How does trochoidal milling take your CNC machine shop to the next level?

  • Articles
  • Nov 09,23
Trochoidal milling cuts material in a series of circles instead of a direct line. While it is more complex than conventional cuts, that complexity comes with several important advantages, explains Emily Newton.
How does trochoidal milling take your CNC machine shop to the next level?

Running a CNC machine shop can be a profitable enterprise as long as you capitalize on the right equipment and methods. While conventional CNC milling is highly efficient and reliable compared to other methods, trochoidal milling deserves attention, too. Embracing this less-common approach to machining can take your shop to new heights.

Trochoidal milling cuts material in a series of circles instead of a direct line. While it is more complex than conventional cuts, that complexity comes with several important advantages.

Increased efficiency
Speed is the most obvious benefit of trochoidal milling. This approach enables continuous contact between tools and the material. Its lower cut width also means you can afford a higher axial cutting depth, letting you use the whole length of your blade’s edge.

These advantages combine for significantly faster machining rates. In some cases, trochoidal machining can remove material nearly twice as fast as conventional milling using the same cutting speed.

This increased speed is particularly beneficial when working with difficult-to-machine materials. Continuous contact and a larger cutting edge make a big difference when cutting through stainless steel and other hard metals.

Reduced wear and tear
Those faster production cycles also mean less tool time. As a result, you will remove the same amount of material without putting as much stress on your mill. That is a crucial advantage when running a profitable CNC machine shop.

Machine maintenance is among your highest operating costs, yet it is also difficult to manage. Breakdowns rarely follow a set timeline, so even regular repairs fail to prevent every error. Lighter tool usage will not eliminate maintenance needs, but it does reduce them, minimising those costs.

Trochoidal approaches spread the wear and tear across more of your tool’s surface area. Consequently, single points of failure are less likely. More even wear will mean longer gaps between replacements, spreading out your repair purchases.

Improved finish
Trochoidal milling also makes it easier to produce a quality finish. High precision and part quality are already leading advantages of CNC machining, but taking them further lets you outshine the competition.

This technique reduces chip thickness. As a result, it is easier to remove the same amount of material at all points of the cut, producing a more even finish. Less stress on your cutting edge also minimises the chances of machine errors hindering your finish’s quality.

It is also worth noting that because this milling technique produces higher-quality finishes from the initial cut, it reduces the need for post-machining finishing. That way, you can further streamline your production cycles and minimise operating costs. You could use that edge to raise profits or lower-end prices to outcompete other machine shops.

Lower temperatures
Because this method reduces radial overlapping, it also reduces heat. Using more of the cutting edge has similar benefits, ensuring one point does not experience all of the rising temperatures. This heat reduction has several key advantages.

The most obvious benefit of lower temperatures is longer-lasting tool ends, but the gains do not stop there. It also means you will not heat your material as much, which ensures higher quality in the final product. If you are using a lighter metal, that heat reduction could be crucial in maintaining structural integrity.

Lower temperatures also help you use less energy when milling. You will then save money and make your CNC machine shop more sustainable.

Things to consider when using trochoidal milling
Despite these advantages, it is important to recognise trochoidal milling has some downsides, too. The most significant is that it is more complex. Trochoidal CNC paths require specialized software and programming, which may be an issue, considering one-third of workers today lack digital skills.

Similarly, not all CNC machines can support trochoidal cuts. Your shop may need to install new equipment to take advantage of these benefits, which is only cost effective if you use this method a lot. It is also worth noting that while this technique is faster and more reliable in many cases, that is not true of every material or cut.

The key to capitalizing on trochoidal milling is recognising where it works best and falls short. Generally speaking, this method makes the biggest difference when working with hard-to-machine materials or making cuts larger than your cutting tool. For all other jobs, use easier-to-learn, less technical conventional methods.

If your average workflow involves a lot of hard metals and large cuts, you will get more out of trochoidal machining than most. The time and maintenance savings will compensate for the upfront costs if you train your current workers on how to program these cuts. Otherwise, trochoidal machining is a good long-term goal but does not need to be your main focus.

Advance your machine shop with trochoidal milling today
Trochoidal milling offers several crucial advantages for your CNC machine shop. Whether you want to expand your services or refine your current operations, you can benefit from this technique.

Making the most of this method starts with recognising its strengths and weaknesses. If you can do that, you can make the most informed decisions.

About the author:
Emily Newton is a tech and industrial journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. Subscribe to the Revolutionized newsletter for more content from Emily. 

Related Stories

Smart Manufacturing
How to master robotic cable management for better manufacturing workflows

How to master robotic cable management for better manufacturing workflows

In this article, Emily Newton presents some best practices in robotic cable management for ensuring smoother workflows when interacting with industrial machines.

Read more
Other Industrial Products
FYH Japan introduces all-new range of deep groove ball bearings

FYH Japan introduces all-new range of deep groove ball bearings

Since 1950 FYH - the largest manufacturer of mounted bearing units in Japan - has prioritised quality, aiming to offer efficient, precise, and affordable solutions to a diverse array of industries.

Read more
Chemicals, Lubricants & Raw Material
Emerging technologies in electric vehicles are reshaping lubricant needs

Emerging technologies in electric vehicles are reshaping lubricant needs

In this interview, Ravi Chawla, MD & CEO, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, highlights how his company is developing innovative, biodegradable products to meet the evolving needs of industrial cust..

Read more

Related Products

Automatic Back Spot Facing Tool

MACHINE TOOLS, POWER & HAND TOOLS

Shenoy Engg Pvt Ltd offers automatic back spot facing tool.


Read more

Request a Quote

Plas in-line Rotary Pipe Cutters

MACHINE TOOLS, POWER & HAND TOOLS

Arizona Tools Company offers a wide range of in-line rotary pipe cutters for plastic pipe.

Read more

Request a Quote

True Peel® PE Prep Tools

MACHINE TOOLS, POWER & HAND TOOLS

Arizona Tools Company offers a wide range of True Peel® PE prep tools.


Read more

Request a Quote

Hi There!

Now get regular updates from IPF Magazine on WhatsApp!

Click on link below, message us with a simple hi, and SAVE our number

You will have subscribed to our Industrial News on Whatsapp! Enjoy

+91 84228 74016

Reach out to us

Call us at +91 8108603000 or

Schedule a Call Back