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Machining is a term that covers a large collection of manufacturing processes designed to remove unwanted material, usually in the form of chips, from a workpiece. This article discusses the basic classes of machining operations, including conventional, abrasive, and nontraditional, and outlines the type of costs incurred by the process. It describes the types of machining equipment, including general-purpose machine tools, production machining systems, and computer numerically controlled machining systems. The article lists the common classes of metallic work materials, in order of decreasing machinability. It also shows the range of dimensional and surface finish tolerances in graphical form that can be achieved using various machining processes under general machining conditions.

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