524,199 active members*
2,206 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines > VMC Side wall surface finish, Newbie question
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    0

    VMC Side wall surface finish, Newbie question

    Hi, newbie question i guess.

    We are looking at buying a prototyping/low volume production vmc at around £40k (60k$). Mainly for working aluminium and plastics.

    We have had samples cut on different machines from different manufacturers.

    The samples have vertical ridges/lines in the side walls. These are visible on interpolated internal and external circular surfaces, and to a lesser extent on straight x and y axis cuts.
    On some samples these are visual, an on others they can be felt with a fingernail as well.

    The three attached images show this. The images of the metal parts are taken from elsewhere in this forum, but illustrate the effect. the plastic part is one of the sample pieces we have done, note the ridges on the flat as well as the curved surfaces (ignore the dust!)(scale on left is mm).

    What causes this? servo step? ball screw pitch? backlash?
    Is this typical for this level of machine?
    Is it usually possible to tune it out/reduce it?

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMGP1327.JPG   Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 11.40.13.png   IMG_0925.jpg  

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4519
    It seems you are viewing what is called "chatter". Chatter is a result of harmonics in the cutting tool, the part, the work holding, or the machine, or a combination of these things. It can happen on any machine. The higher price the machine starts eliminating the machine as the problem. Trial and error and experience will help you to adjust programming so this does not happen.

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    0
    Thanks txcncman,

    It does not look like chatter i have encountered previously (obvious harmonic variation along cuts), but i am not a pro. Presumably slowing the feed rate would reduce this?

    Would you expect this level of chatter on a finishing cut run at modest speeds? We asked the machine tool vendors to optimise for surface finish rather than cycle time.

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    839
    Basically this can come from backlash and just simply fex and deflextion in a machine. If you will notice this surface finish will change between using conventional milling or climb milling. Most believe climb miling will give best finish, and you will always need to mack a extra pass with higher spindle speeds to get that extra fine finish on the part.


    There is nothing wrong with the machine its just a learned skill to fine what it takes to get the smooth finishes with yoru mill.


    Here is a great thread over at PM on the subject that might help you.


    Climp vs conventional cutting: speed, feed, finish, life - Practical Machinist - Largest Manufacturing Technology Forum on the Web


    So with each type stock you will have to learn what your machine needs to give the good finish. But it will always take a extra finishing pass to achive it.

    Jess
    GOD Bless, and prayers for all.

  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    839
    BTW this could be veiwed as chatter, its a natural frequency of the combined structure of the machine, part, work holding, and the tool bit. All though I know its not extreme chatter in the case of it getting out of control and causing big problems. I guess its kinda, still in control chatter.


    Jess
    GOD Bless, and prayers for all.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4519
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueTwo View Post
    Thanks txcncman,

    It does not look like chatter i have encountered previously (obvious harmonic variation along cuts), but i am not a pro. Presumably slowing the feed rate would reduce this?

    Would you expect this level of chatter on a finishing cut run at modest speeds? We asked the machine tool vendors to optimise for surface finish rather than cycle time.
    Machine tool vendors are not usually experienced machinists. Although I am sure they did their best to show their product in the best light possible. I am also sure they did not take the time or expense to try a variety of cutting tools and speeds and feeds and depths of cut to strive for perfection.

    I think you will have extreme difficulty getting a totally smooth "mirror" finish on aluminum or plastics. External finishing processes will be required. The surface finish in the photos can almost always be overcome.

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    0
    Thanks for the comments. Really i'm just trying to get a handle on what is good, bad or normal for this category/price bracket of machine. Don't want to plunk down a load of cash for brand X and then find brand Y gives a better result. Most of our parts are not cosmetic, but a few are.

    I have spent a lot of time going through the 'X vs Y vs Z' threads to try and get an idea, and followed that up with parts cut on the different machines.

    So would you say that any new machine in this price bracket should be able to do better than those example images if set up with the correct adjustments/tool path/tool/fixtures etc.? -or are these images typical of what to expect?

    And to clarify, these steps/ridges are not to do with the minimum size steps the servos can increment in?

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4519
    Everything is relative. Sure, a $60,000.00 mill can be set up to do better than pictured. So can a $5000.00 mill. It will be easier to get "good" results on the pricer machine - in most cases.

