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What is 3 Axis Milling Machine?

3 axis milling machine is a type of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine which consists of three axes, X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis.

It can be programmed by using computer numerical control programming or CAM software.

In this process, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawings are read and converted into code form, which the machine can interpret. Then, the cutter is moved according to these programmed instructions to achieve the desired shape or form.

This machine is widely used in various industries, especially the metalworking industry, because it provides accuracy and precision for manufacturing purposes. 

Usually, 3 axis milling machine uses a spindle as its rotating element to do milling operation. The Spindle speed, denoted in RPM (rotations per minute), is the rate at which the spindle rotates.

3 axis milling

How does a 3 axis milling machine work?

A 3-Axis milling machine can perform various kinds of complex work, i.e., it has large utility, but the working principle behind this is quite simple. It works on the principle of a Cartesian coordinate system and Gantry Robot.

The 3 axes (X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis) work together to create different shapes on the material. The X-axis moves left and right, the Y-axis moves up and down, and the Z-axis moves in and out.

So, combining this three-axis creates a 3D space that is used to create different shapes on the material.

3 axis milling

Advantages of 3 axis milling machine:

Following are the advantages of 3 axis milling machine:

  • Overall, they are more accurate, which means they can produce accurate parts with better finishing on the edges.
  • They use less tooling, which means there are fewer chances of errors.
  • They offer more versatility and perform many functions that a two-axis milling machine can’t do. 
  • They offer a greater depth of cuts which is difficult on a 2 axis milling machine.
  • They can hold larger parts means that you can produce bigger and more complex parts than you would otherwise be able to.

Disadvantages of 3 axis milling machine:

  • Three-axis milling machines are not as accurate as 4 or 5 axis milling machines.
  • 3 axis milling machines require some experience or training.
  • Its material removal rate is typically lower than other 4 or 5 axis milling machines, which means they use more time and resources to produce the same results.

Three-axis milling machines are still a popular choice for many businesses despite these disadvantages. They are less expensive than other milling machines, and they can still produce high-quality results.

Common uses for the 3-axis milling machine in the Industry:

The 3-axis milling machine is a versatile tool and can be used for following various tasks in Industry

  • Manufacturing parts for machines and equipment
  • Fabricating metal molds
  • Producing custom fittings and components
  • Milling away excess material from a part of an assembly
  • Performing precision machining operations
  • Cutting and shaping materials such as wood, metal, and plastic
  • Producing prototypes and models

Tips for choosing the best 3 axis milling for your needs and budget:

When looking to purchase a three-axis milling machine, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • The first is why you will be using the three-axis milling machine. If you are starting in machining or have limited experience, it might be worth considering a basic machine.
  • These machines are typically entry-level models that are affordable and easy to use. They are also smaller, making them ideal for home workshops or smaller businesses.
  • If you have more experience with machining or have specific needs that a basic machine cannot meet, you will need to look for a more advanced model.
  • Budget must be kept in mind while buying a three-axis milling machine. Three-axis milling machines come in a range of prices, so it is important to find one that fits your budget.

Once you have considered these factors, you will find the perfect three-axis milling machine for your needs and budget.


We hope you enjoyed learning about the 3-axis milling machine and how it can help your company. This blog post is just a brief introduction to these machines, but we encourage you to do some research before making any major investment in one for yourself or your business.  

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