Posts Tagged: CNC Milling


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.

Metal Engraving

Engravers are typically used to machine finishing details into the surface of a part, including things like serial numbers, logo, decorative patterns or orienting marks. Since engraving cutters are tasked with doing precision work, they are usually made of carbide or high-speed steel (HSS). They also have a unique geometry that ensures the groove conforms to the desired profile. This is usually a v-shaped groove with a bottom that is either sharp, radiused, or flat.

It is the geometry of the cutter that differentiates a marking cutter from other engravers.

For engraving, the flute end of the tool comes to a point. Cutting tools for other operations have multiple cutting edges. When more than one cutting edge come to a point, it is impossible to machine a precision v-shaped groove. The overlapping cuts results in a flat-bottomed groove.

To eliminate this flat-bottomed artifact, engraving cutters have a “half-round” geometry. This means the fluted end of the tool is cut down to half a cylinder. The result is a pointed tool with a single cutting edge. The point of this tool can be pointed, radiused or tipped (flat).

Half-round engraving cutters are perfect for fine details. However, because of their half-round end, they are susceptible to breakage especially if they are not handled correctly. For this reason, they are best suited for softer materials like aluminum and wood, or for applications requiring a high degree of precision like artistic decoration or logos.

However, not all engraving applications require precisely-grooved cuts. Take serial numbers, for example. Typically, a legible serial number will suffice. Considering the costs associated with breaking an engraving tool for such an application, it is best to complete them with a marking tool.

A marking cutter is an engraving cutter that is not half-round.

Marking cutters usually have two flutes. They are only available as radiused or tipped cutters because of the flat-bottomed artifact.

Although they are not ideal for precision decorations, marking cutters offer notable benefits over half-round engraving cutters. Due to their durability, they are better suited for engraving harder materials like ferrous alloys. They are also good for repetitive operations that do not require precision like serializing.

Whether the project calls for precise scripts and artistic detail or simple a scribed serial number, selecting the right engraving tool is important. Once the right tool is selected, check with this handy  “Rotary Engraving Fact Sheet” for other ways to improve your engraving operations.


CNC Machining Reduces Scrap Material and Increases Efficiency

CNC Machining Reduces Scrap Material and Increases EfficiencyCNC machining involves the use of computer software to produce precisely-machined parts. Because the machine’s mill is controlled by a computer, CNC production is far more accurate and efficient compared to traditional, hand-controlled machines. These machines are capable of interpreting digital instructions from their CNC software programs, and then translating these instructions into carefully-controlled milling directions. This allows CNC machines to achieve a level of automation that is impossible with manually-operated mills.

With a CNC machine, parts can be replicated exactly the same way each time, following the exact measurements as inputted by the controller.

CNC mills are also much faster and capable of producing parts that are more uniform, thereby reducing the amount of excess scrap material that’s generated during the machining process. Material savings are clearly seen in the efficiency that CNC-controlled production offers, while the high level of precision significantly reduces manufacturing and total build times. Because of their unrivaled ability to quickly and accurately reproduce components from a variety of materials, CNC machines can be great investments for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Our CNC Master MX software makes it easy to create your own CNC designs and set up automated machining processes. You can even try a free demo of this software to get a feel for the user interface and learn how to use it with your CNC machine. This powerful software is included with all of the CNC machines you can find on our website.

Interested in learning more about how a CNC machine can make your operation more productive and efficient? Give us call today at (626) 962-9300 or contact us online to speak with a representative!


Milling Machines Help Increase Productivity

When businesses have to rely on third-party manufacturing companies to make specialized parts for their products, the cost of outsourcing can add up fast. It can also slow down the production process and increase the chance of supply chain issues. In some cases, a business might need to increase the price of its products to offset the cost of having another company make parts for them.

That’s why many companies choose to invest in their own milling machines that allow them to make custom parts in-house. By making this one-time investment, manufacturers can streamline their operations and ultimately save a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Modern automated milling machines, called CNC mills, use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create specialized parts. In fact, just about any type of part can be made using CNC milling machines, from aluminum engine components to decorative wood features for pieces of furniture. Computer-generated templates allow parts to be precisely machined and replicated to a designer’s exact specifications. If you don’t want to design your own parts, you can even download open source designs from the Internet and tailor them to your unique needs.

CNC machines are available in several different styles and configurations.

Small machines can be bench mounted, while larger machines are free standing. Some milling machines can also be manually operated  in cases where you need to make individual parts by hand. These types of mills are particularly useful for small companies or hobbyists that don’t always need to use the automated CAD functions. If you haven’t used CAD software in the past, we also offer a series of video tutorials to help teach you the ins and outs of our custom CNC Machine Master MX software.

