Blog

Essential Tips for Machining Aluminum Components

Common complaints among people new to machining Aluminum alloys include poor surface finish, gummy deposits on cut faces or tool edges, and a smeared appearance. All materials have different properties that require adjustments and care to achieve the optimal finishes. Aluminum is a soft and ductile metal that has high thermal conductivity. The former means… Read more »

Up in Flames: Fire Precautions for Milling Combustible Materials

Flint on steel coupled with some easily-combustible kindling makes for a cozy fire. That combination is just one of the tricks up a scout’s sleeve for survival. However, that same formula can spell trouble when milling woods, plywood, or even plastics. Fast-moving metal tools cutting against combustible materials can result in a not-so-cozy fire on… Read more »

Use a CNC Mill to Create Your Own Printed Circuit Boards

Electrical engineers and technicians often use breadboards for prototyping and testing circuit designs. Breadboards are typically plastic plates with grids of spring-loaded receiving holes for inserting wires and components. While breadboards are great for quickly mocking up circuit layouts, they have several drawbacks. They are large, so they easily don’t fit into mechanical housings. They… Read more »

Generative Design: An Innovative Approach to Manufacturing

Engineers and designers for companies like General Electric, Airbus and General Motors are using a new tool called generative design to explore thousands of design iterations with geometries that are automatically generated within their software. Although generative design is most applicable to additive manufacturing processes (aka 3D printing), developers are quickly integrating the technique traditional… Read more »

Scribe vs. Script: The Difference Between Marking & Engraving Cutters

It’s a bit misleading to say marking and engraving cutters are different, because marking cutters are a sub-class of engraving cutters. However, understanding the best applications for using marking cutters over other engravers is useful for efficiency, quality, and cost savings. Engravers are typically used to machine finishing details into the surface of a part,… Read more »

Avoid the Sizzle: Tips to Mitigate Heat Buildup

It is the nature of machining to generate heat. The friction between tool and work piece and the acts of cleaving material with a tool and breaking molecular bonds are, in fact, exothermic processes. However, excessive heat generation can shorten tool life, degrade surface finish, cause workpiece and tool warping, and generate toxic smoke. Follow… Read more »

Improve the Surface Finish of Your CNC Projects With These Tips

The finishing cut is the last step before a part reaches inspection, and after all the time and effort that goes into making a precision part, it is critical that this final step produces a quality surface finish. Incorporating a few key practices can help prevent the need to scrap parts in this last stage… Read more »

Get a Grip: Strategies to Reduce Tool Deflection

To produce parts with accuracy, precision and high-quality surface finish, it is important to minimize tool deflection. Tool deflection occurs when the force of cutting overcomes the stiffness of the tool, causing the tool to bend. The tool may not perceptibly bend during the operation, but the proof is in the final measurements. Parts made… Read more »

Prolong the Life of Your CNC Machine With These Maintenance Tips

No business owner likes losing production time or output due to machinery failures. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to help prolong the life of your CNC machine and keep your operation running smoothly. Implement an Employee Check The technicians who use these machines day in and day out typically know more about their… Read more »