Guide to Form Milling – Uses, Advantages, Cutters & What is Form Milling | CNCLATHING


A milling machine can cut material to various results using different tools. In this article, we’ll talk about what is form milling. Follow us to learn about the advantages of form milling and details of the form cutter, involves its types, uses, and configurations. 

What is Form Milling?

Form milling is a type of CNC milling operation of producing irregular contours consisting entirely of curves or of curves and straight lines, at a single cut with form milling cutters. The special irregular contour can be concave, convex, or of any other shape. The machining speed of form milling operation is 20 to 30 % lower than that in plain milling.

What is Form Milling Used for?

Common form milling operations are used to milling half-round recesses, beads, and quarter-round radii. Intricate patterns or several complex surfaces on CNC milling parts in a cut can be realized in form milling, such as helical gears. 

Advantages of Form Milling

Even though the form milling tool is not cheap, but it is an important contributor in time-saving, maintaining accuracy and reducing overall cost, which is beneficial to your company. 


One of the biggest advantage of form milling and where you use it the most is when we get into situations where a tough detail to mill or manufacture many times, if you’ve got different radius and everything, we can combine that the tool and just come across and mill it all at once. You’ve got a situation where they are going to do an angle comes up a flat face and then do o radius, will generate a tool can complete all at once. When you got an aircraft part in a weird shape and want to put a radius, what we can do is to build a form tool with that radius.


There are considerable savings using a radius form tool for milling. You won’t use form milling is when you get into the situation where you’ve got a contour to cut and you can get that with a fairly good-sized end mill to come in and cut the contour. A cutter to do that form, it’s going to be a lot stouter cutter and they’ll just come in and clip it in one pass, where you can get a big enough diameter tool can do the milling, you don’t need to have a form tool. 

Form Milling Cutter





Form milling cutters have not a standard definition, it’s used for producing 2D and 3D contour surfaces. There are varying form cutters in different shapes, configurations, and for different applications. The form cutters can be made from alloy steel, solid carbide, brazed carbide, and HSS. The common types of form milling cutters include convex, concave, and corner rounding milling cutters. Form milling cutter can also come in straight gash, spiral gash, serration form, special form relieved, simple keyway bores, and complex hubs & shanks. The teeth of the form milling cutter have a shape that corresponds to the profile of the surface to be produced. The form milling cutter can be applied in lots of typical CNC milling and machining processes, including internal ball nut track milling, external rotary milling of threads on difficult-to-turn materials, internal thread form milling on neck ring molds, internal rotary recess form milling, groove milling, full radius milling, chamfering, face milling and more. Choose a versatile form cutter can not only improve your productivity, but also enhance the capability.