    I understand you are wanting to reduce your risk and increase your chances of success. Nothing in life is 100%. It probably would serve you better to spend less on a machine and then send your employees and yourself to school to learn better machining skills. That will have the bigger payoff in the longer term than the machine tool investment. Good quality employees can and will work wonders. Button pushers will be just that, button pushers.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    12177
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueTwo View Post
    .....So would you say that any new machine in this price bracket should be able to do better than those example images if set up with the correct adjustments/tool path/tool/fixtures etc.? -or are these images typical of what to expect?....
    The left hand image is pretty typical of what you can expect with a medium priced machine taking a reasonable cut at a reasonable feed rate.

    So you need to know what is reasonable.

    In 6061 alloy a new two flute cutter 5/8" diameter running at 8000 rpm with a 0.2" radial depth of cut radial depth of cut and a feed of about 0.020" per tooth (320 inches per minute, ipm) will give a finish where the vertical striations are more pronounced than in your image. This is a fast cut that you would use for removing material quickly.

    The same diameter running at the same speed but with four flutes, a radial depth of cut of 0.01" and a feed of 40 ipm will give a finish where the striations might be difficult to see. This would be a finish cut for best appearance.

    I think these striations are not really chatter but they are related. Chatter is a situation where the tool deflects due to the cuttung forces then springs back, digs in deeper and deflects again at a natural resonant frequency. Chatter can often be avoided by using more rigid tooling or fixturing.

    I think these striations reflect two things; the first is minuscule tool and machine deflection, when the cutting edge strikes the workpiece; the second is the fact that the tool rotates and advances so it is creating minuscule circular scallops in the surface as it cuts. Reducing the radial depth of cut reduces the deflection and reducing the feed rate makes the scallops smaller and shallower so they almost blend into a smooth surface.

    There is another source of surface imperfections that you may find more annoying with a machine in your price bracket. I have attached an image showing parts machined on a Haas VF2 which I think is a fair bit above your range but it is certainly not a top of the line machine.

    If you look at the flat surfaces you will see they are fairly good but you can see large and small swirl marks. The large ones are the interpolated tool path as it faces of the top of the part in two circles and a straight pass. The tool is a 5/8" two flute running at 10,000 rpm at a feed of 100 ipm and a cut depth of 0.01 for the final pass. The smaller swirl marks are from the tool itself.

    These surface imperfections are very difficult to avoid unless you have a machine that is much heavier and stiffer than a VF2. Again they arise from deflection but in this case I think it is predominatly the machine deflecting under the accelerations loads when the table changes directions. Obviously the deflections is very small but it results in a visible difference in the surface. It is easy to polish this type of surface to an even matt finish or even a mirror finish but getting a surface that looks perfectly even straight off the machine is practically impossible
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FinishFUSB.jpg  
    An open mind is a virtue...so long as all the common sense has not leaked out.

  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    0
    Geof, thanks for the post, it all sounds very reasonable! So careful finishing set up should minimise these marks. We see the striations on our subcontracted parts, but i had presumed there were due to the resolution of the control/positioning rather than vibration and flex. We are not expecting a mirror finish, just want to make sure we get as good a result as we can for a given effort/investment.

    I have read the long thread regarding end mill swirls. Currently our subcontracted parts are cut on Haas machines, a VF3, VF2ss and a VM3, we have not had much of an issue with endmill marking, though there is some evidence in the bottom of some pockets. Maybe we have just been lucky.

    txcncman, thanks, we have outgrown our 'desktop' mill, and i agree with what you say about staff.

  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Ch

    If you are using too small a diameter of end mill, or low RPM or higher feed, other things being equal you will get this type of finish.
    Try using a larger diameter of end mill, at about 4000 or more Spindle RPM
    Take a finishing cut with a low depth feed.

Similar Threads

  1. side wall guages
    By rossrods in forum Tormach Personal CNC Mill
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-18-2011, 03:19 AM
  2. Surface Finish Question
    By wklove in forum Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-26-2011, 09:27 PM
  3. Problem with side finish (bottom finish is great)
    By tikka308 in forum Tormach Personal CNC Mill
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 11-19-2010, 03:40 PM
  4. Question about surface finish
    By pgf545 in forum PTC Pro/Manufacture
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-08-2009, 05:49 PM
  5. Another Surface Finish Question
    By skmetal7 in forum Benchtop Machines
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-24-2009, 05:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •