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A machine tool is a machine that manipulates and uses metal or rigid material typically by cutting or grinding, shearing, or other deformities. Machines are tools that cut and shape. Every machinery tool contains a means that constrains the workpiece and guides the movements of the parts. So, relative motion between working parts and the cutting equipment (also termed tools path) is controlled and regulated by the device at least partially, not entirely offhand. The accommodation of the working parts on the tool and the movement of the machine is brought about by several methods, including hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, and gears.
Machine tools usually have either horizontal or vertical spindles. The workpiece is clamped to a table that can move in two directions at right angles to the spindle's axis. The spindle holds the cutting tool, which can be a drill bit, reamer, end mill, or another type of cutter. The cutting tool is rotated at high speed and pressed against the workpiece to remove material.
The table can also move in various ways to create different shapes. For example, the table can be fed at a constant rate in one direction while the spindle moves in another direction to create a spiral shape. Or, the table can move in multiple directions to create more complex shapes.
Machine tools are used in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical devices. They are also used in research and development, and for prototyping.
Machine tools are classified by the type of motion they provide:
* Point-to-point: The table moves in two directions (X and Y), and the spindle moves in one direction (Z). This is the most common type of machine tool.
* Linear: The table moves in one direction (X), and the spindle moves in another direction (Y).
* Circular: The table moves in a circle (C), and the spindle does not move.
* Indexing: The table can be moved to preset positions (I), and the spindle does not move.
The three main types of machine tools are lathes, milling machines, and drilling machines.
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A lathe is a machine that spins a workpiece to create a symmetrical shape. Lathes are used to create cylindrical shapes, such as table legs and spindles.
A milling machine is a machine that cuts material using a rotating cutter. Milling machines are used to create shapes and holes in materials.
A drilling machine is a machine that drills holes in materials. Drilling machines are used to create holes for screws and bolts.
Machine tools are operated by a variety of methods, including:
* Hand crank: The machine is cranked by hand to move the workpiece.
* Foot pedal: The machine is pedaled with the feet to move the workpiece.
* Electric motor: The machine is powered by an electric motor.
* Hydraulic: The machine is powered by hydraulics.
* Pneumatic: The machine is powered by air pressure.
Safety is a major concern when using machine tools. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as eye protection and gloves. Be sure to read the manual for your machine before using it. Follow all safety instructions to avoid injuries.
If you are new to using machine tools, it is recommended that you take a class or find a qualified instructor to help you learn how to use them safely and correctly. Never try to operate a machine tool without proper training.
Nomenclature and key concepts, interrelated
Workpiece: the object that is being machined; it is secured to the machine table in some way
Cutting tool: the device that removes material from the workpiece, mounted in the machine spindle
Machine table: typically a flat surface parallel to the cutting tool axis of rotation, to which the workpiece may be secured; may also include T-slots or other means for workpiece attachment
Machine spindle: the cutting tool is mounted on this, and it rotates at high speed; may be horizontal or vertical
Feed rate: the speed at which the table moves past the cutting tool
Cutting speed: the speed of rotation of the cutting tool
Depth of cut: the distance that the cutting tool penetrates the workpiece in a single pass
Roughing: removing large amounts of material quickly, without regard for surface finish
Finishing: taking light cuts to achieve the desired surface finish
Reaming: using a slightly larger cutting tool to enlarge a previously drilled hole to achieve greater accuracy
Tapping: using a cutting tool to create threads in a hole
Threading: the process of creating or following threads on the workpiece surface with a cutting tool
Chamfering: beveling the edge of the workpiece with a cutting tool
Knurling: creating a textured surface on the workpiece with a cutting tool
Boring: enlarging a hole that has already been drilled, using a cutting tool
Counterboring: enlarging the top of a hole to create a seat for a screw or bolt head
Countersinking: beveling the rim of a hole to allow a screw or bolt head to sit flush with the workpiece surface
Drilling: creating a hole in the workpiece with a cutting tool
Spot facing: machining a flat surface around the periphery of a hole
Facing: machining a flat surface on the end of the workpiece
Turning: rotating the workpiece on its axis while a cutting tool is fed along the surface to create a cylindrical shape
Spinning: a type of turning where the workpiece is rotated on its axis but not moved laterally; used to create cylindrical shapes
Milling: feeding a cutting tool along multiple axes to create complex shapes and pockets in the workpiece
Grinding: using an abrasive wheel or belt to remove material from the workpiece surface
Shaping: using a cutter to remove material from the workpiece to create a specific shape
Planning: using a cutter with multiple blades to create a flat surface
Broaching: using a toothed cutter to remove material from the workpiece and create internal or external shapes
Honing: using an abrasive wheel or belt to remove small amounts of material from the workpiece surface to improve its finish or accuracy
Lapping: using an abrasive compound to remove small amounts of material from the workpiece surface to improve its finish or accuracy
Polishing: using an abrasive compound and a buffing wheel to remove small amounts of material from the workpiece surface to improve its finish
Deburring: removing metal burrs from the workpiece surface with a cutting tool or abrasive wheel
Dressing: truing or shaping an abrasive wheel with another wheel or cutter
EDM: using electrical current to remove material from the workpiece; also called spark machining
Waterjet: using a high-pressure stream of water to cut material from the workpiece
Laser: using a focused beam of light to cut or ablate material from the workpiece
Plasma: using a plasma torch to cut or ablate material from the workpiece
The first machine tools were invented in the 18th century when manufacturers started to use tools such as the lathe, planer, and milling machine to produce parts for their machines. The first CNC machine was built in the 1940s, and by the 1950s, NC (numerical control) machine tools were common in factories. In the 1980s, CNC technology improved to the point where machine tools could be controlled by computers, and this led to the development of CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software. Today, machine tools are used in a variety of industries, from automotive to aerospace.
