Page 1 of 1

Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:02 pm
by deejayspinz
Looking to cut some Aluminum (approx 8mm thick). My Oko has 2x X makerslide, 2x Y motors, a DW660 (setup is similar to IC's minus the carbon fibre and width!) I also have a SuperPID so I can control the DW660 speeds to great accuracy. Don't have any water cooling. Would like to hear from others who have milled AL and what feeds and speeds you used for the machine and what RPM and end mill you used.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:29 pm
by Improbable Construct
When I was cutting aluminum with a DW660 I used these settings:
Feed 500 mm/min
Pass Depth .25 mm
Plunge 100 mm/min
RPM 25,000

I used a Viper three flute 1/8" end mill from Destiny Tool.
You may be able to cut more aggressively than that.
My DW660 was just about dead when I was using it to cut aluminum.

I didn't use any coolant i just let it run dry. It didn't seem to heat up very much.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:28 pm
by deejayspinz
Thanks IC. Looked up the viper end mill.. Looks like it's a flat end (not ball nose?) I have some 4 flute flat end mills that I might try.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:23 am
by Improbable Construct
Yes it is a flat end.
I would try your four flute bits first.
They should work just fine.
Just make sure whatever you use they are not AlTiN coated.
The AlTiN coating is made with aluminum and apparently gets sticky when milling aluminum.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:31 am
by zerblatt007
Improbable Construct wrote: Just make sure whatever you use they are not AlTiN coated.
The AlTiN coating is made with aluminum and apparently gets sticky when milling aluminum.
Really? They get sticky?
I just bought these: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/5pcs-3mm-Carbide ... OU:US:3160
My main goal was to get finer/polished cuts in both alu, acryl and wood, but I will try not to use them on aluminium then..

Nice to know in advance.. :)

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:43 pm
by Improbable Construct
Maybe sticky is the word to use.
From what I have read, with the AlTiN coating, aluminum sticks to it and clogs the bit.
I read it on the internet so it must be true.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:13 pm
by PsyKo
Hello,

I've been milling a lot of aluminium, and here are my notes. Notes that it depends a lot on your machine.
Milling depend a lot on the aluminium "family". There are softer, and harder aluminium alloy.

On harder alloy (2017A, 7075) :
Feed : 600mm/min
Pass depth : 0.4mm
Plunge 100m/min (or 150)
RPM : 20 to 25k
Endmill used : something designed for aluminium like http://www.otelo.fr/fr/catalogue/-/null/-ref-50036.html

On softer alloy now :
Feed : 800 to 1200mm/min (faster feed reduce the heat caused by the end mill)
Pass depth : 0.2mm/min (could probably go deeper)
Plunge : 100mm/min
RPM : 10 to 13k
Endmill used : 1 teeth 3mm mill
I also use a lot of lubricant with softer alloy.

You can check the result on this thread : http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 619#p14619
On the last picture, you can see the effect of a too high RPM in soft alloy. Aluminium melted on the endmill, making it useless. I had to stop, and remove it with some tool (like a sharp pick).

I hope it helps.

Re: Suggested feeds and speeds for Aluminum

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:03 pm
by deejayspinz
PsyKo. Thx for the tips.. The enclosure looks great.