CNC Turning vs CNC Milling

After initial processing, forged steel parts often require CNC turning or milling services before completion and part delivery. The secondary forging service needed for your custom part will depend on your project’s specifications and requirements. The following information regarding specific CNC milling and CNC turning machining services will act as a guide for which process is best suited to your project’s needs.

What are CNC Milling Services?

Like drilling and cutting, CNC milling utilizes a cylindrical cutting tool that can rotate in various directions to trim away pieces of material while the workpiece remains stationary. CNC milling tool movement is performed along several different axes to achieve more complex designs. The tool movement creates numerous shapes, slots, holes, and other necessary impressions that a standard drill cannot perform. CNC milling production capabilities include:

  • Prototype parts
  • Complex short-run production parts
  • Precision parts & components 

What are CNC Turning Services?

A CNC turning lathe is designed to rotate a material at high speed while the machine's computer programmed software guides the cutting tools to their specified locations. The cutting tools then cut away the excess material to reveal the desired designed part. The cutting tool is typically a single-point, non-rotating tool that moves along the workpiece and continually removes layers of material according to the design until it matches the desired shape. CNC turning services are used to create the following operation types:

  • Facing
  • Parting
  • Grooving
  • Boring
  • Drilling
  • Knurling

What are CNC Machining Services?

Standard and large format CNC Machining Services provides an exceptionally accurate and reliable way to deliver forgings and CNC Machined Parts with extremely tight tolerances. The CNC machining process produces parts with tight tolerances that would be impossible to achieve through the forging process alone. CNC Machining processes are used to control a range of complex machinery, from grinders and lathes to mills and routers. With CNC machining, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be accomplished in a single set of prompts. CNC machining services are used to provide the following functions:

  • Turning
  • Drilling
  • Boring
  • Facing

What is the Difference Between CNC Milling & CNC Turning?

There are several differences between CNC milling and turning processes. CNC milling utilizes a cutting tool that moves and rotates while the workpiece remains stationary. Conversely, within CNC turning operations, the workpiece pivots while the cutting tool remains fixed. Since both CNC turning and milling processes utilize their mechanical movements and cutting techniques, they each create their unique cuts and shapes.  

Both CNC milling and turning services provide an effective way to create state-of-the-art parts and components for industries worldwide. The method that is best for your project will depend on overall objectives and part specifications.

Contact Great Lakes Forge for Custom CNC Milling, Turning & Machining Services Today

To learn more about our expert CNC turning, milling, and machining services, contact us or give us a call at 800-748-0271, and we will assist you with your project needs. Great Lakes Forge is your trusted forging manufacturer and provider of precision CNC machining, milling, and turning services.

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