Interested in learning more about the milling machines we offer at CNC Masters? Give us a call or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!


The Importance of Cleaning in CNC Machining

clean cnc machineWhen it comes to your CNC machines, you probably know the ins and outs of operation, but have you ever looked into their cleaning? Many individuals forget the importance of regular cleaning or get swept up in the excitement of everyday work, allowing this task to fall to the wayside.

We at CNC Masters would like to bring cleaning back to the forefront of your attention for a minute, reminding you of just how important it is to clean all components of your CNC machines on a regular (we recommend weekly) basis. Why? We have listed a few of the most important reasons below.

Longevity

Your machines are used to cut through some tough materials, and because of this, they are going to experience a lot of everyday wear and tear. Just think of how much of a mess the metal shavings, cutting fluids and oils can make of your shop floor! Regular cleaning is just one way to help extend the lifetime of your machines. Prevent grit and grime from building up – both on their exteriors and interiors – to help ensure longevity.

Functionality

Clean machining parts will give you the best possible results, helping to ensure that the products you make are the best that they can be. Regular cleaning will also allow you to check machining components often, helping to ensure you notice parts that need replacing or adjusting – instead of finding out when your machine breaks down.

Safety

A clean machining shop is a safe one, and this motto should apply to your machines themselves, as well as the tools and surfaces around them. Weekly cleaning will keep your fleet of CNC machines in top shape, preventing potential injuries and break downs.

For businesses, teachers and hobbyists looking for high quality CNC products at competitive prices, CNC Masters is the place to shop. Review our catalog online or give us a call at 626-962-9300 for assistance finding the right products to suit your particular needs.


Create a Backup of Your CNC Data

You have been told countless times, by countless tech gurus, just how important it is to keep regularly updated backups of the data on your cell phone, digital camera, desktop computer and laptop. And whether you actually back up this data onto a secure hard drive as often as you should or not, you are probably confident that should damage occur to your device, you have most (if not all) of your important files saved to another location.

But have you ever thought of doing the same for your CNC data?

If you have never created a backup copy of the data stored on your CNC machine, we at CNC Masters recommend you do so promptly. Not only may you need the data from previous projects, but you also have fine-tuned your machine to work exactly to your specifications and needs. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but having to revert your CNC lathe back to its factory settings after a power will be a great frustration. Especially now that you know there are alternative solutions.

Knowing how to make backup copies of all the data stored within your CNC is imperative for all machinists to learn.

As mentions on MMSOnline.com, not only should you create backup copies of recent programs, you should also save CNC parameters, custom macro variables and more.

Regardless of the size of your business – or even if your CNC machine is used for hobby – the information and settings saved on your devices is incredibly important. Make sure you know how to save this information to an external hard drive and do so regularly to ensure that none of your valuable data is lost.

For all your CNC machining needs and questions, please contact CNC Masters at 626-962-9300. With more than 20 years of experience in the machining field, we pride ourselves in our ability to offer competitive pricing and expert knowledge that assists business owners, machinists, teachers and hobbyists operate their machinery with success.


Transitioning from Manual – Tips to Incorporate CNC Technology

CNC Milling MachineIf your shop has been using manual milling equipment since you started, you may be reluctant to transition to automatic CNC technology. We understand that replacing your milling machines with new equipment may seem like a daunting process – especially if your existing machines have been working fine. However, there are so many benefits that come with switching to CNC milling machines that you shouldn’t disregard the idea. The following tips can help you incorporate this equipment into your shop for the best results.

Any time a new machine is installed in your shop, a few steps must be taken, including tweaking it until it is meeting or exceeding your productivity needs. The same is true when you transition from manual equipment to CNC technology. The team at CNC Masters will work with you to select the right equipment for your business, ensuring it will meet your production goals quickly and efficiently.

What exactly are the main benefits of making the switch to CNC milling machines? Not only will you experience faster cycle times, but they can lead to a finished product that is produced at an overall higher quality than you’ve come to expect. This technology can also help you eliminate several steps in the production process, ultimately saving you time and money in the long run.

Upgrading manual milling equipment may seem like a big change, but it’s one that countless shops have already made with great success. If you’re thinking about upgrading, that typically means your shop is ready to embrace new and leading technologies. Plus, through adding automatic CNC technology, you may also find other areas of your shop that may need some upgrades as well, and with the money you save on production costs and labor time, you can truly help make your shop fully up-to-date and ready for anything the 21st century business world throws your way.

