Milling machines rely on the use of a rotating multi-pointed cutting tool to remove material from a workpiece. Unlike with lathes, milling machines don’t feature a stationary cutting tool. Rather, they use a cutting tool that rotates as it presses against a fixed, stationary workpiece. While all milling machines use this process to reshape workpieces, arbor milling machines feature a unique design that sets them apart from others.
What Is an Arbor Milling Machine?
Also known as a horizontal milling machine, an arbor milling machine features a long horizontal spindle on which the cutting tool is mounted. With traditional “vertical” milling machines, the spindle is found vertically at the top of the machine. Arbor milling machines, however, are designed with a horizontal spindle attached to long pole known as an arbor. The arbor supports the spindle while also allowing it to mill a larger cross-sectional surface area of the workpiece.
Arbor Milling Machines Support Hard Materials
Because of the additional support provided by the spindle-holding arbor, arbor milling support a variety of hard materials. They can be safely used on workpieces with a Rockwell Hardness rating of C25 or less. With that said, harder materials can often be milled using an arbor milling machine, though with lower efficiency. Arbor milling machines feature stronger support for the cutting tool. As a result, they can easily remove hard material.
Arbor Milling Machines Rapidly Remove Material
Arbor milling machines are particularly effective for large-scale manufacturing applications because of their ability to rapidly remove material from workpieces. The cutting tool is able to dig deeper into the workpiece, allowing for faster removal of the workpiece’s material.
Arbor Milling Machines Can Create Complex Shapes
Finally, arbor milling machines are able to create complex shapes that aren’t possible with other milling machines. Traditional horizontal milling machines can only reshape the surface of a workpiece. But arbor milling machines solve this problem by supporting the use of multiple cutting tools. With the added arbor, multiple cutting tools can be used. Rather than relying on just one cutting tool, for example, a manufacturing company can mount two or three cutting tools on the machine’s arbor to create complex shapes.
To recap, an arbor milling machine is a type of milling machine that features a horizontal bar, known as an arbor, on which the spindle and cutting tool is placed. They support hard materials, offer rapid removal of material, and can be used to create complex shapes.