Everything You Need To Know About CNC Milling

Tuesday July 6th, 2021 | Francesco Grillo | Industry News

How familiar are you with CNC milling? It refers to a machining process that removes material from workpieces in order to produce custom parts. Different types of materials can be used in the machining process, like glass, wood, plastic, and metal.

The precision and versatility of this technology have made it prominent in the aerospace and medical industry. There are various providers of products designed with precision machining, creating innovative manufacturing solutions for customers.

This is everything you need to know about this process, operation types, and advantages.

Overview of the process



In the same fashion as the other CNC machining processes, milling has to be computerized in order to operate machine tools whose job is to shape and cut materials. This procedure involves the same stages of production, starting by creating a CAD model, converting this model into a format compatible with a CNC program, setting up the milling machine, and performing the given operation.

The CAD model designed at the start of the process is either a 2D or 3D design of the part. The job of operators is to prepare the machine by securing the workpiece to the work surface of the machine and attaching the necessary tools. Once the machine is prepared for the process, the operator sets the program in motion, which instructs the machine to perform the required tasks.

After the initiation of the CNC cutting process, the machine is expected to rotate the tools for cutting at a given speed. Parts are shaped by gradually removing material until the desired form is achieved. In the beginning, the cutting tools remove only tiny pieces of the entire workpiece to create an approximate form. Afterward, the workpiece is subjected to another more accurate and precise procedure to ensure the part has the right features.


Types of operations

CNC milling is popular for its high accuracy and tolerance in the production of parts. The tolerance range is between +/- 0.001 and +/- 0.005 inches. Such versatility allows this process to be used in a myriad of industries for creating parts with various designs and features. The most popular operations involve face, plain, angular, and form milling. Learn more about the eight main types of milling cutters.

Face milling is considered adequate for creating flat contours and surfaces on finished pieces. The quality of the finish is much higher when compared to the other operation types. Conversely, plain milling employs narrow and wide cutters. The former enables deeper cuts, whereas the latter is suitable for cutting large-sized areas.


Angular operation, on the other hand, uses single-angle cutters whose angle is determined by design, which is about to be machined. Consequently, it’s best suited for the production of features like grooves, serrations, and chamfers. This operation is usually applied in dovetail production, manufactured at an angle of 45, 50, 55, and 60 degrees.

In contrast, form milling is an operation where irregular outlines, shapes, and surfaces are involved. It’s used in the creation of contours, hemispherical cavities, semi-circular cavities, beads, etc. There are other specialized operations, such as straddle, gang, gear, and profile milling.


CNC technology is considered beneficial on a worldwide level because of its unmatched precision. Hence, the aerospace and medical industry take advantage of this technology whenever they need to eliminate human error from the process of manufacturing. The following link, https://aussiebusinesshub.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/cnc-milling-what-is-it-its-advantages-and-disadvantages/, explains the advantages and disadvantages of CNC milling.

Another advantage of using this technology is longevity, as CNC machines require almost no human involvement. These machines are non-stoppable, capable of running for days without any reduction in precision. They should be stopped only in the event of a defect or regular maintenance checkups.

In addition, CNC milling machines demonstrate better performance in comparison with technicians because of the use of automated software. This advanced software not only eliminates human error but also produces complex designs with varying shapes, textures, and sizes. Due to automation, the consistency of the production process is remarkable.

The bottom line

Such technology is the key to precision, accuracy, longevity, and versatility in part production.

Human error is excluded from the process, thus guaranteeing high precision and exquisite part features!