Friday, 16 November 2012

Basic Information About Machining

Basic Information About Machining

By Andrew Stratton

Have you ever wondered how machining works or even what it is? Simply put, it is a variety of processes where raw material is cut and shaped in a controlled environment.

Over the past 200 years, with the increase of technology, the meaning of the term has matured. During a former age, traditional processes were used such as boring, milling, drilling, sawing and reaming to name a few.

Traditional processes used tools like drill presses, lathes or milling machines to get the job done. This, combined with sharp tools, are used to get rid of material for a desired geometric end.

Machining is primarily the manufacture of metal products, however, it is not just limited to metal. It can also be used with other materials such as plastic, wood, composites and ceramic.

A machinist works in his or her shop nowadays with new technology. Electrochemical, electron beam, electrical discharge, ultrasonic and photochemical are a few of the newest technologies.

Working with these materials in this fashion is mostly done through a business, but it can be a hobby as well. Many people use this technique to support or maintain their income on a regular basis.

Nowadays, it is primarily done by what is known as "computer numerical control" or CNC. The operation and movements of lathes, mills and other machines, which are used, for cutting are controlled by computers.

There are three basic processes-milling, drilling and turning. Miscellaneous processes include planning, shaping, broaching, boring and sawing.

- Milling. Milling is accomplished when a cutting tool rotates so that cutting edges are brought into close proximity with the material.

- Drilling. In drilling, holes are produced and honed by a cutter, which rotates with cutting edges. The lowest position on the drill comes into contact with the material. Drill presses are generally used for these procedures but can be done on mills or lathes.

- Turning. Turning procedures rotate the material as the method of moving metal against the cutting tool. Lathes are generally used in turning.

- Miscellaneous methods. There are also a few miscellaneous methods of machining. Burnishing is such a method that can be operated on a drill press, mill or lathe. Swarf, fine metallic shavings, removed by a cutting tool is not produced in the burnishing process.

Commercialized machining is usually done in a machine shop, which has numerous workrooms complete with various cutting tools. These shops can be owned privately or operated within a large business.

This cutting process demands attention to detail. Each item must meet certain specifications, which are gleaned from blueprints, or drawings set down by the designer.

Machining is a singular part of a much larger manufacturing procedure. The material of choice starts with a design and then continues through the manufacturing process. This process is used to shape materials, or it can be used only as a finishing method. However it is used, it is a necessary and fantastic method to create useful objects for everyday usefulness.

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