Attaining Perfection: 5 handy tips for cutting and engraving with CNC machines
CNC machines are employed to perform a wide array of functions. When it comes to finishing, cutting and engraving are two important aspects that the expert CNC machinist cannot afford to get wrong.
If you own a business that involves a decent application of CNC machining, you are most likely already familiar with the immense potential of CNC. Engraving for one, is inarguably one of the best ways to add character to any project. It can also be a method of including vital information such as a signature or trademark on an item.
Cutting and engraving tasks are usually complex in nature and even when you have a state-of-the-art CNC machine, there is still a lot that could go wrong. There is also a very high tendency that if you are already used to doing most of your engraving and cutting tasks by hand, you may have some minor challenges in fully adapting and making the most out of a CNC Machine. Today, we take a look at 5 simple but important tips to help you get started and make your next project better than the last!
Use the right tool
When engraving on any project, understand how size and angles affect the accuracy of your process. If you are dealing with a thin text pattern, using smaller cutting tools will avail you a more significant chance of landing the most accurate results while cutting tools that have wider angles are likewise more suited for large text pattern engraves.
Pick the correct spindle speed
Next is your spindle speed.
If you are going to achieve the best results in your engraving and cutting process with CNC machines, you will need to pay attention to this. Tools with dimensions around 3.175 to 4 millimetres of diameter should only be used alongside spindle motors that have low-medium power. If you want to work at higher speed, you should try to work with higher-power motors and shank tools with larger diameter for engraving.
Finally, be sure to manage your cutting speed well to reduce the resistance and breakage when you’re performing a high-speed milling.
Pay attention on the material
If you are working with hard materials, you should try to use cutting tools that have the largest cutting angle and tip to help you run through the process more effectively and accurately. For instance, metals will require a longer cutting tool than acrylic.
Length is also important
We have already noted the important of spindle speed and selecting the right tool. Another thing to note is that the length of your cutting tool matters. When cutting acrylic, opt for shorter blades. This also applies when dealing with jobs that require motor speeds around 18000 RPM to 24000RPM.
When choosing the right blades to use as carving knives, add some extra 2 to 3 millimetres to the thickness of the processing sheet that you have measured.
Pay attention to breakages
Breakages are perfectly normal when dealing with CNC machines. You may also encounter it when working on cutting and engraving a material.
The frequency of the breakages is however important. When your tool breaks more frequently, this may be a sign that you have wrongly set your CNC controls. Common breakages can also be a sign that your tool quality is on the depletion or that your carving settings, such as the plate hardness, rail and motor precision.
Bonus – Increasing the longevity of your tools
Here are a couple of other tips that can help you to increase the lifespan of your tools:
Always use the right tools that is suitable for the material you are working on. You will see more results on plastics for instance, when using a tool that you have never dulled by using on metal.
Service your CNC machine from time to time
Check your Carving settings
Monitor the materials and tools you use with high and low-spindle motors.
First Part CNC Cutting and Engraving Service
With many years of combined professional experience and a wide array of reputable clients, First Part has provided high-quality metal fabrication, CNC machining and Die metal casting services to local and international industries. Our CNC experience spans across engraving, cutting and a myriad other finishing and improving processes.
All our machines work at the best capacity, delivering high turnaround for our customers. We also ensure that we use only the best tools that match the material you want to work on to ensure that we deliver perfect, quality results.
To find out more about our services and die casting process, contact us sale@firstpart,com
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