Thread: Ruffel's cnc cutting journey
My name Is Ruffel and I have a FS4MG epoxy granite milling machine from Germany.
While the machine is perfect, my skills aren't ... The goal of this topic is to learn how to cut alu. on my machine without issues.
And I will be posting my journey here. I'm not exactly sure of this is the right category ... but yeah :)
- FS4MG milling machine
- China 2.2KW 12-24K RPM spindle (mechatron equivalent) with parker VFD
- Leadshine hybrid stepper setup on 3 axis
- Eding CNC (USBCNC) 3axis
- aquarium pump for my coolant
The problem is that Alu likes to stick to my end-mills really fast. I have tried manual lubrication, different alu. composition , different cutting settings , different endmills.
This is all without any cooling or air blast.
I have bought a few things to make alu cutting a bit better and generally making my life easier:
- 280 l/min Hailea ACO piston 500 pomp for blowing chips and mist
- Vertex VA-4 because my VK-4 can only open 62mm ...
- Haimer 3d taster
- VHM 6mm 1F endmill , VHM 8mm 1F endmill. I already have a bunch of 6mm VHM endmills here.
- 2x china mist setup that is sold on ebay (~10$). This + pump + ethanol as "mist" -> seems to work for Datron
- Some AlCuMgPb (2007) Alu for doing some test milling. This stuff is supposedly one of the easiest Alu comp to mill. I have also some 5083 and some 6061 / 6082 laying around (although not marked , second hand).
I had already planned to buy the Haimer and the VA-4 , so these are not specific for this problem.
I have using G-wizard to check all my speeds and feeds. According to it I should have been fine. But I't kinda can't estimate if gumming is going to happen.
My machine is stable enough to do feeds of about 1-3 m /min in 3d motion with no problems.
To be honest due to work and other experiments I have not used it to much in the last few months. Now I have dedicated time for this project and I really want to do some cool projects.
The last experiment was with the following settings:
6mm 2F VHM (new), 24K S , 10mm depth , 0.595 mm stopover , feed from 1000-6000 (kinda tried everything) occasional lamp oil lube , no air blast. After about 30 seconds to 1 minute of time before the endmill would clough up again. Other than that is worked perfectly, nice surface finish and fast milling. The chips were about 10 mm long with a small spiral in it and they were not warm. The endmill got hot because of the rubbing.
Alu was from the 5083 or 6061 or 6082 series (yeah... second hand )
I'm waiting for all the parts to arrive. First I will set up the mist / chip blasting system up. I think this will already help enormously if not solve the whole problem.
Set up the new vice and dial it out with the Haimer. To start I will probably do some face milling with a 6mm 2F VHM (new) that I already have laying around. This will be probably on the "new' 2007 Alu that I got.
When this goes well than I will try some pocketing, slotting and contouring of this piece.
If that all works out fine than I'm gonna try some milling on my "old" Alu (5083 / 6061 / 6082) and see if that works out. I think this should not be an issue with the misting system.
In the end I'll try out my new "expensive" 6 mm and 8mm 1F VHF endmills and see if that works out. Datron seems to have good luck with them ... so why not me ? :P
So... Any tips are appreciated , this might be a bit of a weird topic ... so I'll say sorry beforehand.
The first part cam in , the Hailea 500 pump. it is a bit bigger than I had imagined.
But being this big it also gives some confidence that it will work good:
It is almost as high as two toiled paper roils stacked.
I'm currently thinking on how I'm gonna run my air lines.
13mm ID from pump to the mill head and split it there to 2x6mm ID or do it directly at the pump....
not sure yet , do you guys have tips ?
(system won't let me edit the post above)
What are you trying to do, a mist system? you need an reservoir under pressure and air coolant mix valve and 1mm nozzle, system pressure 2.5 bar. Datron uses direct pressure liquid pump and 0.4mm? nozzles or sth like that.
aluminum best is done with 2 stage process:
1 flute or 2 flute, up to three, depends on geometry and slot cut or no.
6mm bit seems to be the best for home use
try something conservative and speed it up / the feed rate/ and or increase the depth pass:
12000RPM, 1.5mm pass depth , 800-900mm/min
kerosene works best, or just mist spray proper coolant mixture
you will do nothing without a coolant, just brake bits
my test show that 4mm tubing/2.5mm inside/ is ok, so it does not matter in your case
Yes I'm doing an mist system. I ordered two of these:
I did some googling and other people seem to have good luck with these aquarium air pumps. Most of them use the 80 l/min models but recommended going 120l/min +.
So I just got the biggest one. A compressor would be just to loud for my situation. And the paintbrush one's seem to have a hard time to keep up with the airflow.
If it does not work out than I will just return it in 14 days and get my money back. In that case a paintbrush / real compressor will be the alternative.
People who use compressors seem to be running these nozzles <1 bar so I think I'm alright.
As a liquid I'm testing lamp oil or ethanol , these both should work out fine.
The 280 l/min might be a bit much for my two little misting units , so it is possible that I need to add 2-3 more or just some copper to get some more volume trough it.
here is somebody running a 65-120l/min system:
Thank you for the recommendation. I will defiantly try it.
With a 6mm tool and 10mm doc with 0.6mm Stepover is a fair removal rate so will need plenty of chip clearing so if you haven't got enough air or coolant then you'll be recutting chips and why cutters are gumming up.
Buy some serrated edge 3 flute carbide roughing cutters and you'll get much better removal rates.
With 8mm 3 flute roughing tool I can cut 15mm DOC ground plate with trochoidal tool path with upto 1.5mm stepover at 2500m/min dry no lube just air, lots of air. With Air mist I can push harder.
Finish with full depth 0.2mm pass using 2 flute HSSE cutter with air/lube and get a mirror finish.
Air is a minimum must have when cutting ali and plenty of it. Low fog mister is perfect provided there's enough air to clear chips.
09-09-2015 #7Yes I'm doing an mist system. I ordered two of these:
Yeah I know. I just wanted to have it before the weekend.
Welcome back Dean!
i have browsed and browsed but have not seen these
mine 17l/min is enough when using the proper nozzle and making fine mist.
Much prefer mixing air with coolant as a cup of coolant could provide cutting all day long
here is my system:
On first video you could see the system and the damned mist when too much flow. Watch HD quality ant see how the light shows the mist in the air. What i am saying is it should not be like that cause after 5 min you could hardly breathe in the workshop.
On second video is properly tuned and spraying just the minimum. The air when thin is so strong that will blow crap from 20mm cutter from 20cm distance and clean properly before the cut . Plus no problem breathing in the workshop
Last edited by Boyan Silyavski; 09-09-2015 at 09:20 AM.
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