Have you considered milling holes through helical ramping instead of drilling them? This brief animated video covers the high points, including tool diameter selection and the potential for savings....MORE

Kyocera MFH-Raptor high-feed milling cutter

High-Feed Milling Cutter Resists Vibration

The MFH-Raptor high-feed milling cutter from Kyocera Industrial Ceramics features a vibration-resistant design for increased productivity in ramping and helical milling at high speeds. ...MORE

CMT Vertical Milling Inserts Deliver Versatility

Designed for todayʼs hard machining challenges, Carmexʼs CMT line delivers long tool life, high material removal, excellent surface finish, reduced cycle times and lower cutting forces in materials up to 62 HRc steel. ...MORE

when to waterjet and when to mill

When to Waterjet, When to Mill

A composite parts manufacturer in Nebraska recently installed a combined five-axis waterjet/milling machine to position itself to win large-scale aerospace work it sees on the horizon. ...MORE

Managing the Micro-Milling Process with Tiny Cutters

The engineering of this line of small end mills brings out both the challenges and opportunities in milling hard-to-machine materials on a micro scale. ...MORE

Setting the Stage for Sizeable Composites Work

By adding a five-axis waterjet/milling machine, its biggest autoclave and a more expansive lay-up room, Royal Engineered Composites is positioning itself to win larger-scale aerospace work it sees on the horizon. ...MORE

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