What Is a Milling Machine Used For?

Milling machines "machine" or carve or cut materials, such as wood and metal, into different shapes for various projects and applications. They are often computer-aided design directed; however, traditional, manually directed, milling machines are also common.

Milling machines can take on vertical and horizon positions, depending on their intended use. They use rotary cutters to cut and shape while a piece of the material is fed in one direction. Computer numerical controlled machines can automatically change the tools used. These machines also have enclosures and cooling systems. Some machines also have turning environments, incorporating lathes into the milling system, creating multitasking machines.

The basic tooling bit on a mill are called cutters, which can cut through materials by utilizing sharp saw teeth. They spin and cut down or shape the material. End mills have a cutting surface over one end of the tool and can be used to drill holes by plunging the rotating tool into the materials. When face milling the material to shape it, the surface always has trochoidal or bumpy marks across the face and is a distinctive finish for materials that have been milled. Depending on the material, these bumps can be rough.