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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Question Final Finish in Aluminium

    Hi all,

    For many years I was unable to cut aluminium on my home CNC; (Zenbot 600 x 400 with a Kress 1050 Router). I either snapped the bit or ruined the stock.

    However a week ago I saw a user on YouTube with a similar setup to me, who managed to cut 5mm thick aluminium by using .1mm depth of cut and a speed of 800mm min with his router set for 8000 rpm. So i though why not give it a go, I've always cut with far more aggressive settings, with feeds and speeds much higher, (which is obviously why I kept breaking cutters.).

    Anyway it worked perfectly, well nearly! The cut was clean and neither the cutter or the router were even warm. My only complaint was on close inspection the edge of the material had regular vertical lines, roughly .5mm apart, as though the cutter was juddering.
    This was using a single flute 3mm carbide cutter as the speeds and feeds above. Incidentally i don't see this effect when cutting wood, even hardwood or Birch ply which machine very clean indeed.

    I'm not sure whether I should slow the router speed of increase it, or slow the feed or increase it?

    Any though or advice would be appreciated.

    Joe.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    On the Seig X2 with a 6mm 3 flute cutter (limited with rpm) finishing around the edge I run 1600rpm taking 0.2mm off at 150mm/min. Comes out smooth.
    Working it out to 8000rpm it looks like it's equivelent to 750mm/min.
    Maybe for a 1 flute divide it by 3? so 250mm/min?

    What flute count were they using?

  3. #3

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    Try leaving some stock, something like .001", and then doing a full depth pass to clean up that remaining stock. I am not familiar with machines as small as yours though, so you may want to work up to that. Even if you do three passes to clean it up you should get a nicer finished than with all those step downs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    It was a single flute, using the speeds and feeds I mentioned. But running a final pass to clean up the edge sounds a good option.

    Thanks for your reply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    Like the previous member Taking a final fine cut looks like a good option. I'll give it a go and see how I get on.

    Thanks for your reply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    I don't have much experience working with aluminium with my router, but one thing I've noticed is that chip recutting can massively affect the finish.

    What kind of coolant/lubricant are you using (if any)? Are you doing anything to evacuate chips? You should be able to hear an extra crunch if the cutter is having to go through chips... Maybe just clearing the path ahead of the spindle with a brush should help a bit. (As well as what others have suggested).

  7. #7

    Re: Final Finish in Aluminium

    Advantages of CNC machining of aluminum parts 1: The number of tooling is greatly reduced, because aluminium machining is mainly processed by programming, and cnc has three hundred axes, four axes, and five axes. Compared with other ordinary mechanical processing equipment, it does not need to process parts with complex shapes. Complex tooling. If you want to change the shape and size of the part, you only need to modify the part's processing program, which is suitable for the development and modification of new products.
    Advantages of CNC machining of aluminum parts 2: Automated production, high production efficiency for the processing of multiple varieties and small batches of aluminum alloy parts, can reduce the time for production preparation, machine tool adjustment and process inspection, and because of the use of the best cutting Reduced cutting time.
    Special CNC machining points for aluminum parts 3: stable processing quality, high processing accuracy and high repeatability, suitable for the processing requirements of precision batch parts.
    Advantages of CNC machining of aluminum parts 4: CNC is a multi-axis linkage equipment, especially four-axis and five-axis equipment. It can process complex surfaces that are difficult to be processed by conventional methods. .
    if you want to learn more, please refer to PTJ Machining

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