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10 Tips on how to use or operate CNC Milling Machine

You must be wondering what a cnc milling machine is and what you need to know about it to get going with it. You don’t need to be a professional to operate it effectively, you need to buy cnc milling machine that will work for you as a beginner, and you are good to go. The cnc milling machine can become an effortless thing to operate once you get a hold of it. For that, you need to know all its basics to use it efficiently with maximum effectiveness. The following information that this article will share with you will help you get to know everything you need to know to get the best cnc milling machine. Not only that, but this article will also help you to get command on your cnc milling machine by getting to know all the tips and tricks which will do wonders for you. Let’s breakdown it down to you.

Get the right cutting tools:

To get going with your machine with perfect functioning, you need to get the right cnc milling machine parts, mainly the cutting bits that can give you a nice and clean cut of your desired design. Usually, the machine does come with a set of cutting tools, but those are not as good as the branded ones. Therefore, you should go for a branded beginner’s set of cutting tools. It will have all the necessary sizes like ½ inch, ¼ inch, 8 inches, etc., and different shapes of cutting tools of excellent quality.

Clamps for grip:

To keep your material fixed at the place, you need to clamp it with the surface on which it is placed. If your material doesn’t have a good grip, your design will be ruined, and you don’t want that. Good quality clamps will do the right thing for you. So, you need to buy a good clamping kit to save you from ruining your design due to losing grip.

Computer-aided design (CAD):

Computer-aided design (CAD) is something you need to understand to create your design on your computer in 2d or 3d rather than manually drafting it because manual drafting is very time-consuming and not as efficient as computer-aided design. It might seem difficult to you, but there are softwares available like Inkscape, etc., which you can easily use to create your design.

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM):

Once you have created the design, you need to create its instructions for the machine on a computer; this is precisely what we call computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). This might also seem very hard and time-consuming to you, but you don’t have to worry because there are also softwares available that you can use to do this. One such software is Fusion 360, which can do CAM and CAD, so you can do CAD and CAM in the same software.

Free and paid software:

Now that you know that if you are not a professional, you will have to use different softwares for computerized designing and manufacturing. Are you concerned about the money these softwares are going to charge you? Don’t worry because luckily, there are free softwares available which you can use to do your CAD and CAM without paying anything. Free software such as Fusion 360, FreeCAD, Considerations, etc., all these free softwares will work for you. If you are interested in paid softwares, then those are Rhino3D, Solidworks, AutoCAD, etc.

Speeds and Feeds:

The word speed refers to the speed of the cutting tool, and the word feed refers to the distance the cutting tool travels during one revolution. These need to be set very precisely according to the material that you are using. An easy getaway is that you can get cheat sheets online to get ideal numbers according to your material.

Material selection:

Try using cheap and easy materials to work with as a beginner. Don’t go for steel from the start. Begin with foam, wood, and aluminium, and stay on that until you become slightly professional with the milling machine.

Machine selection:

Although you might have a milling machine already, if you cannot operate it effectively, you should try selecting some other type of milling machine that will be easy to work with for you. For a beginner, the hobby-type milling machine is the only best option.

G-code understanding:

Once you are done with CAM, you will have to export the created instructions to the machine but in a language that the machine can read. So, you will have to convert the instructions into G-codes to export them to the machine. You don’t have to learn anything about this because the software you used to do CAM also does this for you. 

Misting system:

Some milling machines have a misting system, and some don’t. If your machine doesn’t have a misting system, then you have to get one. The misting system acts as a coolant and is beneficial for neat cutting.