The Features and Uses of CNC Verticals

Summary: In a vertical milling machine, the spindle and the cutting tool is positioned vertically, or in an upright direction. A vertical machine enables an operator to cut and shape the work-piece from several different angles.

A milling machine is used for shaping metal, wood, plastic or other solid materials by removing excess or unwanted matter to produce a finished part or component. A finished part is achieved by carrying out several processes such as drilling, cutting, tapping, contouring etc. In this article, we shall focus on a milling machine in the context of the metalworking industry.

While there are several categories of milling machines, the two basic ones are CNC horizontals and CNC verticals. The horizontal machines are used for horizontal milling (as the spindle is positioned horizontally), while the cutting tools work against a vertical surface.

However, in the case of a vertical milling machine, the spindle and the cutting tool is positioned vertically, or in an upright direction. So, the cutter moves up and down, instead of forward and backward. Since the cutter is positioned vertically, it would drop down in order to cut the work-piece. The work-piece is the metal block or object that needs to be shaped.  For smaller jobs the work-piece is typically held in a vice which is clamped to the computer controlled table or it can be held in a special work-holding fixture for larger projects.

Though CNC horizontal milling machines are typically used by companies with larger part volumes, vertical CNC machines have become more popular with businesses that have smaller workloads that donít require the capability of CNC horizontals. And with the increasing use of computers in engineering, CNC verticals have gained in popularity. CNC vertical milling machines are capable of producing highly complex parts very accurately, but donít have the price tag associated with larger CNC Horizontals.  Thatís one of the reasons CNC verticals are preferred by companies whose production needs are more modest

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