What is Precision Machining?
Precision machining is a very broad term used to encompass a huge range of technology and methods used in the fabrication and refining of metal pieces. Any machining process that calls for particularly minute cutting or milling tolerances (between 0.013 mm and 0.0005 mm) or finished surfaces finer than 32T are forms of precision machining. Basically it consists of shaping and refining metal work pieces to form a detailed finished product.
Precision machining relies on power tools and machinery to perform the majority of the machining tasks. Precision machining requires knowledge and experience in order to produce high quality finished pieces. Virtually every metal object produced requires some type of machining during its formation.
Similar to CNC machining, precision machining is used for many types of metal fabrication. Factors including damping, accuracy and stiffness can all have an impact on the preciseness of the machining tools. Motion control and an ability to respond with fast feed rates are important considerations in precision machining processes.
Different Precision Machining Tools
Because of the wide variety of tasks involved in machining; there is an equally wide variety of machining tools. These tools are used in combination with each other, or on their own, depending on the project. The main categories of precision machining tools are:
Turning tools: The most typical example of a turning tool would be the lathe. These types of tools turn the actual metal piece and allow for a cutting or grinding tool shapes the work piece.
Boring tools: Boring tools general are used in the finishing process. They are used to cut out holes and other detailed shapes from the metal.
Drilling tools: Drilling tools simply rely on sharp rotating devices to cut round holes in the metal.
Cutting tools: Cutting tools are used to cut the metal into different dimensions. Any type of metal can be cut using saws or metal shearing machines.
Milling tools: A milling tool uses rotating cutting surfaces with multiple blades to mill non-circular holes and designs in the metal piece.
Grinding tools: These tools use a rotating wheel to grind down, sand or finish a metal piece. They are usually used more during the finishing process although they can be used in more heavy duty applications as well.
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