Machining may be defined as the process of shaping raw materials into a desired form through the use of machinery. It is an integral part of the manufacturing of wood, metal, ceramic, composite and plastic products in many industries. It is also sometimes called subtractive manufacturing, referring to the fact that it molds the wanted geometries through the removal of pieces of material. As technology has become more advanced, so has the machining industry as computers, electronics and more elaborate machinery are incorporated. There are even professional contract machining services. Today, there are three principal processes/operations in it.
Lathes, mills and drill presses are tools commonly utilized in drilling. This involves the creation of holes and the smoothing of their edges by a rotary cutter. Drilling may be performed at great speeds. It does come with a downside: There is the possibility of minuscule, non-visible cracks forming around the holes, weakening the overall structural integrity of the finished product.
The primary tool used for this procedure is the lathe. The piece being worked on is turned as it is pressed against a cutting tool to remove material. The tool remains stationary.
Milling is similar to turning. Instead of the material being rotated, the cutting tool is rotated. The object being trimmed is fixed and does not move. Instead, the equipment moves around it. Here the tool used generally has many sharp blades that grind. The tools usually used in milling are milling machines.
While these three are considered the chief machining processes, there are others that may be classified as machining, though they do not result in leftover slivers and chips of material like the main ones do. They may be labeled as such solely because they do technically involve machine tool usage. Examples include burnishing, boring and sawing.