CNC Router Vs Milling Machine | Difference Between CNC Mill And CNC Router

Here We Have Discussed The Definitions Of The CNC Routers And CNC Mill And Also Showed The Detailed Comparison Between Them, And More.

CNC routers and mills are both powerful manufacturing tools. They’re often used in the production of goods like molding, carving, cutting, shaping, and routing. While they may look similar on the surface these two machines have many differences.

However, if you need to make many small holes or pockets in your part, then using an endmill on a milling machine might be faster than using multiple tools on a CNC router. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between CNC Router and Milling Machines. We’ll answer questions such as: what is a milling machine? What are its advantages? How do they differ from one another in terms of cost and complexity? And more! We hope you enjoy it!


What Is A CNC Router?

What is CNC Router
What is CNC Router?

CNC router is one of the universal machines but it’s limitations in terms of the materials it can handle. It’s mostly used with softer materials like plastic and foam but it also can handle softer metal materials like soft aluminum.

This is often because it delivers less power to the cutter, an attribute that also makes it less ideal for industrial materials. they typically have 3 axes (X, Y, and Z) but other types have more axes making them suitable for more complicated cutting.

CNC router may be a cutting machine controlled by computer numerical devices, won’t mainly cut materials like wood, composites, aluminum, foams, and plastics, often manufactures door carvings, interior, and exterior decorations, wood panels, signboards, wooden frames, moldings, musical instruments, furniture, it’s also available in cutting mortises, tenons, panel saw, and therefore the spindle molder.

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CNC Router Highlights

  • Used to cut softer materials like wood, plastic, and foam
  • Mounted on a stationary table with a bigger workspace
  • Features a spindle that moves along X, Y, and Z axes
  • Operates at high speeds
  • Uses rotational speed to form cuts
  • Makes 3D Cutting much easier

Why You Would Like A CNC Router?

Routers, like Tormach’s 24R CNC Router, are designed for larger parts, often cut from sheet materials. due to their larger – often gantry-style – format, routers are often less rigid than their mill counterparts. Being less rigid means most routers can’t cut things like steel or titanium, but rather, they’re specifically designed to chop wood, plastics, foam, and even aluminum.

This also means they leverage higher speed spindles, with speeds between 10,000 – 24,000 RPM (sometimes even higher). The 24R was designed to suit a 2’x4’ sheet of fabric within the work envelope. meaning that you simply can even cut the sides of a 2’x4’ piece of plywood without having to index the part.


What Is A CNC Mill?

What is CNC Mill
What is CNC Mill?

For the foremost part, a CNC mill can perform essentially equivalent functions as a CNC router, but there are a couple of key differences. While routers are mostly used for softer materials, mills are generally wont to cut metals and tougher materials.

It uses rotary cutting tools almost like those of a router, but the operating speeds are much slower with mills. rather than employing a stationary table, many CNC mills move in an X-Y configuration, with the spindle moving on a linear axis above the workpiece.

This provides increased clearance along the Z-axis and allows mills to perform thicker cuts, as mills make cuts using torque instead of rotational speed. Also referred to as the CNC mill, the miller is best fitted to heavier productions.

They operate an equivalent way the CNC routers do but they need slower speeds and may handle heavier materials like aluminum, steel, and titanium. The strength of those materials is typically above that of the softer materials which suggest that the milling machines need to be designed with the precise strength they have to interrupt down those machines. They’re also made with three axes, but their spindle moves along the X-Y axis which makes it a linear configuration.

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Desktop CNC Mill Highlights

  • Used to cut metals and tougher materials
  • Slower operating speeds than CNC routers
  • Move-in an X-Y configuration
  • The spindle moves along a linear axis above the workpiece for increased clearance along Z-axis
  • Able to perform thicker cuts
  • Makes cuts using higher torque

Why You Would Like A CNC Router Milling Machine?

CNC mills, just like the 770M or the 1100MX, are designed to be more robust in order that they can handle harder materials like steel, cast iron, or titanium. While a mill can cut wood and plastics, the work envelope is restricted as compared to a router.

A smaller work envelope means there’s more mass during a smaller space, which allows a mill to be more rigid than a router. This smaller envelope and rigidity also allow for more accurate parts. So, if you’re looking to remain within a particular tolerance, a mill might be the proper solution.

CNC Routers VS Milling Machines

What Is The Difference Between A CNC Router And A CNC Mill?

CNC RoutersCNC Mill
Routers have faster operational speeds than most mills, which makes them better if you would like to form several copies of a product over a brief period.The CNC mill has high precision, but it takes longer to form the products.
It can process softer materials like wood, plastic, and foam while milling machines can handle iron-enforced materials et al. like steel and titanium.CNC mills also can handle the softer materials, but CNC routers cannot cut sturdy materials.
CNC routers are designed to chop softer materials.Milling machines are made to chop metal, plain and straightforward.
It cannot do that because it will operate in a horizontal or vertical configuration.Milling machines also can cut thicker material which with more varied shapes.
A CNC router is generally mounted on a set table. These routers feature a spindle with an X-Y-Z configuration. CNC routers usually have shallow clearance because they’re designed to chop flatter materials.Milling machines normally feature an X-Y configuration, with a spindle set above the device. The spindle moves on a linear axis, with far more clearance than with a CNC router.
A CNC router uses spindles to move the cutting tool in an up-and-down motion.The milling machine has two rotary axes that move the cutting head in a circular motion.
CNC router you can cut shapes and design your own custom parts.With a milling machine, you will need to use pre-existing 2D drawings or templates.

Similarities Between The CNC Router And The CNC Mill:

  • Both machines are controlled by computer programs.
  • The machines are both almost like operate.
  • They are both loud and perform at great consistencies that can’t be found by handcrafting.

Which One Is Better?

CNC Router VS Milling Machine

Final Call:

With the rapid growth of CNC machining in recent years, it’s important to understand the difference between a milling machine and a CNC router. A milling machine is typically used for more intricate work with smaller features while a CNC router is typically used for larger pieces. Understanding these differences can save you time and money when trying to decide which type of machine will suit your needs best.

GV Team
GV Team

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