Milling robot: an alternative of CNC machining

Discover the many possibilities of using milling robots to increase and improve productivity in modern manufacturing processes

The milling robot is an innovation that offers new alternatives for contemporary production and provides producers with freedom in an area that has historically been dominated by huge equipment. The milling robot’s capabilities vary from the manufacturing of moulds for the plastics sector to works of art, providing new avenues for industries looking to boost milling process efficiency.

In this section, we will look at the fundamentals of milling robots, compare them to conventional industry solutions, and explore when you should consider acquiring a milling robot.

Milling Robot Fundamentals

Although milling has been around for decades, the use of industrial robots for this purpose is new.

With the availability of 3D cutting software, the barriers to entry for robots into the milling arena have been dramatically reduced.

Toolpath simulation, verification, and synchronisation for the milling process were introduced by CAD/CAM software for robots.

This made it simple to convert the 3D drawings into code that the robot could use.

In addition to the software component, the following are necessary for milling:

Robot machine tool hardware and spindle workpiece template security protection
Milling robot types

The six-axis variations are widely utilised for robotic milling applications and provide substantial benefits for the milling process.

First, their articulated motion enables them to organically generate complicated forms and motifs on the workpiece.

Similar results from other equipment need the use of sophisticated support equipment or manual modifications by the operator.

These robots also have a good balance of strength and reach.

This combination is required for dealing with bigger items and heavy machine tool equipment.

Here are some examples of applications:

Complex mould milling for the hot plastic injection process
Mechanization of boat interior racks
Carbon fibre finish for large tubes Medical Device Foundries

SCARA robots are not as widespread as six-axis milling machines.

They are, nonetheless, ideal for tiny, basic, low-cost robotic milling applications. They don’t have the dexterity and range of the six-axis. As a result, they will not be suitable for the most demanding and sophisticated applications. However, SCARA robots are an excellent low-cost solution for the correct purpose. Here are some examples of applications:

  • Woodworking.
  • Automotive gaskets made of metallic materials.
  • Components made of simple plastic.

Implementing automation solutions also provides various benefits in industrial processes, such as the example of the water Jet Cutting Robot and its applications.

Industries that profit from milling robots

Milling robots are widely used in a variety of sectors owing to their simplicity of use and inexpensive cost in comparison to conventional machinery.

They are helpful for the majority of milling activities, and the most typical industries for robotic milling are as follows:

  • manufacture of wood
  • Metals made of plastics and carbon fibre
  • Medical equipment
  • production of nautical goods
  • Aerospace and automotive art and architecture
  • CNC mechanized milling vs. robotic milling

several reasons why a milling operation should be automated

There are several reasons why a milling operation should be automated.

  • Automation results in increased throughput, higher quality products, and more consistent manufacturing.
  • Manufacturers often face the challenge of comparing robotic and CNC technologies.
  • Milling robots compete with CNC machines for milling operations, and although both units are good candidates for milling activities, the best choice often relies on the application and context of their employment in the facility.
  • High-end transmission machining, for example, has distinct needs than milling complicated foam items.
  • You may compare and contrast the two to choose when to use one or the other.
  • Cost: The most crucial benefit for manufacturers of milling robots is their cheaper cost compared to CNC equipment.
  • Depending on the application, robots may cost around 30-70% of the cost of a CNC machine.
  • Quality CNC machines often attract a premium price.
  • The cost of a milling robot might vary depending on the specifics of each application.


In summary, when budgets are limited and profit margins are thin, a robot might be a more lucrative alternative.
Flexibility: The inherent flexibility of robots is a crucial attribute for most applications.
CNC machines are generally intended for a restricted number of specialised applications.
Robots may be utilised for a variety of activities, such as moving from a tiny milling activity to a huge one.
CNC machines are restricted in size by their structure.
If necessary, the robots may be completely redeployed to new jobs.
A robot, for example, may be transferred to a palletizing process that has to be changed in the future. CNC machines, on the other hand, will always remain CNC machines.
Precision: CNC machines provide best-in-class accuracy because to their strong design.
While milling robots can achieve pinpoint precision, CNC machines can readily achieve micron-level performance.
Depending on the work to be done, it may not be practical to employ a milling robot for this reason.
Milling high-end aircraft components often necessitates the most stringent production tolerances. Tighter tolerance components allow for the employment of milling robots.

How do I include a milling robot?

  • If you don’t know what you’re looking for, integrating a milling robot might be difficult.
  • Making faults during integration causes problems throughout the machine’s life cycle.
  • For example, choosing the incorrect robot type might result in considerable losses in application productivity.
  • The following are the primary stages to consider while integrating a milling robot:

Locate a service provider: The term “electronic commerce” refers to the sale of electronic goods. The vendor may considerably impact the cost of the project and the ease of integration. Find many suppliers that have expertise deploying robots in milling applications. This allows for more flexibility in comparing the strengths and costs of brands, allowing for an educated business choice.
the following are you’requirequirequirequirequirequirequick Additional software for milling applications might be easily ignored. It is not a common need for many other applications, but it is critical for a difficult process like milling. Instead of manually programming milling instructions, you may use this software to transform 3D models into milling commands for the robot. Using this programme is orders of magnitude quicker. It is critical to verify that the software used is compatible with the robot’s brand.
Hardware required: Depending on the project needs, there are several hardware alternatives available; nevertheless, extra goods may be required to guarantee the effective operation of your process.

Other components can be:

  • Parts swapping tool racks.
  • Cooling systems for tougher materials milling.
  • Larger milling activities need robotic transfer units.
  • The seller can assist you obtain these extra components.
  • Some manufacturers provide all-inclusive kits that include ready-made work cells for common milling jobs.
  • These packages include all of the hardware required for the application.
  • Purchasing such a bundle may considerably simplify the labour needed to collect the essential components.

For most manufacturers, the decision is not whether to automate, but how to do it. Milling robots provide significant value to any machining process. Depending on the nature of your application, robotics may be the best option.

want to know about risk assessment of industrial robots and safety regulations

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