Hole-making is a class of machining operations that are specifically used to cut a hole into a workpiece. Machining, a material removal process, creates features on a part by cutting away the unwanted material and requires a machine, workpiece, fixture, and cutting tool. Hole-making can be performed on a variety of machines, including general machining equipment such as CNC milling machines or CNC turning machines. Specialized equipment also exists for hole-making, such as drill presses or tapping machines. The workpiece is a piece of pre-shaped material that is secured to the fixture, which itself is attached to a platform inside the machine. The cutting tool is a cylindrical tool with sharp teeth that is secured inside a piece called a collet, which is then attached to the spindle, which rotates the tool at high speeds. By feeding the rotating tool into the workpiece, material is cut away in the form of small chips to create the desired feature.
Hole-making operations are typically performed amongst many other operations in the machining of a part. However, hole-making may be performed as a secondary machining process for an existing part, such as a casting or forging. This can be done to add features that were too costly to form during the primary process or to improve the tolerance or surface finish of existing holes.
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