Many industries rely on CNC machining to produce parts and prototypes. There are various types of CNC machining, and this article will concentrate on CNC turning and milling. These are the subtractive processes included in CNC machining.

These two processes may appear familiar to some machinists, but they are not. Customers are frequently perplexed about which method to use for their machining requirements. We hope that after reading this, you will determine which process is best for your manufacturing needs.

What do you mean by CNC milling?

CNC milling is a machining process used by owners to produce machined parts. They become accustomed to creating one-of-a-kind functional prototypes. CNC mills rotate the cutting tool using computer instructions. When the spinning tool comes into contact with the workpiece, the material gets removed in a controlled manner.

With the help of the vice, the workpiece remains stationary. To create cutting angles, multi-axis CNC mills rotate the workpiece. It allows machinists to easily create complex machined parts without the need to regenerate the workpiece. CNC milling gets preferred by machinists due to its shorter lead times.


CNC Milling comes with the following perks……..

Capability to Produce

CNC milling’s production capabilities are best suited for batch processes. In layman’s terms, CNC milling is a business that produces small batches of parts in a single run. A CNC milling machine’s additional production capabilities include a variety of operations such as

  • Thermal
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical

Cutting Tools

Milling does not always require the use of explicit tooling. You can use a completely different set of milling cutting tools for each operation. This not only improves mills over lathes but also makes them more efficient in their work.

Furthermore, while a mill can produce complex-shaped tools, it is limited by lathes, which are commonly used in turning operations.

CNC milling gets used to make the following machined parts:

  • CNC milling gets used for engine blocks and other pieces of equipment.
  • CNC mills aid in producing surgical instruments, implants, and other medical devices.
  • Straight and spiral gears for mechanical devices get made using CNC milling.


Here are some more things about CNC milling you should know. 


What is CNC turning?

CNC turning is excellent for producing conical, rounded, and cylindrical parts. Aside from CNC milling, it is one of the most popular CNC machining services. Lathes are machines that perform the CNC turning process.

A CNC turning machine, similar to a CNC lathe machine, can rotate the part using a stationary cutting tool. The cutting operation enables machinists to create designs that would not be possible with a traditional cutting tool. CNC turning assists in threading, tooling, and other processes by removing material in the same shape.


Here are some benefits that make CNC turning a better option

Production Rates

CNC turning is faster for Boring, Drilling, and Shaping jobs. This allows the industrialist to meet deadlines while also increasing production capacity on the fly. On the other hand, complex designs struggle and take much longer to complete.


CNC Turning is more precise and can finish operations with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, it is trusted with many critical parts with round surfaces, including rollers, bullets, gears, and drilling bits.


CNC turning is highly adaptable and can be linked with CNC milling to meet industrial needs. It can also make parts for other machines, such as bolts and nuts, torques, and turbines. However, for this interconnection to be beneficial, backward compatibility and asymmetrical designs are required.

Examples of machined parts with CNC turning

  • CNC turning gets used for rounded connective devices that are ball joints.
  • CNC turning is also ideal for round turbine blades that are a fit for the energy industry.
  • CNC turning can manufacture cylindrical and hollow parts. Therefore, it is easier to produce nozzles with CNC turning.


Difference between CNC milling vs CNC turning

There are visible differences between CNC milling and turning processes in the operational features and use of parts with complexities. Given below, I have explained the differences:

Function: In the milling process, the material gets removed when the tool rotates around the workpiece. In CNC turning, the tool works on the rotating workpiece.

Parts Manufactured: With the help of CNC milling, machine shop owners manufacture geometrically complex parts. CNC turning fabricates conical and cylindrical parts like ball bearings and tubes.

Cutting Process: The tool disengages from the workpiece in CNC milling. In CNC turning, the tool is in continuous contact with the tool piece.

The tool features: CNC mills use multi-point cutting tools such as end mills, and reamers. The tool has more than two cutting edges that engage with the workpiece for the fabrication. CNC turning processes use single-point cutting tools such as fly cutters to remove the material. In CNC turning, only one point of the tool will come in contact with the workpiece.


Also Read: How Has CNC Turning and Milling Machining Changed The Manufacturing Industry?


So, which would be the right one for you?

It will be easier to decide now that you know what each of these processes can and cannot do.

However, keep in mind that CNC Milling is generally considered the most recommended method for producing parts with complex shapes, while CNC Turning is equally good for simpler, round shapes. Nonetheless, you can use these two processes sequentially because there may be situations where both operation processes are required.

If you’re still unsure and don’t have a clear idea, hire professional machining services and let them make the decision for you.

Why work with Machine Design Associated?

Whether you need CNC turning, milling, or any other precision engineering service, you need a reliable supplier. The components you require must be of the highest quality and built to last.

We will never sacrifice quality and have stringent control practices to ensure that everything we produce meets even the stringent standards and specifications. This constant pursuit of quality has resulted in accreditations in recognition of our efforts.

We also guarantee a quick quote and can accommodate orders of all shapes and sizes – whatever you need, we can make it.


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