CNC Foam Cutter

Machine Tools vs CNC Machining Centers

A machine tool is a type of power-driven equipment that is used to shape and form metal or other materials. It typically consists of a cutting tool, a workpiece, and a fixture to hold the workpiece in place. Examples of machine tools include lathes, milling machines, drill presses, and grinders.

Foam CNC Router Machine

A CNC machining center, on the other hand, is a type of machine tool that is controlled by a computer numerical control (CNC) system. This means that the machine’s movements and operations are programmed using a computer, which allows for precise and complex machining operations to be performed automatically. CNC machining centers typically have multiple axes of movement and can perform a wide range of operations, including drilling, milling, turning, and grinding.

Automatic Quartz Stone CNC Machining Center for Stone and Marble Cutting& Carving

While all CNC machining centers are machine tools, not all machine tools are CNC machining centers. Traditional machine tools are often operated manually, using hand wheels and levers to control the movements of the cutting tool and workpiece. CNC machining centers, on the other hand, use computer programming to automate the machining process and achieve a high degree of precision and accuracy.


With the continuous development of industrial machinery, the application of CNC machine tools and machining centers makes machining more simple and convenient. Then what is the difference between CNC machine tools and machining center machines?

When a machine tool is equipped with a CNC system, it becomes a CNC machine tool. Of course, the development of ordinary machine tools to CNC machine tools is not only the addition of such a simple system, such as: from the development of milling machines to the processing center, the structure of the machine tool changes, the most important is to add the tool library, greatly improve the accuracy. Machining center is the main function of milling, boring, drilling function. We generally referred to a CNC equipment, mainly refers to control machine tools and machining centers.

5-Axis CNC Router Machine

Machining center is a CNC machine tool with tool storehouse, automatic tool change function, and multi-procedure machining after one clamping of the workpiece. Machining center is a high degree of mechatronics products, workpiece clamping, CNC system can control the machine according to the different processes of automatic selection, replacement of tools, automatic knife, automatic change of spindle speed, feed, etc., can continue to complete drilling, boring, milling, reaming, tapping and other processes. Thus greatly reducing the workpiece clamping time, measurement and machine adjustment and other auxiliary process time, the shape of the processing is more complex, the accuracy of the higher requirements, the variety of frequent replacement of parts have good economic effect. The machining center is usually classified by the relative position of the spindle and the working table, which is divided into horizontal, vertical and universal machining center.

(1) Horizontal processing center: refers to the spindle axis and the working table set in parallel to the processing center, mainly suitable for processing box parts.

(2) Vertical machining center: refers to the spindle axis and the working table vertical set of the processing center, mainly suitable for processing plates, plates, molds and small shell rest complex parts.

(3) universal machining center (also known as multi-axis coupling machining center): refers to the machining center through the Angle of the processing spindle axis and the rotary axis of the worktable can control the linkage change, complete the processing center of complex space surface processing.

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