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CNC Machine Cutting and Engraving Tips

CNC machines are now a popular choice for both professionals and hobbyists when it comes to performing intricate engraving and cutting.

CNC machine cutting

With CNC cutting boasting a number of benefits including improved machining accuracy, increased safety and the ability to perform highly complex tasks quickly and efficiently, it’s easy to see why CNC cutters are appearing in more and more businesses and workshops worldwide. These simple tips will help to ensure that you get the very best out of your CNC cutter when engraving and cutting.

Choose the Correct Tools for the Job

Just like when cutting or engraving manually, when CNC cutting, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job to ensure the best results. When choosing your cutting tool, the following should be taken into account:

  • The Size of the Text or Pattern

For thin text and small intricate designs choose small cutting tools for the best results. Larger text patterns will be more suited to cutting tools with wider angles.

  • The Material Thickness and Type

Acrylic, for example, will require a shorter cutting tool than metals.

  • The Hardness of the Material

With hard materials, using a larger cutting angle and tip will result in improved efficiency.

Use the Correct Spindle Speed

When using smaller tools, best results can be obtained with a lower powered spindle motor, and by avoiding setting the spindle speed too fast, a high speed coupled with a small shank tool (under 4mm) can result in resistance and breakages. If you wish to increase speed and use a high powered motor, then consider switching to a larger shank diameter tool.

Increase the Lifespan of Your Tools

By using specific tools for each type of material, you will not only increase the longevity of your tools but also get a better finish. Plastics especially will see improved results when using tools that have never been used on metal.

Don’t Ignore Breakages

Tools that break frequently can be a sign that there is an issue with your CNC machine settings, so if your tools are breaking it could be a sign that some further investigation is required. Common causes of frequently breaking tools include fixture issues and problems with settings such as rail and motor precision.

Add an Engraving Attachment for Even More Possibilities

Optional engraving attachments can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your CNC cutter including engraving on curved surfaces. The only limit is your imagination.

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