CNC milling machines allow users to create intricate patterns in metal materials like steel and aluminium. They are also useful for machining delicate parts such as pistons, valves, and other engine components. Because they are controlled by a computer, cnc milling machines offer a higher degree of accuracy than can be achieve with hand operated mills or lathes. The concept of using a mill to hone metal has been around for more than a century. Milling machines have taken this process a step farther by making it possible to machine the same type of piece over and over again to precise specifications.
The first cnc machine was developed by MIT for the Air Force, and was used to create curved aircraft pieces to previously impossible accuracy. Before long milling machines had replace hand machines in many different manufacturing plants.They are used to finish off metal pieces ranging from cylinder heads for lawnmower engines to turbine blades for jet engines.
High Precision Milling
A cnc machine can reproduce the same level of accuracy over a production run of several hundred pieces (with regular cutting tool sharpening), which makes it an invaluable tool for anyone producing large numbers of parts for a variety of applications. It can be used for smaller tasks as well. Many hobbyists have discovered that cnc machines produce tremendously accurate pieces for small engines for ultra light aircraft or even model aircraft. You can also use a small milling machine to make decorative pieces like belt buckles or jewellery.
Production milling machines can be expensive, especially for larger models. However, many do it yourselfers have discovered that they can build their own small cnc machine. This can be done either by adapting a small hand milling machine or purchasing a kit to build a cnc. To adapt a hand milling machine you need to add motion control equipment as well as computer connections. Fortunately many other hobbyists have completed this conversion, and many of them will be happy to share their experiences of making their own machines.