Milling machines move a workpiece into a fixed cutter, or a cutter into a stationary workpiece in vertical or horizontal directions along X, Y and Z axes. There are several basic types of milling machines. Vertical milling machines (VMC) have a vertical spindle, similar to the drill press, but with an X-Y table that permits positioning the work. Horizontal milling machines (HMC) also have an X-Y table for workpiece positioning; however, the cutters are mounted on a horizontal arbor...
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Q & A on Milling Machines

We asked our users for their input on Milling Machines. Here are the results of 127 users familiar with Milling Machines.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing milling machine design?
18 answers
Answers:
Latest cutting tools with highly improved complex inserts Varied coating for material and improved parameters require higher rigidity of structures and slides for high speed applications.
~Engineering, Design, BANGALORE, India
Stable casting compounds, drives technology, vibration dampening, spindles, controller technology, nano tech, particle beam tech (laser), ultrasonics, continuous path machining
~Paul T, Manufacturer, Pretoria, Rep. of South Africa
- digital printing on solid material and cut around the shapes via optical recognition - diversification to cutting heads based on oscillating tangential knives
~Erik K, General Management, Antwerpen, Belgium
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative milling machines?
17 answers
Answers:
Roland, in fact this is my favorite, but it is very expensive. In second Place I most said Jinan Ruijie Mechanical Equipment Co, great machines, great price and most importantly, great service.
~Roberto Valldeperas, Architect, San Jose, Costa Rica
Mazak, and Haas. Mazak for their multitasking machines and Haas for their controls. If only they could work together.
~Karl W, General Management, Newmarket, Canada
Mori-Seiki, DMG, Huron, Rhoeders, Makino, Hermle, Maatsura
~Paul T, Manufacturer, Pretoria, Rep. of South Africa
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used milling machines for?
34 answers
Answers:
We used milling machines for surfacing heavy machinery parts, boring, key way slotting internal & external using attachments, splines & gear cutting etc.
~MOHAMMEDHANIF K, Technical Support, JUBAIL, KSA
Tool and die mold making, model digitizing, graphite electrode machining, high speed hard machining steel, brass and aluminum production machining
~Marvin R, Maintenance Engineer and Journeyman Tool and Die Maker, West Bend, WI
I have built a steam engine and put it in a motorcycle. I am in progress of building a solar generator for electrical power.
~Research & Development, Jacksonville, FL
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that milling machines have been used for.
12 answers
Answers:
As an employee of Creative Technology Corp. in the past we converted many older machines to high speed PC based control. This also included digitizing systems on many machines.
~Marvin R, Maintenance Engineer and Journeyman Tool and Die Maker, West Bend, WI
Oh my god , a human face made out of ham, big mess, not my best day, at least it was not not my idea. It didn't work, perhaps if we cook a deep fry the ham... umm no.
~Roberto Valldeperas, Architect, San Jose, Costa Rica
Some non standard for me it is good working impeller after 5-axis milling, but for other it is routine job.
~Vitalii M, Owner of the mould making company., Varna, Bulgaria
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of milling machines?
8 answers
Answers:
I have been lucky so far to have had only minor bumps causing no damage, but I have seen the results of a large crash. The spindle was destroyed and a Y axis ball screw broke from a rapid movement into a fixture.
~Karl W, General Management, Newmarket, Canada
MANY MISTAKES i.e 1 selection of wrong or blunt cutters. 2 selection of wrong speed/feed according to the material to be machined. 3 depth of cut. 4 wrong direction cutters rotation/feeding.
~MOHAMMEDHANIF K, Technical Support, JUBAIL, KSA
Using a 4th axis drive and utilizing the milling machine as a mill/turner, no supports along a long workpiece, distortion and scrapping of job and damage to machine.
~Paul T, Manufacturer, Pretoria, Rep. of South Africa
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
13 answers
Answers:
Easily cleanable coolant tank and replaceable coolant screens and filter Large enough chip removal system to make cleaning easy Adequate fastener size for all removable panels with NO recessed fasteners Well fitted sheet metal - something Mazak has lost sight of
~Marvin R, Maintenance Engineer and Journeyman Tool and Die Maker, West Bend, WI
Multitasking with simple controls. On the floor programming has gone the way of the dodo, we need simple controls that allow several work shifts and easy editing. All the programming is done via the computer CAD software .
~Karl W, General Management, Newmarket, Canada
Angle rotary system for the head of the spindle to produce softer products and a better 3d aspect.
~Roberto Valldeperas, Architect, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using milling machines?
14 answers
Answers:
All machines are good if you know how to work the machine and not abuse it. The only suggestion is to look at the controls and manuals for machine repair. All machines will break, the question is where is the support when they do. With all the cutbacks lately companies have reduced staff to the point that service seems to be an issue.
~Karl W, General Management, Newmarket, Canada
Look at the machine construction, not at the cosmetic aspect. Look at the service aspect, it is better to have a moderate BMW with service around the corner than a Ferrari with no service at all, even if both would cost the same.
~Erik K, General Management, Antwerpen, Belgium
Yes, if you don't know how to use autocad or any cad program don't waste your time, you will be overrun by those who can and we are many.
~Roberto Valldeperas, Architect, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of milling machines?
11 answers
Answers:
For users: your CNC machine is like a baby, try to explain to your baby exactly what to do. Please believe the machine does not make mistakes. YOU make mistakes.
~Vitalii M, Owner of the mould making company., Varna, Bulgaria
You can always make small parts on a large machine, but it's hard to go the other way. Buy all the options; it will help in resale value, and is cheaper if bought at the time of purchase. To add later is expensive in most cases.
~Karl W, General Management, Newmarket, Canada
Maybe to be clear in what line or work you want to express your creativity, you need to love your work, your machine and the place you work in.
~Roberto Valldeperas, Architect, San Jose, Costa Rica
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