Movement Controls

Introduction: Movement Controls

About: Autodesk Technology Center San Francisco is a hub for research, development, and demonstration of new manufacturing technologies and workflows relating to configurable microfactories.

When using a mill, the material is clamped into a vise or directly to the table. The table is moved so that the workpiece moves past a spinning cutter.

The table can move in 3 directions, called X, Y & Z.

  • X is the long horizontal axis
  • Y is the short horizontal axis
  • Z is the vertical axis

  • Handwheels and power feeds move the table horizontally (X & Y).
  • Z crank moves the table vertically (Z).
  • Locks keep the table from moving.
    • Lock each axis that is not moving.
    • Unlock an axis before moving it.

  1. X handwheel (2)
  2. Z locks (2)
  3. Y lock
  4. Z crank
    • The quill handle (see below) also adjusts the Z height.
  5. X locks (2)
  6. Y handwheel
  7. Y power feed
  8. X power feed

Step 1: Head Controls

The head of the mill holds the following controls:

  • Hi/low gearbox
  • Speed control and display
  • Brake
  • Quill handle
  • Quill lock


Mill must be off

  1. Push the lever towards the mill and rotate into high or low range.
  2. Rotate the spindle by hand to fully engage the gears.
  3. Move the switch on the control panel to match the gearbox switch.
    • Ex. if the mill is in high range, turn the control panel switch to high.


Mill must be on

  1. Rotate the handwheel clockwise or counterclockwise.
  2. Observe the RPM on the display.


  1. Use the brake to stop the spindle after turning off the mill.


  1. Engage the quill lock before moving the table.
  2. Use the quill handle to move the quill like a drill press.
  3. Set the depth stop to limit quill handle travel.

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