As machining processes, both turning and milling are used as a way to shape a part or component by removing material from the workpiece. While similar in their overall end result, the two different processes make either CNC milling or CNC turning services the most logical option for the production of a part.

Both processes can be quality controlled through the CNC software. In other words, all parts produced are exact copies of all other parts produced, and they are copies of the original drawing the CNC software reads to control the movement of the cutting tool and equipment.

Basic Differences

All CNC turning services, or manual types of turning processes, are based on the standard operation of a lathe. The workpiece is rotated in the spindle at a set speed, and the cutting tool remains stationary. The cutting tool is positioned in a turret, which is the part of the equipment that moves to trace the path set by the software. The software also controls the speed of the spindle, so all aspects of each part produced are identical to all others.

The opposite happens with CNC milling. In this machining process, the workpiece is stationary while the cutting tool spins and moves. Both can be used to create the desired final shape.

The Shape

Generally, CNC turning services are used on parts that are round. The rotation of the workpiece in the spindle makes it easier to create symmetrical patterns and shapes for round or cylindrical components.

Turning can be used as a part of the process in making the component, and it can be combined with milling that is used to drill holes, add asymmetrical shapes and features, or to create specific custom designs.