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What is a CNC milling machine?

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A CNC, or computer numeric control, milling machine is a piece of computerized workshop equipment that can perform multiple tasks, such as drilling and turning. This machine replaces the need for several individual milling machines. It is given instructions by computer software commands known as numeric control.

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A CNC milling machine replaces drill presses, turning machines and conventional milling machines. A distinct advantage over other equipment is its ability to move its cutting head in multiple directions. This allows the machine to cut or engrave complex shapes.

Being able to operate on multiple axes also allows the machine to perform multiple tasks in a row, such as drilling all the holes in a door hinge, without resetting the machine. The machine’s versatility is increased by the number of axes on which it operates. A CNC milling machine is used on various materials, such as different tempers of metal, wood or plastic.

Another advantage of a CNC milling machine is its computer control, which helps to remove human error. A program is formed before operation giving the machine exact instructions. The program is created by a series of commands called G-codes. G-codes are written in alphanumeric format and represent the specific functions of the machine. Once the material is in place and the software is ready, the machine performs all the milling quickly and error-free.

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