Milling vs. Turning

September 3, 2018

How does one decide what style of CNC machining is best for the part they are looking to

manufacture? If you are questioning which method will be more efficient, read the following facts about CNC milling vs. turning. 



In CNC Turning, the part is mounted on a rotating chuck while material is removed using stationary cutting tools. This makes it much easier for parts with symmetry along their center axis to be machined. Turned parts are typically produced faster and at a lower cost than milled parts. 


Although CNC Milling is the most popular style of CNC machining, tool access can be a major design restriction. As there are only 3 axes to work with (X, Y, and Z) certain areas may be impossible to reach. This will not be a big problem if the part needs to only be rotated onc

e, but if the part requires multiple rotations this will increase the cost of labor and machining hours. 


Main Difference? 

The primary difference is that in a turning operation, your part that is going to be machined rotates. While in a milling operation, your part being machined stays stationary and your tools rotate. Turning is usually defined for cylindrical work pieces, used to reduce the diameter of a work piece. This means that parts that are more detailed and complex, being produced at higher volumes should use CNC turning machines. 



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