Definition of CNC Milling

CNC milling, the most common form of computer numerical control (CNC) machining, performs the functions of both drilling and turning machines. CNC mills are categorized according to their number of axis and are traditionally programmed using a set of codes that represent specific functions.

Axis are labeled as x and y for horizontal movement, and z for vertical movement. A standard manual light-duty mill is typically assumed to have four axis:

1) Table x
2) Table y
3) Table z
4) Milling Head z

CNC Milling Machines
The number of axis of a milling machine is often interpreted in varying ways. A five-axis CNC milling machine has an extra axis in the form of a horizontal pivot for the milling head. The end mill is positioned at an angle with respect to the table allowing extra flexibility for machining. A six-axis CNC milling machine includes an additional horizontal pivot for the milling head, perpendicular to the fifth axis.

CNC milling machines are traditionally programmed using a set of commands known as G-codes. G-codes represent specific CNC functions in alphanumeric format.

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