You have probably heard of the massive computers that took up entire rooms. Despite this, you are probably reading this on a small computer or perhaps an ultra-portable tablet or phone. Things would be very different without the fast, effective, and precise machines used to make the components that go into your computer. The possibility of living in a society where computers only exist in small numbers would be genuine.
The CNC machine shop is the often-overlooked shaper of the many metal parts, components, products, and things that have come to shape our lives. A machine shop, by definition, is a place where metal is cut, formed, and shaped using – you guessed it – machine tools. However, the machine shop concept has evolved from something resembling the fabled medieval “smithy” to modern high-tech multimillion-dollar businesses devoid of a hammer or anvil.
The moment you consider the metal components in your home, your car, or the machines that were critical in producing the parts that go into them, you benefit from years of history and innovation dating back to the industrial revolution and beyond. Today, however, the leading technology responsible for most metal products we use is CNC, which stands for computer numerical control.
Tips To Take When Using CNC Machining Aluminium
The moment you purchase any CNC machining aluminium, there are specific steps you need to follow. Knowing how to cut aluminium with your CNC router can mean the difference between a productive day in the shop and dodging a broken cutter bit thrown across the room at you.
1. Allow yourself plenty of time.
Material removal rates will be slower than on a mill, but because most CNC routers handle material that is larger than that of a standard mill, the speed to size ratio is a good trade-off.
2. Use the appropriate router bit.
Use a carbide endmill with two or three flutes. They enable your router’s spindle speed to be increased. When working with aluminium, avoid using cobalt or HSS cutters.
3. Make use of smaller-diameter cutters.
Instead of 1/2′′ end mills, use 1/4′′ or smaller. This allows for faster feed rates and smoother cuts.
4. Remove all of your chips.
Keeping the chips away from the cutter will prevent endmills from breaking. Use an air blast aimed at the point of the end mill cut if one is available. This will keep your cut free of chips, which can accumulate and break your cutter.
The use of lubricating oil is strongly advised. It will not only make cutting easier and increase your success rate, but it will also help to keep your cutting edges sharp. Set up a mist oiler that works with your air blast as you remove the chips for the best results.
6. Avoid prolonged rates.
You run the risk of your tool rubbing instead of cutting you low down the feed rate too much. Because the spindle is moving so quickly, CNC router users may be at greater risk than mill users.
7. Learn from your mistakes.
There will be a learning curve, as with anything. Persistence leads to success. Mistakes happen; the important thing is always staying safe and learning from them.