Aluminum Cutting with a CNC router machine is an industrial method for fabricating and producing different materials for various industries. The fabricating process requires precision and knowledge for achieving better results. Thus, manufacturers utilize their best CNC operators for creating demanding products. In the CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Tips part 1 article, we reviewed the fundamentals of this practical method and a few tips and steps about how the process works. In this section, we will introduce other phases of the procedure, and each step will play an essential role in the quality of the job.
Using Smaller Diameter Cutters for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting
One way to bump up the feed rate and rpm is to utilize smaller diameter cutters. It is efficient to apply 63-millimeter endmills or even less. Due to the utilization of smaller diameters, it is better to use more rigid edges for avoiding deflection issues. It is essential to have in mind to use a feed and speed calculator to deal with this issue. Carbide is much more rigid than the other materials, and this characteristic makes it a more efficient tool for aluminum cutting. It is easy for manufacturers to slow the rate to 20k rpm to extend the lifespan of the cutting tool. However, another vital determinant to contemplate is the machine’s capabilities equivalent to the tool’s properties.
Clearing Chips is an Essential Step
The clearing chips step is crucial in cutting aluminum due to the stickiness and affinity of the materials, which tend to bond with the cutter. Recutting chips will damage or even break edges during the process. Thus, it is essential to be paranoid about clearing the produced chips. The operator should not count on a standard vacuum dust collecting system unless it has the power to do the job. It is more recommended to use a reliable air blast fixed to the spindle and pointing it right at the area where the cutting toll meets the workpiece.
Checking Cut Depths and Slotting
Making deeper cuts into the material and the closer to a slot the cutter tool travels in, chip clearing can become harder out of the bottom of the pockets and holes. Thus, we recommend making more passes to cut down to the demanding depth and then open up a shallower depth for stabler access. The tip for this stage, especially when working with a material that features a thin sheet of aluminum, is to set the sheet with the material side up to make a more accessible and more straightforward way from the cutter as quickly as possible.
Mist Lubrication for Better Aluminum Cutting
Clearing the chips with precision is not the only factor to be precise with when cutting aluminum. The next thing is to provide a suitable lubricant to decrease the tendency for the chips to stick to the cutting tools. Many operators utilize coolant of any kind, but it is better to use a type of lubricant to cut anything. Since operators use compressed air blasts for chip removal, they may consider run the lubricant mist through the same system. Thus, purchasing a mister to provide air blast and lubricant mist can be an efficient choice due to its functionality and low cost. The operator can set the moisture to reduce the mess and spray the substance on the cutter. However, if the product requires shallow and thin cuts, using the lubricant may not be necessary.
Avoid Slowing Down the Feed Rate
If the operator slows the feed rate too much, it can increase the risk of making the tool rub rather than cutting. This issue is much bolder for CNC router operators than mill users due to the fast pace rotation of the spindle. Thus, for maintaining the recommended chip loads with RPMs, it is better to keep the cutter running smartly. If the operator winds up going slow enough to start rubbing at 20k rpm, it will cause heat increment in the workpiece and decrease the cutting tool’s lifetime.
CNC Router Aluminum Sheet Fabrication is not the Same as CNC Routers Cutting Aluminum Plates
There is a considerable difference between cutting aluminum sheets with CNC Router and cutting thicker aluminum plates. It is imperative to follow the steps that we introduced for thicker materials that require greater depth in cutting. Machining and fabricating aluminum with these particular machines are practical with any router. The only noticeable thing is that the machine’s capabilities should match the sweep spots speeds and feeds requirements of the material through an ideal selection of cutting and tooling parameters.