If you're new to caring for and using a CNC milling machine, there are a few things that you should know. Understanding the proper use and care will help you to not only get the longest possible life out of the machine, but also to get good quality cuts and a smooth finish on the edges. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you start learning your way around the machine.
Be Selective About Your Cutters
It's tempting to go budget-friendly and choose the assorted cutter packages that are often sold at bargain prices. The problem is, you can't really be sure of the quality of those cutters when you do that. It can lead to you spending far more in cutters if they're lower quality, because they are likely to break during a cutting cycle. Instead, look for a reliable brand from an affordable supplier.
You don't need to invest in the top of the line cutters unless you're doing some really high-end projects, but a name brand that's durable is a good place to start. Look for a blade material that's durable and forgiving, because that's important to the learning stages with the machine. Carbide blades are great for strength and durability, but they can be costly, so wait to invest in those when you've got the hang of things.
Keep Things Cool
Some CNC lathes will come with an integrated cooling structure that keeps the tool and the material from getting too hot. However, if yours doesn't, you'll want to invest in a mister so that you can keep the structure cool. The last thing you want is overheating as you're cutting your designs.
Also, watch out for the accumulation of chips. The mister will help you rinse away any chips that are building up in the cutting area, but it's important that you stay on top of it while you're cutting. Recutting any metal chips can damage your cutter. In fact, it can even break it. Avoid the risk completely by being attentive to the structure.
Make Sure Your Material Is Square
It's virtually impossible to get the final results that you're looking for if you're cutting a raw material that keeps shifting around. If you want to be sure that you're getting the finish you want, learn how to set your material up square to the machine. You'll also want to learn how to use vise clamps and similar tools to keep the material in place. The more proactive you are about learning how to put material on the machine, the better your results will be over time.
Contact a comp0any, like Aero Mechanism Precision, for more help.