Did you know your CNC router can handle more than just wood? Learn the relevant details for cutting aluminum with a CNC router, including 7 useful tips!
When most people think of machining metals such as aluminum, they think of a high-end milling machine. Such a machine is capable of extremely complex work, with spindles spinning the cutting tool at speeds comparable to most high-speed drills.
A CNC router, however, has a spindle operating at a much higher rate of speed than a typical mill. They are primarily used for cutting wood materials in operations such as rounding edges, slot cutting, or lettering.
Although it might not always be expressly mentioned, CNC routers are capable of cutting aluminum, in general. In the following, we’ll take a closer look at how this is possible and review a few tips that’ll make it easier.
First, let’s take the opportunity to explain that, here, “cutting” refers to both the separation of an aluminum sheet into two or more pieces as well as slotting or making pockets into an aluminum plate. Basically, we are referring to the removal of material from either aluminum sheets or plates. This is done through the use of an endmill cutting bit.
Machining aluminum with a CNC router should be possible with most any CNC router. By matching the material with the appropriate endmill bit and feed rate, you can make cutting aluminum a breeze.
Always make sure to read your particular machines instruction manual fully and have a working knowledge of your equipment. Depending on the manufacturer, cutting aluminum might void your equipment warranty, so take special note of manufactures specifications.
Next, before we get into the cutting, it’s important to know that, any time you have a highspeed cutting bit removing materials from any material, always wear safety glasses and keep hands clear of moving parts.
Learning to be successful may mean broken bits. These can become dangerous projectiles, so always make sure you’re following all of the safety measures recommended by your machine’s manufacturer.
Knowing these steps to cut aluminum with your CNC router can be the difference between a good day in the shop or dodging a broken cutter bit that’s been hurled across the room at you.
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License: The text of "CNC Router & Aluminum: Can Your Router Cut Aluminum?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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