If you work in the field of machining or would like to, it helps to know what it is all about first. This term is used in reference to numerous material removal processes that involve a cutting tool being used to eliminate unwanted material from a work piece that can then be used to create a shape that is desired.
The work piece is most often cut from a bigger piece of stock, which can be found in numerous standard shapes including hollow tubes, flat sheets, shaped beams and solid bars. It is important to note that this procedure can also be done on an existing part. An example of this would be a casting or a forging.
The parts that go through the process come from a preshaped workpiece, which is generally cylindrical or cubic in shape. However, the individual features of each one may be rather sophisticated.
This process can be used to create several different features such as flat surfaces, holes, pockets, slots and in some cases, surface contours. Metal is the most common substance to be processed in this manner but it is not the only one that can undergo this function. In fact, almost any material can be used for these purposes. Besides metals, wood, plastics and composites can all be used. As a result of the variety of materials that can be used, machining is often thought of as being the most versatile, popular and common type of process for manufacturing.