Exploring Different Types of CNC Metal Machining Processes and Techniques

April 18, 2023

The process of making use of a computer-controlled machine to cut and shape metal pieces is commonly referred to as CNC metal machining. Thanks to the precision and accuracy it offers, CNC metal machining has grown in popularity and is now a crucial procedure in the manufacturing sector. In this post, we'll examine the many CNC metal machining methods and procedures, as well as how they're applied to the production of unique CNC machined parts.


Milling is one of the processes used most frequently in CNC metal machining. Using rotary cutters, milling is the procedure of removing material from a workpiece. Complex forms and designs can be made using the milling technique, which can be used in a variety of directions and angles. Custom CNC machining parts can be produced using milling from a range of materials, such as steel, titanium, and aluminum.


Turning is another common CNC metal machining process. Here is how it works: When a workpiece is turned, the material is removed from it using a cutting tool while the workpiece is rotating. This method can be used to make custom CNC-machined parts out of materials like copper, brass, and stainless steel. It is frequently used to make cylindrical shapes.

There are several other common CNC metal machining operations in addition to milling and turning. Boring, Drilling, and Tapping are some of them. While boring enlarges already-existing holes, drilling involves making new holes in a workpiece. The technique of tapping involves making internal threads in a workpiece.

Laser cutting

CNC metal machining has developed to now incorporate procedures like 3D printing and laser cutting thanks to the growth of additive manufacturing. While 3D printing employs a layer-by-layer process to manufacture bespoke CNC machining parts from a range of materials, including metal, laser cutting uses a powerful laser to cut through metal. The overall performance of the machine used is one of the most important variables in CNC metal machining. So it is important to consider custom CNC machining parts providers such as Rapid Direct for example.


A spinning drill bit is used during the machining process of drilling to make holes in a workpiece. In order to drill holes of different sizes and shapes, a CNC drilling machine moves the drill bit up and down or side to side as it is revolving. One of the most used methods for metal machining is drilling, which is used to make holes in metal components for assembly or to make room for additional parts to fit.


In the grinding technique, tiny pieces of material are removed from a workpiece during the machining process of grinding using abrasive particles like sandpaper or diamond. A grinding wheel is used to get rid of material from the workpiece, which is normally held in place by a chuck or other clamping device, in a CNC grinding machine. If you want smooth surfaces, razor-sharp edges, and accurate shapes, you can get that through grinding.

EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining)

In this machining process, electrical sparks are used to remove material from a workpiece during the machining process. A spark is produced between an electrode and the workpiece by a CNC EDM machine, which erodes the material. Complex designs that are difficult or impractical to construct using other machining techniques are machined with EDM. This process is often used to produce parts with complicated forms and precise tolerances in the aerospace and medical industries.

Waterjet Cutting

A high-pressure water jet with abrasive particles is used in this machining process to remove material from a workpiece. When using a CNC waterjet cutting machine, the workpiece is hit with a stream of water and abrasive particles, which diminishes the material away. Metals, polymers, and composite materials can all be cut using waterjet technology. It works especially well for cutting heat-sensitive or low-melting-point materials.

Plasma Cutting

A jet of ionized gas is used in the machining process of plasma cutting to cut through a workpiece. The ionized gas is directed at the workpiece by a CNC plasma cutting machine, heating and melting the material to form a cut. Metals, polymers, and composite materials can all be sliced using plasma technology. Cutting heavy materials and well-heated materials makes use of them particularly well.


A press brake is used in the machining process of bending to form a workpiece into the desired shape. When using a CNC bending machine, the workpiece is clamped between the punch and a die and bent into shape by applying pressure. Channels, boxes, and brackets are just a few of the shapes that can be made by bending.

In conclusion, there are many various kinds of machining methods and techniques, and CNC metal machining is an essential component of many businesses. The material being machined, its shape, and the desired result all influence which method is chosen. Manufacturers can make high-quality products with tight tolerances and exact shapes by choosing the best procedure for their unique needs by understanding the many types of CNC metal machining methods and techniques.


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