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Vertical Machining Center and Horizontal Machining Center, Which One is better?

There are two machining center forms, the horizontal and vertical. This refers to the main spindles orientation. Both the horizontal and vertical machining centers come in small, bench-mounted devices to a room-sized machine.

Horizontal machining centers have x – y table with cutter mounted on a horizontal arbor across the table. Most horizontal machining centers highlight a =15/-15 degree rotary table allowing one to mill at shallow angles. Horizontal machining centers are often used to mill grooves and slots. It may also be used to shape flat surfaces.

Vertical machining centers have its spindle axis vertically oriented. Its milling cutters are held in the spindle and it rotates on its axis. Generally, the spindle could be extended to allow plunge cuts and drilling, although the table could also be lowered or raised. The vertical machining centers have two subcategories. These categories are the bedmill and the turret mill.

Although they may be similar since both are machining centers, vertical and horizontal machining centers serve different purposes. Horizontal machining centers were first to appear to put milling tables under lathe-like headstocks. However, through the desire to change the angle of the horizontal machining centers, accessories such as add-on heads were created to convert the horizontal to vertical machining centers.

Horizontal machining centers work best with heavy work piece that needs machining on multiple sides. Die sinking on the other hand is best with vertical machining centers.

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