At Intrex Aerospace we utilize CNC Turning & Milling. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology for most of our production parts. CNC machining is the dominant metal forming technology used in the production of precision aerospace components. CNC offers the precision, flexibility and repeatability that is needed for producing aerospace machined components. Most aerospace parts have transitioned from manual equipment, because of the obvious advantages of CNC vs. Manual.
Over the years we have acquired an assortment of CNC machine configurations for our production floor. Although our equipment varies in terms of number of spindles, number of controlled axes, horizontal, vertical, work envelope size, etc., our basic machines can be identified as either CNC turning or CNC milling.
One of the values of CNC machines is they can control multiple axes simultaneously in a repeatable motion. Depending on the type of machine the axes movement can be measured either linear or rotary. Many machines have both linear and rotary axes.
Simple CNC lathes have just two linear axes, X and Z. more sophisticated lathes have 3 axes, A, Y (rotary), and Z. Milling machines (both vertical and horizontal) usually have at least three axes, X, Y, and Z, and many can add a rotary axes, for a total of 4 axes. A five axes milling machine is one that has three linear axes and two rotary, allowing the cutter to operate in a full 180º hemisphere and sometimes more. Five axis turn/mill has 2 axes turning and 3 axes rotary.
CNC turning is a machining process that utilizes computer controls to manage axes movements and spindle speeds. The raw material is held, usually (but not exclusively) with a chucking device. Raw material is removed (subtractive machining) by rotating the chuck while moving the cutting tool (not rotating) usually located on the machine turret, into the workpiece using “x” and “z” axis – (2 axes machining).
Simple CNC lathes have just two linear axes, X and Z. more sophisticated lathes have 3 axes, A, Y (rotary), and Z. Milling machines (both vertical and horizontal) usually have at least three axes, X, Y, and Z, and many can add a rotary axes, for a total of 4 axes. Some turning machines have a milling spindle located on the turret (turn/mill). The mill spindle has a rotating tool that can access the workpiece to machine milling features, giving the machine 3 axes capability, in a single chucking.
CNC milling is a machining process that utilizes computerized controls to manage the movement and operation of multi-point rotary cutting tools. As the tools rotate and move across the surface of the workpiece, they slowly remove material to achieve the desired shape and size. There are two primary configurations for CNC Milling: Vertical spindle or Horizontal spindle.
CNC Lathe and Milling Machines are programmed and managed by Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems. In most instances, the CNC programming process begins with the creation of a 2D or 3D CAD part design. Then the completed design is exported to a CNC-compatible file format and converted by CAM software into a CNC machine program (“G” and “M” code format) which dictates the actions of the machine. It sends instructions to the axes drives that control machine positioning, movements, spindle speeds, axis speeds, all necessary to achieve the desired shapes, sizes and finishes.
Typical CNC Milling Cutting Tools
Examples of tooling for milling machine operations, including cutters, drills, and broaching bits.
Typical CNC Lathe Cutting Tools
Using CNC Turning & Milling machines gives so much flexibility. Your biggest imitations are work envelope size and tooling constraints.
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