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.

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Cycle Efficiency


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



SNK America FSP-80V

Five-Axis VMC Performs Complex Contouring

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The FSP-80V vertical machining center from SNK America is intended as a cost-effective alternative for applications requiring complex, simultaneous five-axis contouring of difficult-to-cut materials.

GF Mikron HSM 500 MoldMaster

Milling Center Produces Mold Cores, EDM Electrodes

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Available from GF Machining Solutions, the Mikron HSM 500 MoldMaster high-speed milling machine was designed with die/mold makers in mind.

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.


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