Jun 2 2016

Aluminium Cutting and tips for cnc routers

admin

Aluminium Cutting and tips for cnc routers

Some hobbyists may ask if a CNC router can cut aluminum(Aluminium Cutting) since you most often see other users cutting wood or plastic. You can use your CNC router to cut aluminum if you know how to do it right. Aluminum (and other metals) are different to cut compared to wood or plastic. They have a smaller “sweet spot” for optimal cutting. If you leave the sweet spot your cutter will start breaking and wearing out faster and the surface finish will not be very good. Another thing to keep in mind is the “stickiness” factor (this applies to some other metals too). Aluminum wants to stick to your tool. It will do this to the point where it welds itself to your tool(tools). When sticky bits of aluminum have clung to your cutting edges your tool is not going to have much more life in it. Even though it is challenging you can cut aluminum on almost any CNC router. This article will give you a few tips to make sure you stay on track doing that job safe and proper.
While a CNC router can cut aluminum it is not the best tool for big parts, like vehicle parts. To cut successfully you need to do the job slowly. Just let your machine do its job and do not be in a rush. Cutting aluminum is not easy and will probably push your CNC router to its limits(Aluminium Cutting). Use a Feeds and Speeds calculator to optimize your settings so that you are not dodging the tip of your cutter that broke off and is flying across the room. Ideally you want to use a calculator that takes minimum RPM, CNC router cutter types, deflection, rubbing warning and chipping thinning into consideration. Your first problem will be recommended RPMs being too low. A CNC router cannot always go as slow as you want to go for cutting aluminum but there are ways to bump you’re the recommended RPM and fix this problem.

CNC router cutting aluminum ((Aluminium Cutting)

(Aluminium Cutting CNC router

The first tactic is to user cutters that are good at high speeds. The measurement to look for is Surface Speed which is high is carbide cutters. Cutters like HSS and Cobalt will be too slow so look for carbide TiAIN coated cutters. They cost a bit more but the improved results of your project will be worth it. Say you were using an HSS Endmill and the recommended RPM is 5877. Your CNC router’s spindle may have a minimum speed of 20,000 RPM (this is a very common minimum speed for routers). A TiAIN Carbide Endmill may have a recommended RPM of 16,897, putting it much closer to your machine’s minimum RPM. For aluminum try to get as close to 20,000 RPM as you can and you should be fine.
Another way to increase RPM is using small diameter cutters. The largest cutter you want to use should be ¼” but go smaller than that if you can. You will most rigid cutters to stop tool deflection from being a problem (this is where having tool deflection on your calculator becomes important). The smaller your cutter is the closer you can get it to 20,000 RPM. Be extra careful about clearing away chips. Recutting chips is an easy way to break a cutter. Be paranoid about this and do not just assume that your dust collection system is good enough without testing it for this first. It will be harder to get chips out as you cut deeper. Make more passes to cut down as far as you need to and you will open up shallower depths for better access. Lubricate your tools that that the chips will not stick to your cutting edges. The best way to do this is with a mister if you can set one up.
Now you need to think about avoiding tool rub. Going too slow with your federate can cause this to happen. Using your calculator should let you dodge this but be careful because the high speeds of your CNC router can result in tool rub happening easily. It can even start to happen while you are unaware that it is going on. If you cannot feed fast enough use fewer flutes. You should use a maximum of three flutes at once regardless. Using few flutes is good and is the reason 1 flute cutters are sold. There is a lot to remember when cutting aluminum but once you know what you are doing you should be able to use your CNC router for aluminum projects safely and accurately.


Jul 31 2015

Woodworking ideas: Wooden Earrings with your cnc machine

admin

Wooden earrings with your cnc machine

Woodworking is a great passtime especially when you need to make a little something for your special lady, whether it is for a birthday or anniversary or so that you do not have to spend another consecutive night on the couch. Regardless of the reason, a machinist or hobby cnc user can use their skills to hand-make a peace offering gift in order to make their significant other smile.

woodworking- earings- cnc machine

woodworking- earings- cnc machine

Continue reading


May 15 2015

Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

admin

Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

Wooden Letters: A Starting Project

            New hobbyists will often ask themselves where they should start when they get their CNC router up and running(Simple project). A basic project you can do on a CNC router is some form of 2D cutting. Even the smallest and simplest CNC router is fully capable of 2D cutting so this is a good starting off point regardless of what kind of machine you are using. With a 2D project of any kind you will essentially be setting up your machine to “draw” on your material (most commonly wood for this type of project). Your CNC router will cut some sort of image into the wood and it will take the desired shape. The final product will look similar to something that has been drawn on paper or created for display on a computer screen. As simple as this project is it is a good way to generate income. Wooden decorations tend to be very nice and provide a homely feeling making them a commonly purchased decoration. By engaging in this project you can not only gain experience at using your CNC router to better prepare you for more complex future projects but you can also bring in some money so that your machine will start paying itself off.

wooden letters cut with a cnc machine (Simple project)

wooden letters cut with a cnc machine (Simple project)

Continue reading