By utilizing its rotary cutters, the milling machine is a formidable tool that is capable of carrying out various tasks, ranging from easy-to-do undertakings like slotting and counterboring, to more challenging tasks such as intricate contouring and die-sinking.
Depending on the orientation of their spindle, milling machines are widely known as being vertical, horizontal, or universal – each resulting in different levels of movement and positioning of the cutting tool in that X-Y plane. These three types reign as the most popular amongst the milling machine community.
A vertical milling machine has a distinct advantage over its more horizontal counterpart—it’s spindle is placed vertically, allowing it to carve more deeply into the workpiece. Perfect for elaborate projects like refining slots or excavating pockets, the vertical milling machine is designed for intricate material removal.
Crafted with a level spindle, horizontal milling machines are equipped to delve into the workpiece in a more shallow way than their vertical-spindled counterparts. This makes them especially ideal for tasks such as forming curves or etching shapes, whereby only minor material needs to be removed.
A universal milling machine offers an incredibly versatile production capability, with its highly adjustable spindle offering the ability to be positioned in both horizontal and vertical positions. This makes it the ideal device for taking care of jobs that require more or less substantial amounts of material to be removed.
Cutting tools known as end mills are employed in milling machines for the purpose of eliminating material from the workpiece. They come in diverse sizes and forms, allowing for a range of operations.
A tried-and-true type of end mill, the square end mill has cutting edges connected to flutes running counter to them. Practical for a wide array of applications, from counterboring to contouring, uses for this kind of cutter are plentiful.
To produce curves and contours, a ball end mill is the ideal tool. These mills are marked by a rounded tip, allowing them to create surfaces that are smooth with intricate detail.
End mills come crafted from a variety of materials, but the three most commonplace are high speed steel, cobalt, and carbide. High speed steel devices are the most affordable option yet are not as hard-wearing as cobalt or carbide varieties.
End mills made of cobalt are substantially more resilient than those crafted from high speed steel, albeit also slightly pricier. If looking for the utmost in durability, however, carbide end mills are the best choice– though they come at the highest cost.
A variety of protective coatings are available for end mills, including Titanium Nitride (TiN), Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN), and Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN). These coatings serve to reinforce the longevity and strength of the milling tools.
When it comes to end mills, coated ones are the way to go. TiN-coated end mills are a great combination of affordability and reliability and are the go-to choice for many. Although the extra cost can be a deterrent, TiCN-coated end mills offer increased durability that could very well be worth it. And if money is not an issue, then those looking for peak performance will turn to TiAlN-coated end mills due to their superior longevity.
A vast selection of end mills can be found in varying sizes, the most typical being 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. The diameter of the cutting edge is the factor that determines the size of the end mill.
When measuring the size of an end mill, one must take into account the length of its cutting edge which is determined by a comparison of the tip and the shank’s juncture.
A wide selection of end mills is available, each of which feature a distinct shank size. The most frequent shank sizes encompass 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 3/8″, with the diameter of the shank determining this value.
The number of flutes an end mill features dictates how much material can be removed in a single rotation. Common flute counts are 2, 3, 4, and 5.
To determine Morgan size, one should look to the length of the cutting edge. Generally speaking, the most popular sizes available include 3/32″, 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 3/8″. However, end mills come in a range of different sizes.
A wide selection of neck sizes is available when choosing an end mill. Most standard neck lengths include 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 3/8″; however, the size of the cutting edge will determine the size of the neck.
From 30, 45, 60 to 90 degrees, end mills boast a spectrum of varying point angles. Termed as the angle between the cutting edge and its axis, the point angle serves as a defining factor of the end mill.
A broad selection of helix angles is offered in end mills. Generally speaking, the most commonly seen type is the standard helix angle, which allows for efficient cutting motion and excellent chip clearance. However, more specialized jobs may require higher helix angles to enhance surface finish or take on different materials. Depending on the needs, end mills can be customized to meet desired specifications.