Conventional machining

Understanding conventional machining process

Machining is a metal removing process. It removes a material & decreases the material mass hence this is a subtractive process. The conventional machining process is also known as a traditional machining process. It is the basic method of the metal removing process that removes a material and decreases metal mass. Because of the abrasive reinforcement and inhomogeneous structure, traditional machining procedures are known to produce low-quality products. As a result, laser machining has some advantages over traditional machining technologies.

Conventional machining

In this article, you’ll get to know the definition, application, diagram, examples, types, working of the conventional machining process. You’ll also learn the advantages and disadvantages of this traditional machining process


What is a conventional machining process?

A conventional machining process is one in which the machining is done using the traditional way, that is, without the use of any sophisticated methods. As a result, this machining method is also known as traditional machining. Sharp point cutting tools, such as the taper tool in the lathe machine for tapering, are employed in this technique for machining. Because the cutting tool’s material is tougher than the workpieces, and because the cutting tool is in direct contact with the workpiece, there is increased tool wear. For material removal, the cutting tool is employed against a rotary or fixed workpiece.

Because of the abrasive reinforcement and inhomogeneous structure, traditional machining procedures are known to produce low-quality products. As a result, laser machining has several advantages over traditional machining technologies. Examples of conventional machining include lathe machines, milling machines, vertical drilling machines, grinding machines, etc.

Molding components with contouring channels are difficult to produce using traditional machining. The channels are constructed using milling and drilling in a configuration that is as close to the conformal system as possible, to ensure rapid and smooth cooling, as well as the benefits of a short cycle time and good plastic part quality. However, because the drilled channels are straight and unable to curve the molding surface uniformly, the number of channels is reduced for the same mold volume due to geometrical constraints, and some cooling performance reduction is to be expected. The created channels represent a first step toward achieving a “pure” cooling system, which is only conceivable with AM technologies in this shape.


Because there are different types of conventional machining processes with various operations, their applications vary. The most commonly used include,

  • Knurling, turning, facing, screw cutting, taper operations on lathe machine
  • Surface smoothing on milling
  • Drilling holes in a workpiece using a drill machine
  • Surfacing, internal and external keyway on a shaper machine.

Diagram of a traditional machining process:


Components of the conventional machining process

Traditional machining processes are different in their constructional features. However, the following are the basic elements of conventional machines:

  • Work holding device
  • Tool holding device
  • Work motion mechanism
  • Tool motion mechanism
  • Support structure

Work holding device:

Work-holding devices are used to locate, support, and secure workpieces during machining, welding, and assembly activities. Chucks, collets, vises, jigs, and fixtures are all common work holding devices. In a wide range of applications, these typical devices are employed for the majority of work-holding. It is a critical component of a variety of manufacturing processes. For efficient, safe, and high-quality part production, operators who know how to operate the various work holding devices are needed. When used correctly, it increases production speed while also improving part tolerance and finish.

Tool holding device:

A machine is held in position by a tool holder, which is a machining component. It aims to keep the tool as precise and firmly in position as possible because even a small increase in runout might destroy your job or break your cutting tool. The runout and balance of different types of holders vary. There’s also a difference in how long they last and how durable they are.

Work motion mechanism:

This is a system in the machine that supplies power to the mechanism that controls the workpiece. This is often electric rotary motion to any sort of motion.

Tool motion mechanism:

This is a system is a machine tool that controls the tools during the operation.

Support structure:

The part on the machine bears all the load of the traditional machine tool.

Types of traditional machining processes and their operations

Below are the various types of conventional machining processes and their operations


Turning is a machining method in which the workpiece is spun as cutting tools travel across it on a lathe. To make cuts with exact depth and width, the cutting tools move along two axes of motion. Traditional manual lathes and automated computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathes are the two types of lathes available.

lathe machine


Grinding is a technique for removing small amounts of material from flat and cylindrical surfaces. Surface grinders feed work from a table into a grinding wheel in a reciprocating motion. The cutting depth of the wheel is normally between 0.00025 and 0.001 inches. Cylindrical grinders rotate the workpiece while applying the periphery of a revolving abrasive wheel on it. Centerless grinding is a technique for mass-producing small parts in which the ground surface has no link to any other surface other than itself.

Grinding machine types

Milling machine

In contrast to turning processes, where the tool does not spin, milling removes material using revolving cutters. The workpieces are positioned on moving tables in traditional milling machines. The cutting tools are stationary on these machines, while the table moves the material to make the desired cuts. Tables and cutting tools are both moveable components on other milling machines.

milling machine


Planning is typically used to mill large flat surfaces, especially those that will be scraped, such as machine tool paths. Small pieces that are ganged together in a fixture are also planned economically.

planer machine parts

Drill press

Drilling uses drill bits to generate cylindrical holes in solid materials; it is one of the most essential machining techniques since the holes created are typically used to aid with assembly. Drill presses are frequently employed; however, lathes can also be used. Drilling is a preparatory step in most manufacturing operations for producing finished holes, which are then tapped, reamed, bored, etc. to generate threaded holes or bring hole dimensions within acceptable tolerances. Due to the bit’s flexibility and tendency to seek the route of least resistance, drill bits will frequently cut holes that are larger than their nominal size and holes that are not always straight or round. As a result, drilling is frequently specified undersize and followed by a machining process to bring the hole to its final size.

Working principle

All conventional machining work on the same principle, as illustrated below the blank and cutting tool are appropriately installed (in fixtures) and moved in a powerful machine tool that allows for the gradual removal of layers of material from the work surface, resulting in the desired dimensions and surface finish. Additionally, a lubricant and cooling environment is known as cutting fluid is commonly utilized to make machining easier.

Machine Tools’ Basic Functions

By machining work with the use of cutting tools, machine tools produce geometrical surfaces such as flat, cylindrical, or any contour on prepared blanks.

A Machine Tool’s physical functions in machining are as follows:

  • transfer motions to the tool and the blank by firmly gripping the blank and the tool
  • control of the machining parameters, such as speed, feed, and depth of cut;
  • give power to the tool-work pair for machining action;

watch the video below to learn more about the conventional machine tool process:

Advantages and disadvantages of the conventional machining process


Below are the benefits of a traditional machining process in its various applications.

  • Different materials can be machined
  • Equipment can be easily setup
  • Less capital cost
  • The basic method of machining


Despite the advantages of the traditional machining process, some limitation still occurs. Below are the disadvantages of the conventional machining processes in their various applications.

  • Less surface finish is produced
  • Complex shapes cannot be machined
  • Tool wear frequently occur
  • Low dimensional accuracy
  • Noisy operations result in sound pollution
  • Lubrication is necessary.


A traditional machining process is a conventional process that does not make use of any sophisticated methods. It is a metal removing process. It removes a material & decreases the material mass hence this is a subtractive process. That is all for this article, where the definition, application, diagram, examples, types, working of a conventional machining process. You also learned the advantages and disadvantages of this traditional machining process.

I hope you’ve gained a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. thanks for reading, see you around!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *