Milling is the most common form of machining, a material removal process, which can create a variety of features on a part by cutting away the unwanted material. The milling process requires a milling machine, workpiece, fixture, and cutter. The workpiece is a piece of pre-shaped material that is secured to the fixture, which itself is attached to a platform inside the milling machine. The cutter is a cutting tool with sharp teeth that is also secured in the milling machine and rotates at high speeds. By feeding the workpiece into the rotating cutter, material is cut away from this workpiece in the form of small chips to create the desired shape.
Hole-making operations are typically performed amongst many other operations in the machining of a part. However, hole-making may be performed as a secondary machining process for an existing part, such as a casting or forging. This can be done to add features that were too costly to form during the primary process or to improve the tolerance or surface finish of existing holes.
Turning is used to produce rotational, typically axi-symmetric, parts that have many features, such as holes, grooves, threads, tapers, various diameter steps, and even contoured surfaces. Parts that are fabricated completely through turning often include components that are used in limited quantities, perhaps for prototypes, such as custom designed shafts and fasteners. Turning is also commonly used as a secondary process to add or refine features on parts that were manufactured using a different process. Due to the high tolerances and surface finishes that turning can offer, it is ideal for adding precision rotational features to a part whose basic shape has already been formed.