Milling is the process of removing material with a rotating, multi-toothed cutter. CNC, the acronym for Computer Numerical Control, refers to having the machine movements controlled by a computer. A part program, developed from the CAD file, dictates the sequence of moves that remove material to create the part. It can do this faster and more repeatably than is possible with a manually-controlled machine.
Milling machines take one of two forms, although a third variant is on the rise. The two forms of milling machines are vertical and horizontal machines. This refers to the axis of rotation of the cutting tool. Vertical machines hold the tool on a vertical axis. They are more widely used than horizontal machines because they tend to be more versatile. At Jarvis Machine all our milling machines are verticals, except for our 5-axis CNC machine.
5 axis CNC machines are the new, third type of milling machine. A vertical mill has three axes of movement: the table that holds the workpiece can move left-right (the X-axis,) and forwards and back (the Y-axis.) In addition, the spindle can move up and down to provide a third, Z, axis. With this arrangement, a vertical machine can cut flat surfaces on any exposed surface of the workpiece.
A 5-axis CNC machine adds two additional axes of movement. This lets its angle and tilt adjust to the cutter axis with respect to the workpiece. This has two advantages over a 3-axis machine: it enables machining of contours, and it reduces the need to take the workpiece off the table and remount it in a different position to machine additional features. That saves time and helps maintain a tight geometric relationship between the machined surfaces.
3-Axis Milling (9 Vertical CNCs, 2 ProtoTRAKs)
CNC Max Travel: 50” x 18” x 18”
ProtoTRAK Max Travel: 38” x 20” x 17”
5-Axis Milling (1 Mill)
Max Travel: 21” x 16” x 19”
A,C Axis Travel: +30°/-110°, 360°
Max Weight on Table: 330 lbs