A milling machine is used when a detailed design is required to be cut into a certain type of material.
A special rotating tool is used and it moves back and forth, cutting thick layers into the material with each pass.
A CNC (computer numerically controlled) milling machine has the ability to cut 3D objects.
What to look for when considering purchasing a CNC mini mill – some features include:
- FRAME. The material the frame is built from will determine the overall strength of the unit. Aluminum is commonly used in the construction of mini mill frames.
- SPINDLE. The spindle for large CNC mills for sale are usually pre-determined, but for a CNC mini mill, you need to consider the motor size, and the minimum/maximum speed, as this will determine how fast the spindle will spin.? Regarding the spindle, accuracy is always more important than speed.
- WORKHOLD. The “workhold” is what is going to hold the material securely to the CNC mini mill machine table during the cutting process to ensure accuracy. To save on costs, you can use clamps that you currently have in your workshop.? Although, it is recommended to invest in a quality vise that has a deep and wide jaw. To avoid the material shifting ever so slightly, and not achieving the end result you intended.
- The CONTROLLER connects to the computer. The control panel is considered to be the heart of the machine. Check for software compatibility, or look for a computer that is pre-configured. A pre-configuration may be a more costly option, but may be worth it, when compared to time (and possible frustration) invested by non-computer savvy operators.
- Choosing the right SOFTWARE package is going to weigh heavily on the types of projects you plan to create. Choose a software package that has a “tool-path” feature, as this will not only provide you with the time it will take to complete the job – but it also provides you with a visual virtual walk-through of the milling process before the actual cut is made.
Choosing the right type of software package
for your benchtop mill or CNC mini mill machine is very important. This is an area that you must dedicate a lot of research. You want to choose the best software to meet the needs of the project.
Also, you want to look for software that will not become outdated, before you take it out of the box. Before purchasing CNC milling machine software, ask about the cost and availability of upgrades.
In addition to the CNC mini milling machine and benchtop CNC mills, the other types of CNC mill machines for sale include:
- Vertical CNC mills are highly recommended for vertical drilling work.
- A Horizontal CNC mill machine has the cutter running horizontally along the table.
- A Box Mill is perfect for a hobbyist/non-professional operator.
- The C-Frame Mill is the type of machine found in large factories, and industries that need to produce high quality product at a fast rate.
- There is also the Knee Mill, which is known for its X-Y table feature.
Besides the control panel, other main features of CNC mill machines, whether it be a benchtop CNC mill or a CNC mini mill machine include:
- Coolant Tube.? During the metal milling process, the machine and the material both become very hot. Coolant is pumped though tubes, to not only keep material cool, but also to lubricate the machine/tool to ensure a smooth cut.
- The Table is the flat surface that supports the material. The wood, metal or plastic piece is clamped to the table.
- Axis. CNC milling machines can have 1 to 6 axis.
- The Column runs parallel to the axis and holds the milling part in place.
The Cutting Tool is attached to the column, and this obviously is the instrument that actually does the cutting.