Metal Cutting

Machining Centers & Milling Machines

The term “machining center” describes almost any CNC milling and drilling machine that includes an automatic toolchanger and a table that clamps the workpiece in place. On a machining center, the tool rotates, but the work does not. The orientation of the spindle is the most fundamental defining characteristic of a machining center. Vertical machining centers generally favor precision while horizontal machining centers generally favor production—but these are loose generalizations, and plenty of machining centers break out of them. Another common machining center type is the five-axis machining center, which is able to pivot the tool and/or the part in order to mill and drill at various orientations.

Featured Zone Content

Cycle Efficiency


Automated machining processes enable this maker of high-performance mountain bike parts to manufacture efficiently with minimal staff.



retrofit additive head

Easing the Entry into Additive Manufacturing

By: Peter Zelinski
With funding from America Makes, Optomec and MachMotion worked together to develop a retrofit additive manufacturing system for machining centers.

F500 Plus VMC Offers High Speed Axis Travel

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
The F500 Plus VMC uses a high-precision, high-torque Big Plus spindle in a construction that virtually eliminates thermal growth during heavy-duty cutting.

VMC1000B Machining Center Machines Variety of Materials

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
The VMC1000B from SMTCL-Americas is a machining center that has been designed to be effective in machining a variety of materials, including composites, aluminum, steel and titanium.

Romi D 1000AP DD vertical milling center

VMC Structure Supports High-Speed, Conventional Milling

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Romi’s D 1000AP DD is a 40" × 24" vertical milling center designed to combine conventional and high-speed milling applications for die/mold, aerospace, agricultural, energy and other industries.

horizontal machining center

Systematic Success

By: Matthew Jaster
A more efficient manufacturing process has enabled this manufacturer to ramp up production of its devices for the oil and gas industry.


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