Some machine tools, such as CNC lathes and CNC mills, are controlled by computers that automatically carry out the machining operations. These machines are programmed using CAM software, which is used to create a program that tells the machine tool what operations to perform and how to do them.
CNC machine tools are classified according to their number of axes. The three most common axes are the X, Y, and Z axes. Machines with more than three axes are called multiaxis machine tools.
The main advantage of CNC machine tools is that they can be used to create parts with very high accuracy. In addition, CNC machine tools can be programmed to produce parts very quickly.
Disadvantages of CNC machine tools include the high cost of the machines and the need for trained operators. In addition, CNC machine tools can produce parts with very tight tolerances, which can be difficult to achieve with other types of machine tools.
NC machine tools
NC machine tools are similar to CNC machine tools, but they are controlled by a computer that does not automatically carry out the machining operations. Instead, the operator manually controls the machine tool using a hand-held controller.
The advantage of NC machine tools is that they are less expensive than CNC machine tools. In addition, NC machine tools do not require trained operators.
The disadvantages of NC machine tools include the need for the operator to be familiar with the machine tool and the machining operations and the fact that NC machine tools are not as accurate as CNC machine tools.
Conventional machine tools
Conventional machine tools are those that are not controlled by computers. These machines are operated manually by the operator.
The advantage of conventional machine tools is that they are less expensive than CNC machine tools. In addition, conventional machine tools do not require trained operators.
The disadvantages of conventional machine tools include the fact that they are not as accurate as CNC machine tools and the fact that the operator must be familiar with the machining operations.
Drive power sources
Machine tools can be powered by a variety of power sources, including electric motors, gas engines, and hydraulic systems.
Electric motors are the most common type of power source for machine tools. Electric motors are available in a variety of sizes and types, and they can be powered by either AC or DC.
Gas engines are another type of power source for machine tools. Gas engines are usually powered by natural gas, but they can also be powered by propane or other fuels.
Hydraulic systems are a type of power source that uses fluid to transfer energy. Hydraulic systems are generally used for larger machine tools, such as those used in the aerospace industry.
The operating principle of a machine tool is the same as that of any other type of machine. The machine tool is operated by a power source, such as an electric motor, gas engine, or hydraulic system. The power source turns a drive shaft, which in turn rotates the spindle of the machine tool.
The workpiece is held in place on the machine tool by a chuck or other device and is machined by the cutting tools attached to the spindle. The cutting tools remove material from the workpiece to create the desired shape.
The speed of the spindle, the direction of rotation, and the feed rate of the cutting tools are all controlled by the operator. The operator can also change the cutting tools as necessary to create the desired shape.
Machine tool classification
Machine tools can be classified according to their size, their function, or their power source.
Size: Machine tools are available in a variety of sizes, from small bench-top models to large floor-standing models.
Function: Machine tools can be classified according to their function, such as drilling machines, lathes, milling machines, and so on.
Power source: Machine tools can be powered by a variety of power sources, including electric motors, gas engines, and hydraulic systems.
Machine tool manufacturing industry
The machine tool manufacturing industry is global. The leading machine tool manufacturers are located in Europe, Japan, and the United States.
The machine tool manufacturing industry is highly competitive. To compete effectively, machine tool manufacturers must continually innovate and improve their products.
Machine tools are used in a variety of industries, including the automotive industry, the aerospace industry, the construction industry, and the electronics industry.
The automotive industry is the largest user of machine tools. The automotive industry uses machine tools to manufacture a variety of components, including engine blocks, transmissions, and so on.
The aerospace industry is another major user of machine tools. The aerospace industry uses machine tools to manufacture aircraft and spacecraft.
The construction industry uses machine tools to fabricate and assemble structures. The construction industry also uses machine tools to excavate and grade land.
The electronics industry uses machine tools to manufacture a variety of electronic components, including printed circuit boards, semiconductors, and so on.
Machine tool safety
Machine tools can be dangerous if they are not used properly. To avoid injuries, always follow the proper safety procedures when using machine tools.
Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, goggles, and so on.
Never reach into the path of a moving cutting tool.
Keep your hands and fingers away from the cutting tools at all times.
Turn off the power to the machine tool before making any adjustments.
Do not use a machine tool if it is not in good working condition.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a machine tool.
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