Common Methods in Precision Machining

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Precision machining is the process of creating items and products to exact specifications. Milling, Turning, Jig Boring, water cutting, and laser cutting are classed under the term “Precision Machining”.

What are the most common processes in Precision Machining?


Milling is a machining process which uses rotary cutters to remove material. Flat, angular, or curved material is fed into a rotating multiple tooth cutter in order to mill a combination of sizes and shapes. It is one of the most common machines used for precise cutting, such as plastic milling, and produces excellent results.


Turning is a machine process which has the same cutting action as a manual lathe. Typically it uses a linear motion, while the work piece is rotated. Relatively rigid materials such as wood, plastic, metal, or stone, is rotated and traversed along an axes of motion to produce exact depths and diameters.

Jig Boring:

Jig boring is a machine process which accurately enlarges existing holes, with a high degree of precision. Jig boring maintains symmetry and a high accuracy between multiple holes and surfaces.

Water Cutting:

A water cutter or jet cutter is an industrial tool which is capable of cutting a great range of materials using a hydraulic pressure, or high pressure, jet of water either on its own or with an abrasive substance. A water cutter is used to cut through soft materials such as paper products, plastics and foam, or if combined with an abrasive substance, used to cut through very hard materials such as stone, glass, ceramic, and metal.

Laser Cutting:

Laser cutting uses a high-power laser to burn, melt, or vaporize materials. The cutter works by directing the laser, by computer, to cut. Lasers cut with high precision and leave a clean edge and high-quality finish. They are commonly used to cut materials such as metal, wood, and plastic.

Traditionally, apart from water and laser cutting, these cutting methods used to be carried out manually. Various manual tools were used to mill, turn, and jig bore, until recent years. The advantage of using machines instead of these manual tools is the quality and result of the finish. Machines are much more precise than if the work were carried out by hand. The added advantage of using machines is the safety aspect too. Accident and injury figures resulting from manual tools is much higher than the figures from using machine cutters.

If you ever require the use of a company which can cut using these techniques, take a look at machine shops which have a lot of experience in using these cutting machines. Or, if looking to use only one kind of material, look for specialized companies such as a plastic machine shop, for precision plastic machining. Remember that even though machines leave little room for error, a poorly experienced machine operator does. Finding a highly experienced company with a wide range of machines, cutting methods, and knowledge of the best way to cut a variety of different material is important in insuring you get the best finish. Local or online services can be found using a search engine or online directory. But when you find one that catches your eye, don’t forgot to read up on customer reviews to find out if they are a reliable choice with good customer feedback.

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