Guide to CNC Milling Technology of Curved Surfaces
At Creatingway, we classify milling of a curved surface under contour/ profile CNC milling. It entails machining of continuous curves or irregular profiles with varying degrees (either concave, convex, or slanted). This is a vital process in obtaining most of the uniquely designed bespoke parts. It often requires the CNC machinist to have advanced expertise in basic machining programs and principles. Here is further insight into CNC milling technology for curved surfaces.
What’re the Basics to Profile CNC Milling Technology?
Profile CNC Milling Processes
Before arriving at the final machined part, we first subdivide the process into different categories. These include roughing, semi-finishing, finishing, and super-finishing. Larger components need more operation types. It is vital to sub-categorize the machining operations of the work part optimize the full potential of the parameters and the tooling you will be using.
It is an operation that is the first stage of machining. It begins by cutting the raw material block to shape to achieve nearly the same shape or profile. This leaves the metal stock for further operations.
It is an operation that entails machining the part as per the dimension needs or eliminating the remaining stock. We also have to subject the semi-finished parts to further processing to achieve a specific need for surface finish.
It is an operation that comes after the semi-finishing process. We perform finishing to improve the part’s surface finish. It entails removing obvious surface flaws such as burrs. In this process, it is vital to use top-notch performance tools since they significantly affect the work part’s final look.
It is an operation that goes a further step when working with parts that need a super smooth profile or a mirror finish. For us to achieve this, we use high-speed finishing methods and high-precision tools.
Knowing the Tools to Use in CNC Milling Curved Surface
We use variations of rounded end mills to come up with smooth-curved surfaces on a fabricated part. These include ball nose indexable end mills, rounded inserts, and ball nose solid carbide. We prefer round-profiled tooling for contouring use since it does not leave any evident marks on the tool path.
Insert-type end mills with rounded inserts
These types of end mills come in large diameters. Rounded insert type end mills are the ideal tool for roughing operations since they have impressive productivity and high stability.
Solid ball nose end mills
These forms of end mills often leave an extremely nice surface finish on a machined part. Due to their structure, they may have low stability. It thus finds common use in finishing rather than in roughing operations.
Indexable head ball nose end mills
These forms of end-mills are similar to solid carbide end mills but have detachable heads. It is special tooling that has a detachable end that is easy to replace when the need arises.
What Are the General Tips for CNC Milling Technology For Curved Surfaces?
Before choosing to fabricate your custom part via profile milling, it is vital that you first be aware of the various factors that may affect the entire milling process. Moreover, there are a few specific things that we must identify for us to choose the ideal machining method. Here is further insight into the key preparations that we carry out.
Firstly, we are mindful of the cavity depths of your part designs. This plays a key role in helping us choose the right cutting tools to use. We also identify how long the gauge length will need to be. Secondly, we go on to identify how much material we have to subtract from the raw block. This aids us plan for the operation that we need for fabricating your work part. Afterward, we gauge whether we need extra procedures after semi-finishing and semi roughing. Thirdly, we proceed to consider how to clamp the workpiece in place. This will aid in preparing for the necessary fixtures that we may need.
Getting Your Feeds and Speeds Right
Feeds and speeds determine the rate at which we subtract the material from parts. This is why it has a significant impact in attaining an excellent surface finish. For as to attain this, there are certain calculations we need to follow. The feed rates may also be dependent on the used tooling, depth of cut, material cut, needed accuracy, and profile of the machined part.
In today’s market, there are plenty of variations of tools available. We prioritize tooling rigidity for roughing operation to withstand the feed demands and aggressive cut depth of roughing. Meanwhile, the end mills must be very sharp in finishing operations so as not to leave any evident trace of the tool path. Another difference is the tool diameter. Normally, roughing tools have a larger diameter than finishing tools.
Minimizing Vibration in Your Milling Processes
Vibration is a common cause of undesirable surface finish, cutting tool damage, and chatter. It may arise from clamping instability, material hardness, tool rigidity, and inaccuracies in the machine spindle. We minimize it by avoiding aggressive cuts when working on hard metals and securely clamping fixtures. Contact us now for top-notch CNC milling services.
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