What Is the Difference Between CNC Turning And Milling

Milling and turning are both machining processes. This means they create the desired shape by removing material from the workpiece. Using CNC milling and turning processes means the removal of the material and control of the equipment is completed by a computer that follows a precise process that is identical with every part or component produced.

While there are similarities in any machining process, there are also differences. Understanding the differences between CNC turning and CNC milling will help you determine which is the best option.

CNC Turning

In the turning process, the workpiece, which can be either metal or plastic, is moved in relation to the cutting tool. In other words, the computer directs the rotating movement of the workpiece, while the cutting tool or tools stay in place and creates the desired shape on the surface.

This process is typically used to create tubes or shafts. It is ideal for conical and cylindrical parts and offers a fast, accurate, and highly effective way to create these shapes to the tolerances required.

CNC Milling

In CNC milling, the workpiece is held in one position and does not move. Instead, the cutting tools move around the workpiece. This type of process moves the cutting tool on three or more axis, with more complex cutting available with a 5-axis CNC milling machine.

CNC milling can be used to create highly advanced parts, including engine parts, complex pieces for equipment, or specialized types of parts for small to large applications.