When you are looking for CNC milling machine parts and components there are a variety of places where you can find them. There are many Internet sites and the machines come in a variety of prices.
Depending on the type of machine you need the price can be steep but there are many small machines that can do the same job if you are looking at this as part of a small business or a hobby. Also, you can buy a machine to cut metal or wood, to do fancy scroll work or to do engraving on metals and other applications.
You can decide whether you will purchase a brand new machine or a used one. Most people do not suggest buying a used one because you aren’t sure what you are getting but buying other types of machines like CNC routers seem to be a good idea because of the cost.
All CNC Milling machines contain the following parts:
– Axis — depending on the type of CNC milling machine it could have anywhere from one to six axis which will also determine the size and what it is supposed to do.
– Column — the column is what travels along an axis that holds the part that mills or cuts.
– Control panel — the part that holds the computer keyboard (sometimes small, other times large) where you program the G-Codes into the machine.
– Cutting tool — the cutting tool is attached to the column and is the part that actually cuts the piece in the way that the operator specifies.
– Spindle — the spindle holds the cutting tool in place.
– Coolant supply tubes — these are the tubes where they coolant is pumped through in order to keep the metal cool and the cutting tool lubricated.
– Table — the table is the area that the workpiece will be attached to either using a clamp or a vacuum. This is where the workpiece will sit while being milled.
There are several different types of milling machines that can be found and they are small or large depending on what they do. Here are a few:
Vertical CNC mills have a vertical spindle axis. This means that the cutters that do the milling are held vertically in the spindle and they rotate on the spindle’s axis. In this type you can extend the spindle or the table to make drilling or plunge cuts. Bed mills and Turret mills fall into this category.
Horizontal CNC mills have the same type of table as vertical CNC mills but their cutters are mounted on an arbor that sits across the table horizontally.
Hobbyists will most likely use a box mill which is mounted to a bench and basically moves up and down. Knee mills have an x-y table and its moves up and down the column. It can be adjusted with what is called a vertically adjustable knee. Many larger industries use the C-Frame mill because it is the most conducive for larger work. They are only vertically mobile and it used a fixed spindle head for that movement.