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5 reasons to use an end milling calculator

Machining calculators can help you fine-tune CNC machining processes and achieve your desired quality and efficiency. 

cnc machining

Metalworking is not just art: It’s a science. Physics and mathematics play a critical role in any CNC machining operations.

Whether you’re crafting auto parts, medical devices, or aircraft components, precision is key in metalworking applications such as drilling, end milling, and turning.

Machining calculators can help you fine-tune CNC machining processes and achieve your desired quality and efficiency. 

Force, Torque & Horsepower

Three crucial elements contribute to any machining process: force, torque, and horsepower. As you may recall, torque is the amount of rotational force a motor can generate. Torque is measured in pounds-feet.

Meanwhile, horsepower is simply the level of power an engine can produce. Force is generated by a cutting tool when it comes into contact with the material.

It’s also sometimes called tangential force when circular motion’s involved and can be measured in Newtons.

Theoretical Values to Plan Your Operations

Machining calculators aren’t meant to provide exact figures. However, they can present theoretical values useful in planning your CNC machining setup.

Besides force, torque, and horsepower, Kennametal provides several end milling engineering calculators that you may find useful:

  • Solid end mill torque and horsepower
  • Indexable torque and power
  • G-spec balance formula
  • Ball nose surface finish

Speed, Feed and Rate

Force, torque, and horsepower calculations are important to end milling. However, you should also pay attention to speed, feed, and rate. Speed is usually expressed in rotations per minute, or RPM.

This figure is calculated from tool diameter and surface feet-per-minute as follows: RPM = (SFM * 12) / (D * pi).

Cutting feed-in inches per minute (IPR) is calculated in inches per minute by multiplying the feed per tool (FPT) by the cutter’s number of teeth (Z). You get the feed rate in inches per minute by multiplying the IPR by the RPM.

Helical Milling Interpolation

When setting up operations involving end milling tools, you may need to find helical milling interpolation values.

You may remember that helical interpolation is a complex milling operation, involving concurrent X- and Y-axis circular motions along with a Z-axis feed at a preset angle.

Helical end mill flutes are corkscrew-shaped like those on traditional drills. However, they’re typically equipped with multiple inserts for smooth cutting.

From the moment the flute hits the workpiece, it begins removing material.

Benefits of Helical End Milling

Helical milling is ultimately an end milling process. As you know, the purpose of end milling is to remove material from an existing piece of metal. End milling applications usually include plunging as well as face, profile, shape and tracer milling.

With helical interpolation, you can create holes on irregular surfaces and difficult-to-machine metals. You can also get around to existing machine limitations with this method.

For homemaking, it can serve as a useful alternative to traditional drilling. You’ll need a helical milling interpolation calculator.

Remember to input critical values including the number of inserts, cutting speed, lead angle, and the diameter of the workpiece. 

End Milling: Part of Your CNC Toolbox

End milling is just one of many metalworking functions you may need in your production setup. Specialty applications such as microdrilling can be useful. A carefully chosen collection of CNC tools can ensure you meet your clients’ needs. 

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