CNC Milling – How To Choose Between Horizontal and Vertical

When you’re planning work on milled components, the preferred manufacturing method for some time now is to utilise a CNC milling machine. But once you’ve decided to employ CNC milling as your method, you then have to decide between horizontal milling or vertical milling.

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What’s The Difference Between A Vertical and Horizontal CNC Milling Machine?

Apart from the orientation of the spindle and how a workpiece is presented, in most cases the horizontal machining centre is a more robust machine with a larger footprint, allowing larger cutting tools to be used thus enabling greater material removal. Let’s break down the pros and cons of both types of machine…

Advantages of CNC Horizontal Milling Machines

With its larger footprint, the horizontal machining centre normally has a variety of different workholding areas that do not need to be broken down once a production run is completed, ensuring much shorter lead times can be offered. Horizontal machines generally require minimal – or sometimes no changeover time, so set-up costs are relatively low. Complex parts can also be finished in a single process when you use a horizontal milling machine, as multiple sides of the component can be machined in one operation reducing the potential for non-conforming material. Reduced vibration whilst increasing tool sizes and depths of cut make the horizontal machine the first choice for many engineers.

Advantages of CNC Vertical Milling Machines

Vertical machines are the more commonly used type of machine – in part because they are easier to program and normally have a reduced capital outlay, both in terms of initial expense and on-going running costs. Due to these factors, operators capable of working with vertical machines are more readily available. With the ease of set-up and physical size, the vertical machines are a more versatile machine and can be used on a wide range of jobs.

Which One Do I Use?

At Muller England, we offer both types of milling services. Our engineers are trained to operate both types of machine across a vast range of both simple and complex component production runs.

For an estimate of which method would best suit your project, call us for a discussion and we’ll provide you with an estimated lead time.

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