CNC milling machines are a type of machine that uses cutters to shape a workpiece, often on a moveable tabletop, with some milling machines also featuring movable cutters. Milling started as a task that needed to be performed manually, but most milling these days is done by a CNC mill, which utilizes a computer to oversee the milling process.
CNC milling (computer numerical control milling) is a machining process that employs computerized controls and rotating multi-point cutting tools to progressively remove material from the workpiece and produce a custom-designed part or product. It’s a mechanical machining process along with drilling, turning and a variety of other processes, meaning that material is removed from the workpiece via mechanical means, such as the actions of the milling machine’s cutting tools.
The history of CNC milling is almost as complex as a modern CNC system. So we will discuss the milestones for CNC milling development. As the modern mainstay of manufacturing and production, computer numerical control, or CNC, goes back to the 1940s when the first Numerical Control(NC) machines emerged. However, turning machines appeared before then. The machine used to replace handcrafted techniques and increase precision was invented in 1751. As in many other occasions, the first record we have about the milling machine is from a war conflict.
In 1789, the US Government requested firearms manufacturing to the inventor Eli Whitney before an imminent war against France. Whitney developed a new manufacturing model based on the production of similar rifles parts that enable the exchange between different weapons. So Whitney developed the first milling machine in 1818. This machine was so ahead of its time that kept all its features and initial functions for a century and a half. After a certain period, the development of this kind of machine experienced rapid growth as well as it happened. Technological and structural developments have completely changed our concept of milling machines and their applications and they became an essential tool in the parts machining of very different sectors.
In 1952, Richard Kegg, in collaboration with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the United States Air Force, developed the first CNC milling machine. the Cincinnati Milacron Hydrogel. This machine would be the prototype model for CNC machining. CNC milling is simply an extension of that. Five years later, he filed a patent for a “Motor Controlled Apparatus for Positioning Machine Tool”. This was the commercial birth of this technology. By the 1960s, thanks to coded programming, the process of CNC Milling started to be used by public companies, and in the 1980s as the development of coding and automatically programmed universal language became prominent, using CNC milling became more and more convenient.
Using computer-aided design tools, the machine can be programmed to perform basic and complex functions. The CNC milling process is used popularly in machining, not only in CNC prototype Machining but also for low volume manufacturing and mass production. If you’re interested in buying a used CNC Mill, make sure to look through our used CNC Mill inventory. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the right machine that’s perfect for your application.
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