Machining is a prototyping and manufacturing process that creates a desired shape by removing unwanted material from a larger piece of material. Since a part is built by taking away material, this process is also known as subtractive manufacturing.
Various machining techniques have been around for decades, but most fall into three principle processes each requiring a specific tool and experienced machinist. They are:
Turning- Turning or Lathing involves rotating the workpiece on a machine, while a single-edged cutting tool remains stationary. The cutting tool is slowly moved parallel to the workpiece’s rotational axis, removing material as it goes.
Drilling - Drilling results in creating a round hole by rotating a cylindrical tool parallel to the workpiece’s axis of rotation. The hole created is equal in diameter of the tool that was used.
Milling - Milling is the process of removing material, using rotary cutters, from a workpiece in a feed motion perpendicular to the rotational axis of the cutting tool. This is one of the most common forms of machining used today.
Choice of a variety of finishes and materials
Tighter tolerances down to .001"
Real materials and real densities
Only works from one side at a time.
The object needs to be turned and repositioned manually