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IndustryArena Forum > Material Technology > Glass, Plastic and Stone > Trying to cut plexiglass using my desk-CNC 1310: Problems/Advices
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2019
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    1

    Lightbulb Trying to cut plexiglass using my desk-CNC 1310: Problems/Advices

    Hello all!
    I recently bought a very small CNC 1310. It have a spindle wich goes to max 8000rpm.
    Software which i use: GCAM & GRBL Control (see photos)
    For the moment i am trying to cut some pieces in 2mm thickness plexiglass.
    Using this settings: 8000rpm / Feed=300mm / Resolution=0.2mm
    Tool: 2mm bit with 1flute. (specially for plexiglass).

    I succesfully cut a 10mm long line without melting. It looks perfectly.
    Then i cut a 10mm diameter circle. Again succes.
    After that i tried to cut a 30mm diameter circle. Without succes. The plastic melted and stuck on my bit..
    You have some improvements, some ideas of what to change to obtain a good cut into plexiglass?

    BTW: How i can remove melted plastic from end bit? )

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    29

    Re: Trying to cut plexiglass using my desk-CNC 1310: Problems/Advices

    Very cool, sounds like it should work, if cooling the glass is such an issue, adding a cheap 40mm fan or 50mm blower to add some air flow or even a fan blade to the tool bit could keep the plastic from heating up to a critical level. Maybe also making lighter passes might help with pauses inbetween each pass to let not only the glass to cool but also the bit you are using. Now, I've never tried applying a light stream of water to plexiglass while cutting it but with other melty material it seems to help out quite a bit, just be wary that water damage can be an issue so throwing some saran wrap/ stretchy plastic over bearings and electronics before cutting could be a fairly extreme solution.

    Thing is that there is a wide variety of plastic glasses, it could be just that this type of plastic or the type of bit you received were defective albeit a rare and doubtful case.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    4816

    Re: Trying to cut plexiglass using my desk-CNC 1310: Problems/Advices

    If you don't need to use actual Plexiglas - a brand name for cast acrylic sheet - I'd suggest substituting Lexan (TM) or generic polycarbonate sheet. It machines much better and doesn't tend to melt onto the cutter like acryic does. If you really need to cut acrylic sheet, use a laser cutter which works beautifully (but you can't laser-cut polycarbonate because of the toxic fumes generated).
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    742

    Re: Trying to cut plexiglass using my desk-CNC 1310: Problems/Advices

    Acrylic is not very forgiving, any mistake with feedrate, RPM or path geometry will cause melting. But once you figure out the best parameters for your machine and tool, it cuts nicely. Air blast helps a lot, if you have that luxury.

    Here is the easiest way to clean the end mill: warm it up with a heat gun until the plastic becomes soft. Then just peel it off with tweezers.

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