What is a milling machine? What is the difference between three-axis, four-axis and five-axis processing machines?

Milling machines are usually used for metal cutting. They are one of the common machine tools. They can be divided into various types due to different processing methods. They can also be divided into vertical and horizontal types according to the position and direction of the spindle. Generally, the machine tool is three-axis. The requirements are getting higher and higher, and it has begun to develop to four-axis and five-axis to meet various complex processing needs.

What is a milling machine?

A milling machine is a type of machine tool, usually used for metal cutting. The most obvious difference from a lathe is that the tool rotates instead of the workpiece. Milling machines have at least three axes, X, Y, and Z, but can also have additional rotary axes, such as five-axis, which has three linear axes and two rotary axes, allowing the tool to be on a 180-degree hemisphere or more operate.

Milling machines are used to cut planes, or to mill out shaped surfaces, spiral grooves, or gear tooth profiles through special-shaped milling cutters. When milling, the workpiece is placed on the worktable or dividing head, and the milling cutter rotates. The cutting motion is supplemented by the feed motion of the table. This method of using the milling cutter as the tool to process the surface of the workpiece is what we call milling.

Types of milling machines

Vertical milling machine processing

The rotating shaft of this kind of processing tool is in an upright position. The rotating shaft tool head can be rotated and set on the vertical plane. The mass axis can also move up and down in a short distance, which is beneficial to layered milling. Some even have rotating accessories or workbenches. Milling circular slots or serially produced parts.

Universal milling machine processing

This type of milling machine is the most versatile. It can be turned vertically, horizontally, and vertically, and can also be rotated 45 degrees left and right in the horizontal direction. It can also use a variety of milling cutters to meet different conditions. with need.

Horizontal milling machine processing

This machine is used for milling large workpieces with a large amount of material, and accurately reproduces surfaces and contours, fed to a rotating milling cutter in a longitudinal motion and at an appropriate speed.

Different Types of Milling Machines

Milling machines can be divided into many types due to different processing types, such as bed type milling machines, surface milling machines, special milling machines, etc. As can be seen from the above, according to the position and direction of the spindle of each form, they can be divided into vertical type and horizontal type.

Three-axis milling machine: A general machine tool has three axes. The three-axis machining is performed by the linear feed axes X, Y and Z. The three axes are that the workpiece platform can move left and right (1 axis) and forward and backward (2 axes), and the spindle head ( 3-axis) is used to cut workpieces.

Four-axis milling machine: Four-axis is a four-axis processing machine in which the CNC indexing plate is installed on the comprehensive processing machine so that it can be formed according to the rotary axis and all four axes operate at the same time.

Five-axis milling machine: Five-axis is one of the most suitable processing methods for free-form surfaces or composite surfaces. With the increasing demand for complex geometric shapes and high-precision manufacturing such as turbine blades and precision molds, traditional three-axis and four-axis The precision of the axis may not be able to meet the machining requirements, so multi-axis machining will be the future trend, and the five-axis machining method is based on the feed axis X, Y, Z and the rotary axis A, B, C around X, Any five-axis linear interpolation operation between Y and Z can optimize the process of moving along the entire path, and the tool can move linearly at the same time and maintain a cutting state along the entire path.

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