Machined parts are basically parts that have gone through the process of machining or precision machining. These parts are usually made of a type of metal or alloy however other materials such as formulated plastics, glass, stone, wood, and composites may also be machined. The parts are machined to remove material from them or to form them as many unfinished work pieces need to have some parts removed or scraped off of them in order to create a finished product. Machined parts often have to be very precise and they are usually measured in microns.
There are many types of powered machines that can be used to make a machined part. These include machines such as lathes, cutters, drills, shapers, wood lathes, grinders, milling machines, boring machines, sharpening machines, deburring machines, and reamers etc. These machines are controlled by a CNC (computer numerical controlled) machine or an EDM (electrical discharge machining) machine. Advanced machining operations may also use elecro-chemical erosion, and laser cutting devices to shape metal work pieces.
Milling centers are generally the most used type of precision machining equipment as these machines can accept an assortment of tooling and also possess programmable indexes which help to make products in an accurate and high-speed fashion.
Machinists can form metal into a desired shape easier than materials such as wood and stone. This is especially true when the metal is heated. A machinist might employ a forging machine to hammer or mold a piece of hot metal into a desired shape. Dies and molds are often used if the metal is soft enough, or under high pressure. A press is commonly used to flatten a section of metal into a desired shape.
Machined parts are often produced in a machine shop or in the machining area of a larger factory. The parts that are produced are used in many types of industries such as aerospace, medical, fiber optics, communications and the military. A machined part has to meet the exact requirements of the plan or blueprint and to do this, it is very important that the machinist be very skilled.