In this blog I’m going to talk a little about the different milling machines and the axis that are commonly used in a machine shop, but first let’s define a Mill and an Axis. A mill is a machine tool for rotating a cutter (milling cutter) to produce or formed surfaces on a workpiece, usually by moving the work past the cutter. An Axis is a fixed reference line for the measurement of coordinates, an imaginary line about which a body rotates (Source:Dictionary.com). Now that we know what each of these are defined as let’s talk about the different axis machines and what are commonly used.
In a typical shop you may see a 3, 4 or 5 axis machine. Since we know the definition of an axis we can begin to think about how these machines work. A 3 axis machine is designed to hold the raw material stationary while the cutter moves along the axis to make the part. 4th and 5th axis machines are designed to let the part be rotated on different points without the part being touched by the machinist. This allows for more features to be able to be put into the part and more accuracy in regards to tolerance levels.
In my next blog I’ll talk more about the machined part from start to finish as well as the features and tolerance levels and how these machines make it possible to create the world we live in today.