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Common CNC machining problems

The most common problems with CNC machines can be traced back to either user error or poor maintenance.

CNC Machining

This is good news, as it means that the majority of issues are within your control. New users might struggle to diagnose the issue due to inexperience, so fixing it can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, with good training, new users can learn quickly.

User errors – Programming

Programming errors are some of the most common issues that occur with CNC machines, and are easily fixed by making sure employee training on the correct G and M codes and best practices is thorough and up-to-date. In some cases, the error can be fixed by simply rebooting the machine; but although this removes the error, it provides no opportunity for the employee to understand and learn from what went wrong. Understanding what caused the error in the first place is key to preventing it from occurring in the future, and saves time, money and materials.

User errors – Incorrect settings and tools

Improper tools and settings are other common user errors, most often made by new or inexperienced employees. These types of errors can produce scratches and burns on the material and the tools. Burn marks on the edges of the material can indicate an improper feed speed, lack of coolant/lubricant, or a blunt tool. If the tool itself has burn marks, it may mean that the tool has reached the end of its useful life and must be replaced. Other marks to look out for are rough edges or visible cutter marks on the material, which usually indicate that the feed speed is too fast, or that the tool has grown blunt and needs replacing.

Poor maintenance

If you find that the material is sliding around, this is usually due to loose debris preventing the machine from holding the material correctly. Lack of routine cleaning can also lead to blockage of the filters, resulting in overheating. Keeping the machine as clean as possible between uses is the best way to solve these problems.

If all else fails…

If you have eliminated all of these possibilities and you believe that the machine itself is at fault, contact the manufacturer. Stoney CNC’s after sale support is second to none, and though all our machines are tested before use, we are always just a phone call away if you need help.

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