Milling machine


In the field of mechanics there are many important machines and one of them is the milling machine . It is a type of machine that has the ability to rough , cut and perform a series of holes in solid materials, generally metal. We can say that the milling machine is a type of cutting tool which works by means of a “milling cutter” .


What is a milling machine?

milling machine is a type of machine tool that has a horizontal or vertical axis in which a tool used for cutting , known as a “milling cutter,” can rotate, placed on a horizontal table, to shape the materials.

  • Milling machine features
  • History
  • What is the milling machine for
  • Types of milling machine
  • Parties
  • How does it work
  • How to use
  • Accessories
  • Maintenance
  • Featured Manufacturers
  • Importance of the milling machine

Milling machine features

Among its most notable features are the following:

  • It is a kind of rotary power tool .
  • To work it needs a cutting instrument which is known by the name of bur .
  • Perform different twisting and longitudinal movements .
  • It has the ability to mill materials such as wood , metals , acrylic and plastic among others.
  • It has a very good power which is generally 500 Watts .
  • It maintains a good electronic balance of speed depending on the hardness of the material with which it is worked. So overall , the minimum speed is 000 rpm
  • The depth of cut is also known as the stroke length which must be at least 40mm.
  • It has pincers of 6 and 8 mm to achieve adapt as many prisoners as possible.


The first milling machine that was built was born in 1818 thanks to the American Eli Whitney . This machine was built with the purpose of improving and increasing the speed in the manufacture of rifles for the state of Connecticut. In the 1830s , a milling machine was manufactured that included a mechanism for its vertical regulation as well as a support to be able to place the spindle , this machine was built by the Gay & Silver company . Frederick W. Howe, an American engineer, succeeded in making the first universal milling machine In the year 1848 and in the middle of the XIX century , they began to build vertical type milling machines.

It was Brown & Sharpe , a renowned company that was in charge of building the first universal milling machine which had spur and helical gears. In 1874 , Pierre Philippe Huré managed to design a machine that had a double spindle and that also worked by means of a manual rotation . In the decade of 1940 it was able to develop a numerical control by computer thanks to the American inventor John T. Parsons .

What is the milling machine for

The milling machine is a type of tool used to machine the metal , the wood and some types of solid materials . It is a type of multifunctional machine that is also used to turn materials .

Types of milling machine

There are several types of milling machines which depend on the size , the function they perform and the specific characteristics that each one of them has. According to this, there are several types of categories in which the milling machines can be placed:

By the orientation of the spindle

  • Vertical milling machine: the spindle is placed vertically and perpendicular to the coordinate table. It can have an oscillating type head and they are the most common machines today.
  • Horizontal milling machine : strawberries are placed on a tree porta strawberries are the first designs emerged which included a spindle shape horizontally , a bridge responsible for supporting the shaft and a table of coordinates.
  • Universal milling machine : this type of milling machine is a combination of the two models mentioned above and the tool can be used both vertically and horizontally.

Depending on the number of axles they have

  • 3-axis : they represent the X, Y, Z axes in order to be able to machine the three dimensions of space.
  • 4-axis: it has the ability to rotate the object that will be machined inside the table. It is possible with it, to mill all the four lateral faces and the four pieces can be fixed at the same time.
  • 5-axis : it can rotate in two different axes, which makes it possible for the part to be tilted to achieve milling on all its faces, reducing gripping and making it possible for the cutter to access it.

Depending on its structure

  • Conventional type : conventional type milling machines have a C-shaped structure in which the elements of the machine can be distributed, they are mainly characterized by their rigidity which gives them the ability to withstand the forces produced by means of the milling without causing deformation. They can be of the classic or horizontal type and have a coordinate table in which the vertical machining centers have the “X” and “Y” axis and the head is the one in charge of moving from top to bottom.
  • Mobile bridge : they are also known as a gantry and in them neither the table nor the piece that will be machined is mobilized, but what moves is the structure that is responsible for supporting the head . They are large in size and are used to be able to work with materials that are more difficult to handle.
  • Column : they have the spindle in a vertical column and on it it moves from top to bottom by means of an arm. It is used on very large and heavy pieces.

Depending on the control method

  • Manual milling machines : they are the most basic and use a kind of crank so that the operator can move the axes when he turns them.
  • Milling machine with dimension display : it is a type of reader that indicates the position of the axes and reflects them on a screen .
  • CNC milling machines: they are very modern and are controlled digitally . They are ideal for automating manufacturing processes. In it, the cuts and mills must be previously indicated on a CAM software computer so that they can then be transmitted to the GCODE format.


The parts that a milling machine has are the following:

  • Table : is the place where the piece that needs to be rough is placed. In it is where it is possible to fix the block of raw metal that will be worked by means of different systems flee jaws, ties and nuts.
  • Cranks : it is responsible for giving movement to the Cartesian axes and thanks to them it is possible to move the component that has been held and the spindle that is part of the cutter.
  • Head : in the head is the device that has the function of holding and securing the cutting element. It can contain the power button and various types of accessories. It also has the axis of the tool, the axis of rotation and the axis on which the cutter will be placed in order to cut.
  • Engine : it is the most important part of the machine and its power, revolutions and torque can vary depending on the purpose and the model. The motor control is done electronically and they have a gear system.
  • Gearbox : ideal for controlling the cutting speed and they are in charge of regulating the power output that comes from the motor, converting it into different speeds which can be adjustable.

How does it work

The operation of a milling machine is based on a cutting tool which, when rotating at high speeds, has the ability to tear off the chip from a certain material. To carry out this process, the person is in charge of moving the cutting tool and at the same time the piece in order to be able to remove the material and subsequently achieve the desired shape. Can perform movements such longitudinal (x – axis), transverse (y – axis) and vertically (z axis).

How to use

In order to use the milling machine, the machine must first be turned on , then the work table on which the part will be placed must be accommodated . This piece must also be fixed to later accommodate the column of the machine. Then, the cutter must be placed on the spindle and in this way the milling process begins, mobilizing the flywheels “x” and “y” to achieve the desired shape of the piece.


There is a wide variety of accessories that can be used in a milling machine, some of them are:

  • Fasteners : a clamping device that is placed on the table and that is responsible for clamping the workpieces.
  • Attachments : can be designed to hold lucillo, standard cutters or burs, or workpieces.
  • Trees, nozzles and adapters .
  • Presses or work clamping devices.
  • Exchange head that makes bolt head and other cuts possible.


With proper maintenance, milling machines can have a fairly high useful life. So overall , this type of machine needs maintenance daily , so weekly , monthly and yearly . Every day the machine should be cleaned correctly to remove dirt particles which should ideally be blown with dry air under pressure . Throughout the week , he should be making a more thorough cleaning and filter the control boxIt must be vacuumed to remove chip remains. After a month , it is also important to clean the shafts and knives very well using a brush and a degreaser. In the event of a failure, the machine must be checked by a technician specialized in the matter.

Featured Manufacturers

Some prominent manufacturers are:

  • L & W Machine Tools
  • Tong-Tai
  • Bening Company
  • Palmary
  • Hiwin Technologies

Importance of the milling machine

The milling machine is a very important machine in the industrial field because it allows different machining by chip removal . Thanks to this process, it is possible to machine a large number of materials such as wood, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, flat or curved surfaces, synthetic materials and more. In addition, it makes it possible for the milled parts to be fine-tuned.

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