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CNC Milling vs. CNC Turning: Which is Better?

Blog  /  CNC Milling vs. CNC Turning: Which is Better?

CNC Milling vs. CNC Turning: Which is Better?

Dec 28,2023

Difference between CNC milling and CNC Turning

CNC milling and CNC turning are two different machining approaches that are used to create various parts and components. In the following section, we shall differentiate them based on operation, workpiece shape, and the axes of movement.

Comparing these two procedures, milling removes material from a stationary workpiece by use of a spinning multi-point cutting tool. Cutting tools move along many axes (often X, Y, and Z) to form complicated forms, grooves, and features on the workpiece. We use stationary cutting tools to remove material from the revolving workpiece during turning. Cutting tools move along two axes (often X and Z) to shape workpieces into cylindrical forms like shafts, pins, and rings.

When comparing workpiece shapes, milling is better suited for creating parts with complex geometries, including irregular shapes, contours, and cavities. Because it can process the external and internal features of the workpiece. However, turning is mainly used to produce cylindrical parts. It excels at creating symmetrical circular shapes such as axes, cylinders, and disks.

When comparing the axes of movement of these two machines, milling machines typically have three or more axes of motion, which allow the cutting tool to move along the X, Y, and Z axes. These axes enable the creation of complex three-dimensional shapes. In contrast, turning machines usually have two axes of movement, typically the X and Z axes. The cutting tool moves along these axes to shape the rotating workpiece.

CNC Milling

CNC milling, also known as computer numerical control milling, is a machining method that removes material from a workpiece using computerized controls and spinning multi-point cutting tools. It is a very adaptive and precise method that is employed in a range of industries, such as manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and engineering.

A computer program is used in CNC milling to control the movement of the milling machine and cutting tools. The program defines the tool routes and the cutting parameters, including speed, feed rate, and depth of cut. Following these directions, the milling machine accurately removes material from the workpiece.

Milling entails rotating the cutting tool, which is often a cylindrical device with numerous cutting edges. As the tool spins, it contacts with the workpiece, cutting and removing material to achieve the desired form. The cutting tool may move along many axes, including the X, Y, and Z axes, enabling sophisticated and accurate machining processes.

Face milling, peripheral milling, slot milling, drilling, and contouring are among the operations that CNC milling machines may do. They can produce complicated forms, patterns, and features with great precision and repeatability. Depending on the cutting tools employed, the milling machine may work with a variety of materials, including metals, polymers, composites, and wood.

CNC milling can removes material from a workpiece using computerized controls and spinning multi-point cutting tools.

Advantages & Applications

CNC milling has various advantages over manual milling, including the potential to boost production, improve precision, decrease human mistakes, and automate and repeat complicated machining operations. We frequently utilized it in manufacturing processes to generate high-dimensional accuracy and surface quality components, prototypes, molds, and parts.

CNC Turning

CNC turning, also known as computer numerical control turning, is a machining process that uses computer control and rotation of a workpiece to remove material and create cylindrical parts. It is a typical method used in the manufacturing industry to produce precision components such as shafts, pins, fittings, and other cylindrical objects.

In CNC turning, we use a computer program to control the movement of the cutting tool and the rotation of the workpiece. This program can specify tool paths, cutting parameters, and desired dimensions of the finished part. The workpiece is then shaped according to these instructions by using a lathe.

The turning process then involves clamping the workpiece in a chuck or collet and holding it securely in place. The workpiece rotates at high speed while a single-point cutting tool (usually made of carbide or high-speed steel) is fed into the rotating workpiece to remove material. The cutting tool can move along multiple axes, including the X and Z axes, enabling different cutting operations such as facing, grooving, threading, and contouring.

Computer numerical control (CNC) controls the cutting tools, which allows precise control of tool motion and cutting parameters. Specifically, the CNC system interprets program instructions and adjusts tool position, feed rate, and cutting speed accordingly. As a result, this automation enables consistent and precise machining of workpieces.

CNC turning can uses computer control and rotation of a workpiece to remove material and create cylindrical parts.

Advantages & Applications

CNC turning offers several advantages over traditional manual turning. It speeds up production, improves precision, and enables the production of complex geometries. Besides this, CNC lathes can process a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. Therefore the entire process is very efficient and can be easily programmed to produce multiple identical parts.

WHY work with JLC3DP

A reliable source is essential whether you're searching for CNC turning, milling, or any other type of precise engineering services. The components you require must be of the highest standard and constructed to last.

As a subsidiary of JLCPCB, we provide an industry-leading online 3D printing & CNC machining service by utilizing cutting-edge manufacturing technology to create affordable functional parts out of many different industrial-grade materials that can be used in the automotive, medical, and consumer electronics fields, among others.
We offer high-quality 3D printing processes, including selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, Selective Laser Melting, and HP Multi Jet Fusion.

We have hundreds of CNC machines, experienced engineers, support CNC milling (3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis), turning (digital turning, turning, and milling complex), and surface treatment processing technology. This technology allows us to efficiently produce both prototyping and production parts, ensuring consistent and high-quality results.

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