The difference between turning and milling

For someone who is not familiar with CNC machines, it would be hard to tell the difference. Of course, this is logical. Also, the average person cannot know exactly how these machines work. Furthermore, most of us will not know what will be the deciding factor in choosing between a CNC lathe and a CNC milling machine.

These two processes look very similar from the outside, but they differ in many ways. The difference lies mainly in the machining process as well as in the type of product the machine can deliver. Here, we will introduce not only the features of CNC turning and CNC milling, but also the differences between these two methods.

CNC milling

CNC milling is essentially machining of material. This is done to create the ideal surface for the desired object. CNC milling can be done with many different materials, with plastic being a popular choice. Of course, there are various plastics that can be used. CNC milling is performed with the help of specialized machines. These machines can be used for different types of milling: 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis simultaneous milling. Which type you choose depends on a number of factors. For example, the number of sides of the part being machined plays a role, as does the complexity of the operations. Is it relatively simple? Then 3-axis milling is a good choice. 5-axis milling machines are used for more difficult machining tasks.

CNC turning

One type of CNC machining is computer-controlled turning of a material. CNC machining is often used for two techniques within machining. It is CNC milling, but it is also CNC turning. CNC turning is done with a lathe that is equipped with a bar feeder. This is different from CNC milling as it uses a milling machine. Nevertheless, they are relatively similar as both techniques are machining operations. This means that the shape of the block can be changed quite a bit. CNC turning is already relatively widespread in various industries. The medical industry, for example, uses this technique extensively, but so does the Department of Defense. CNC turning is used particularly often when the component is to have cylindrical properties, and therefore bars are also used.

More on this topic

Milling and turning are two common machining processes used in the manufacturing industry. Both processes are used to create parts and products from raw materials, but there are some key differences between the two.

Turning is a machining process that involves rotating a workpiece about its axis to remove material. The workpiece is mounted on a lathe and rotated while a cutting tool is applied to it, removing material to create the desired shape. Turning is typically used to create cylindrical parts, but it can also be used to produce other shapes.

Milling is a machining process that uses rotary cutters to remove material from a workpiece. The milling cutter revolves around the axis of the workpiece, cutting material away to create the desired shape. Milling can be used to create both flat and complex shapes.

Both turning and milling are versatile machining processes that can be used to create a wide variety of parts and products. The main difference between the two is the way in which material is removed from the workpiece. Turning relies on rotation to remove material, while milling uses a cutting tool that moves around the workpiece.