There is a huge return on investment when it comes to switching from manual to automatic milling machines, and CNC Masters is here to help make the transition as simply as possible. We can guide you throughout every step of the process, ensuring you’re ready to go as soon as your new machines are installed. Call us today at 626-962-9300 to learn more about our CNC solutions!


Know Your Machining Metals

machining with aluminumA CNC machine can help give your business what it needs in a lot of ways. Whether it’s a prototype or the mass production of one item, your machine has you covered. But before you put any old metal into it, we recommend learning which metals are best for which jobs. This will help you to save money and create the best product possible. If you need milling done, start with these materials:

Aluminum

A soft metal that is very easy to bend and cut, aluminum is also very cheap in price. This makes it perfect for the creation of a prototype of a piece your company may be developing.

Stainless Steel

Unlike aluminum, stainless steel is very hard and is rather expensive. If you are looking to mass produce an item that needs to be able to take a beating, then this is your metal.

Brass

Typically used for electronic hardware and commercial products, brass is another soft metal that cuts brilliantly. It’s not too expensive either, which could make it a great learning metal for prototypes.

Titanium

An extremely strong and durable metal, titanium was first used to build aircrafts. It is also very light, making it easy to turn and bend while in the machine.

CNC Masters offers the finest CNC machines at very affordable prices. Regardless of material, our machines will help get you get the job done. For more information on our products, contact us online or by calling 626-962-9300.


CNC Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed – Quick Tool Change

When it comes to working on a project it is a known fact that there is not just one tool that will be needed to complete any one task, no matter how small or large the project may be.

While one may know how to use each of the tools to complete the task one of the main issues that people face is not having the finances to be able to own each tool to complete the task, and even if one does own all of the tools needed to complete the task, the initial cost of owning each of the tools is simply outrageous, especially in the current market place.

If you are a miller then you know this all too well but there is something that will catch your eye and keep your wallet in mind.

CNC Masters has the Quick Tool Change. CNC Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed – Quick Tool Change

With the CNC Jr., Baron, Max, or the Supra CNC Mill you can machine production parts that require several tool changes as well as being able to program up to ten different tools within minutes. The MASTER software that the CNC Jr., Baron, Max, or the Supra CNC Mill comes with will automatically adjust the Z axis for each tool change.

The tool height compensation complements our manual quick tool change system. It only takes a few seconds to release and replace a new cutter from the master holder. This intelligent investment for your business will pay off in no time.

Looking for a way to take your manufacturing business to the next level? Our CNC Masters’ machine line-up features products that not only allow you to keep the entire manufacturing process in-house, and help you save on space. For more information on our CNC milling machines, contact us today.


Find The Hobby Milling Machine For You

Find The Hobby Milling Machine For YouSome people who enjoy a challenging hobby like to work on computer repairs, as technology is one of the most versatile tools in the arsenal of any person living in the United States currently. Then there are some hobbyists out there, even though they might not be as common as they once were, that are looking to work and create with their hands.

Those hobbyists who are looking to create works with their hands are a breed of people that most admire and sometimes envious for their creations.

In the world today, there are few people who take up something like wood working as a hobby, even fewer people who even practice the hobby consistently.

When it comes to any hobby the first thing that would come to your mind is, “what tools will I need for this?”

That simple question is one of the most important questions any hobbyist needs to ask themselves before getting into a hobby, because different people have different levels of commitment.

CNC Masters offers the particular wood hobbyist the CNC Supra Vertical Knee Mill, a great tool for those who are just beginning as well as those who are experts!

The Supra Vertical Knee Mill gives the user a simple automated machine with easy to understand software so that any hobbyist may create a 2-D or 3-D product. The Supra Vertical Knee Mill has X, Y, and Z precision ball nut screws for preciseness that cannot be beaten. The Supra Vertical Knee Mill starts at the low beginning price with the option of financing if needed. Visit our site for more information or contact us today!


Save on a CNC Milling Machine

People who enjoy shaping metal as a hobby, or those who do it at the professional level, can benefit from a CNC milling machine. This is a machine that is used to shape metal. A milling machine can be found in a variety of options. There are large machines for companies that shape metal as the focus of their business. There are also smaller milling machines for teachers, hobbyists and others who enjoy working with metal. A CNC milling machine is a top quality machine that can be found online. You’ll find that one of the best facts about the machines is their low price. The reason for the low price is that both the driving system and the software are designed and manufactured on site. They are not manufactured and designed off site and then brought in to the company. Therefore, the consumer is able to benefit from the savings.