5 Tips for Engraving and Cutting With a CNC Machine

CNC EngravingIf you’re a hobbyist or business owner who does a lot of engraving or cutting, you may already be familiar with the immense potential of CNC machining. Jewelers, gun shops, collectible figurine makers and even engine designers often use CNC mills to perform complex engraving and cutting tasks. But if you’re used to doing this type of work by hand, you may have a few questions about how to get the most out of an automated CNC machine.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose the Right Cutting Tool

When engraving a thin text pattern, small cutting tools will provide the most accurate results. Cutting tools with wider angles are better suited for engraving larger text patterns. Just like with manual work, it’s important to use the right-size tools to get the best possible results. When carving hard materials, you should typically use the largest cutting angle and tip you can to maximize efficiency.

Be Mindful of Your Spindle Speed

For optimal results, Small shank tools (3.175 mm, 4.0 mm) should be used with low-power spindle motors, and the cutting speed shouldn’t be set too fast to minimize resistance in high-speed milling. To increase speed, high-power motors can use large shank diameter engraving tools.

The Length of Your Cutting Tool Matters, Too

When selecting the appropriate blade length for carving knives, it’s recommended that you add 2-3mm to the measured processing sheet thickness. When cutting acrylic, or when the motor speed is between 18000-24000 RPM, opt for a shorter blade length instead.

A Note on Broken Tools

Assuming there are no problems with the quality of your tools, if your tools are breaking frequently there is probably an issue with the carving settings, such as the rail and motor precision, plate material hardness or fixture issues.

Consider an Engraving Attachment

The optional engraving attachment combined with the 3D machining capabilities of the CNC Jr, Baron or Supra, offers engravers even more creative opportunities. For example, you could scan the autograph of your favorite baseball player and engrave it on a bat, or you could have a pool cue engraved with your own unique design.

To learn more, contact us at CNC Masters today!

3 Responses to “5 Tips for Engraving and Cutting With a CNC Machine”

  1. Brooke McAvoy

    The precision that these machines are capable of never ceases to amaze me. My husband has recently been telling me that he is interesting in cnc machining, so I appreciate your information for rookies. Do you have any further tips for how he might get started? Thank you!

  2. Norm

    Great tips for engraving and cutting with a CNC Machine. you did a good job! Please also share some tips to maintain CNC tool life.

  3. Jeff Banes

    I think that is what makes CNC machines such an incredible apparatus and the precision and the sheer efficiency it offers is just mind-blowing!

    Also, thank you for sharing the useful tips.