Top 5 Tips for New CNC Milling Machine Users

As you know, CNC machines are amazing because of their capability to build practically anything. Earlier, the use of CNC machines was confined strictly to businesses, however, now people are purchasing these machines for personal workshops also. If you’re also planning to buy a CNC machine or have just got a new one, you’ll need some time, effort and practice to become successful in building your projects. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining involves the use of computers to control machine tools like lathes, mills, routers, and grinders.

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Whether you want to make bicycle hubs or clock parts, handling a CNC machine requires proper knowledge as it may seem overwhelming at first. Proper knowledge is essential to carve-out your first CNC parts successfully. So, before starting your big milling project, read the following tips to take your project in the right direction. Here we have listed top 5 tips to help you maximize your efforts in being successful with your CNC milling projects.

1. Avoid stainless steel in the beginning

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the software, start with soft metals like brass or aluminum. For the beginners, it is recommended to first start executing perfect cuts on these comparatively easier to handle metals. After you gain some experience and confidence, move to stainless steel and other difficult materials.

2. Make sure to get a misting set up for coolant

A good misting system will help to prevent chip buildup, as well as, preserve the life of your cutters and avoid breakage. There are some machines that come with flood coolant, either the siphon-based or micro-drop. However, if they don’t have, make sure you have a misting setup.

3. Buy some good quality cutters

Make sure to stay away from cheap, low-quality cutters. This doesn’t mean you spend bucks on the highest quality aerospace cutters in the market. You simply need some good cutters from a well-known brand with reasonable prices and not a low quality, generic cutters. The quality of cutters makes a big impact on producing quality parts. Low-quality, cheap tools, on the other hand, will result in numerous unnecessary problems. Moreover, apart from the quality, invest in cutters of different sizes, such as ½” and ¼”, etc. You can also get a complete drill assortment and remember safety goggles are a must.

4. Buy a quality Visa and Clamping kit

To keep all the parts in place, workholding is extremely important. Without a quality vise, your workpiece will possibly shift out of position. Moreover, a clamping kit is necessary for the vise to hold it to your table. It will mount your vise to the T-slots of your table. In addition to this, you will need a set of ‘parallels’ to keep your workpiece parallel for the cutting. Also, to ensure accuracy when making your cuts, purchase a feeds and speeds calculator.

5. Know how to use Manual Data Input (MDI)

To enhance productivity, save time, and ensure that your cutter goes where you want, learn Manual Data Input (MDI). You can access this on the MDI keypad on your CNC machine’s control panel.

With a little learning and some patience, you will definitely master the art of handling CNC machines. If you’re a beginner, seek the help of your CNC machine supplier and experts. They not only offer quality CNC machines that are perfect for your businesses or workshop but also help in making you understand its functioning properly.

Roberto Brock
the authorRoberto Brock
Snowboarder, traveler, DJ, Swiss design-head and HTML & CSS lover. Doing at the nexus of art and purpose to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade. I'm a designer and this is my work. Introvert. Coffee evangelist. Web buff. Extreme twitter advocate. Avid reader. Troublemaker.