Milling Machine Definition, Process & Types

milling machine

Mill Machining, Milling Process, Horizontal & Vertical Milling Machines


Milling is a process performed with a machine in which the cutters rotate to remove the material from the work piece present in the direction of the angle with the tool axis. With the help of the milling machines one can perform many operations and functions starting from small objects to large ones.

Milling machining is one of the very common manufacturing processes used in machinery shops and industries to manufacture high precision products and parts in different shapes and sizes.

Milling Machine

The milling machines are also known as the multi-tasking machines (MTMs) which are multi-purpose machines capable of milling and turning the materials as well. The milling machine has got the cutter installed up on it which helps in removing the material from the surface of the work piece. When the material gets cooled down then it is removed from the milling machine.   

milling machine

Milling Process

The milling machine involves the following processes or phases of cutting:

Milling Cutters

There are a lot of cutting tools used in the milling process. The milling cutters named end mills have special cutting surfaces on their end surfaces so that they can be placed onto the work piece by drilling. These also have extended cutting surfaces on each side for the purpose of peripheral milling. The milling cutters have small cutters at the end corners. The cutters are made from highly resistant materials that are durable and produce less friction.

Surface Finish

Any material put through the cutting area of the milling machine gets regular intervals. The side cutters have got regular ridges on them. The distance between the ridges depends on the feed rate, the diameter of the cutter and the quantity of cutting surfaces. These can be the significant variations in the height of the surfaces.

Gang Milling

This means that more than two milling cutters are involved in a setup like the horizontal milling. All the cutters perform a uniform operation or it may also be possible that the cutter may perform distinct operations. This is an important operation for producing duplicate parts.

Types of Milling Machines

The two main configurations of the milling machining operations are the types of milling machines. These are the vertical mill and the horizontal mill. They are further discussed below:

types of milling machines

Vertical Milling Machines

The vertical mill has a vertically arranged spindle axis and rotate by staying at the same axis. The spindle can also be extended and performing functions such as drilling and cutting. Vertical mill has got two further categories as well: turret mill and bed mill.

The turret mill has got a table that moves perpendicularly and parallel to the spindle axis in order to cut the material. The spindle is, however, stationary. Two cutting methods can be performed with this by moving the knee and by lowering or raising the quill.

The other is the bed mill in which the table moves perpendicular to the axis of the spindle and the spindle moves parallel to its axis.

Horizontal Milling Machines

The horizontal mill is also the similar cutter but their cutters are placed on a horizontal arbor. A lot of horizontal mills have got rotary tables that help in milling in various angles. These tables are called the universal tables. Apart from this all the tools that are used in a vertical mill can also be used in the horizontal mill.