CNC milling of thermosets

Here at WeButex, we specialise in the processing of thermosetting plastics, serving many sectors, among them automotive and mechanical engineering, medicine and energy. One of our key focuses is the CNC milling of thermosets. Here, we will show you in detail what we do and give you an overview of the range of services we offer.

CNC milling: what is it?

CNC means “computerised numerical control” and means, where milling is concerned, that the milling machine is controlled by a computer. With all work processes programmed in advance, the milling machine handles the thermosetting plastic completely automatically.

Before we have direct contact with the machine and start to process the thermoset, our programming department has to program the necessary work stages using CAD software and transfer the digital milling data via a CAM system to the CNC milling machine.

Advantages of the CNC milling process for thermosets

Because thermosets – in contrast to elastomers or rubber – are inherently stable in form, they are ideal for processing in this way. CNC milling of our thermosetting plastics offers numerous advantages in application:

  • It guarantees the highest level of precision and enormous manufacturing speed across the entire production process
  • Set-up time is markedly reduced by CNC milling
  • It is perfect for manufacturing large series of workpieces
  • And perhaps most important: quality remains at the same high level throughout, with the pre-programmed CNC milling process providing excellent repeat accuracy

Differentiation of CNC milling by direction of operation

An important concept for the milling of thermosetting plastics is the forward feed.

Forward feed refers to the speed at which the thermoset is milled by the tool in use. The forward feed is determined depending on the diameter and speed of the tool, material strength etc. using a recommended cut speed or according to experiential values.

With reference to the forward feed, CNC milling can then easily be divided into up milling and down milling.

Up milling

In this process, the edge of the cutter moves in the opposite direction to the feed direction of the workpiece. Correspondingly, the force the machine needs to apply is greater.

Up milling can create a smooth but undulating structure to the surface of the thermoset plastic.

Down milling

Here, the milling cutter in the zone of chip formation moves in the same direction as the forward feed. In contrast to up milling, the milling machine needs less force.

Categorisation of the various milling processes

In treating thermoset plastics, a wide variety of different milling processes are available and can be used to fulfil our customers’ demands in the best possible way.

Plain milling

Plain milling processes produce flat surfaces.

These include

  • Platforms
  • Sealing surfaces on flanges
  • Motor or drive housings
  • Guide rails for machine tools

The feed motion is in a straight line and largely perpendicular to the rotary direction of the tool. Plain milling is the most frequently used variant.

Turn milling

The process of turn milling is most frequently used as an alternative to turning. It creates circular/cylindrical exterior and interior surfaces.

Advantages of turn milling over turning:

  • It generates lower thermal load at the boundary between cutter and workpiece
  • As no snarled chips are created, chip disposal is easier
  • The use of cooling lubricants is reduced

Thread milling

Usually, the feed direction during thread milling is helical, allowing above all worm gears and screw threads to be created. Using this process, both fine and coarse threads can be produced.


Gear hobbing is a process used to create the teeth of gears. When processing plastics in this way, cutters are used with a profile corresponding to the splines and sprockets that need to be produced.

Profile milling

Profile milling is similar to profile turning in that, using this process, the profile of the cutter is impressed on the workpiece; that is, so-called profile cutters are used to process the thermoset plastic.

This process can be used to produce, for example

  • T slots
  • Dovetail slots
  • Flutes on large milling cutters

Form milling

In form milling, in contrast to profile milling, tools are used that do not already contain the form to be created. This allows the plastic to be shaped into a variety of three-dimensional forms.

All the above mentioned types of CNC milling are used by WeButex Kunststoffbearbeitung GmbH to process thermosets of all kinds to the requirements of our customers.

If you want to find out more about plastics/thermosets and our work, do get in touch at +49(0)9461-914700 or

CNC milling from the market leader

We are proud to say that WeButex has become the market leader over the last 12 years in the CNC milling of thermosets.

Our extensive fleet of the most cutting-edge CNC milling machines is the basis for the wide range of processing options we provide for components of all shapes and sizes.

Our latest investment is in a 5-axis controlled milling and turning machine for the highest level of precision with a giant working travel of 2600 mm x 1000 mm and the ability to process diameters up to 1300 mm.

We pride ourselves on our quality

In 2020, we are going to expand our machine fleet step by step and invest in two additional CNC milling machines in order to maintain our market leadership in the processing of thermosetting plastics for varied use.

With 30 milling mechanics and 8 apprentices, the milling department currently employs around 25% of our entire workforce.

Our qualified experts program, equip and operate our 3, 4 and 5-axis simultaneously controlled machining centres, while always keeping running time optimisation at the forefront of their minds, in order to guarantee our customers the best delivery dates and highest quality.

Using three-shift operation, we can complete individual orders and large series flexibly and cost-effectively, working with thermosets of all kinds.

An overview of our milling machines

  • 3-axis machining centre with a working travel of 2240 x 550 mm
  • 3-axis machining centre with a working travel of 2600 x 900 mm
  • 3-axis machining centre with a working travel of 3100 x 1420 mm
  •    o Two of these machines are capable of working in pendulum mode
  • 3-axis machining centre with a working travel of 3500 x 1800 mm
  • 2 x 4-axis double machining centre with two work areas 750 x 500 mm
  • 4-axis machining centre
  • 2 x 5-axis machining centre with a working travel of 450 x 400 mm
  • 5-axis milling and turning centre with a working travel of 2600 x 1000 mm, capable of working in pendulum mode
  • 5-axis machining centre with a working travel of 720 x 600 mm

Areas of application for thermoset components

Our products are used in a wide range of different fields. Here is an overview:

  • Energy technology
  • Medical technology
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Automotive engineering
  • Pump construction
  • Aerospace engineering
  • We will be happy to advise you on what we can do in the field of CNC milling.

Alongside milling, we also process thermosets by sawing, grinding, turning, water jet cutting and punching.

Don’t wait: get in touch with us!