Post by windcrest77 on Oct 9, 2021 12:05:14 GMT -5
I've used my Iconic for wood and aluminum sheet a lot. Now I need to profile and mill clear acrylic sheet, 3/16 thick, using a 1/8 bit preferably upcut. Can someone who does plastic regularly please give me a place to start on the following?:
1. What's a good bit model to buy? 2. What's a good speed? 3. What's a good feed rate? (conservative not in a hurry) 4. What's a good depth per pass? or can I do 3/16 in one pass ideally.
I can adjust, but I figure I'd save myself some wasted pieces by looking for a fellow CNC'er that has more experience with plastic, because I'm a plastic-milling virgin.
I've cut a bit of plastic. The challenge is making sure the material stays cool enough so that it doesn't begin to melt or deform.
As always, a good rule of thumb is the less flutes you have on your endmill, the less heat will build up. I've had good luck with the same single-flute endmill I used for cutting aluminum. Something like this will work well and is pretty cheap:
I'm not super familiar with the Iconic line (I have an AR8 Pro), but I have a tough time believing your machine couldn't easily hit 3/16 in a single pass.
For feeds and speeds, I recommend GWizard. It has a free trial and will give you some good feed/speed data for most materials. If you use your machine often, GWizard (or another software like it) is absolutely worth the price.
Plugging in some quick values for the 1/4" endmill I just linked, you can give the following settings a try:
Post by windcrest77 on Oct 9, 2021 16:34:29 GMT -5
Thanks! I have plenty of 45 degree helix single flute bits for aluminum already, so I'll try that. Not having done acrylic I probably would have just tried a 3 flute 30 degree wood bit first time, which would surely have clogged on melted plastic. Then I would have tried a 2 fluter 30 degree, probably better but still might melt it. So it was worth asking, you probably saved me some issues. Makes sense.
I wish this forum had a section entirely dedicated to materials and their various bits/speeds/feeds/depths discussion, I didn't know where to post.
Sure thing. You can likely get away with a 2 flute without any issues as long as you have good chip clearing (dust collection or compressed air) to keep the chips from being re-cut. I've cut plenty of hard plastics with a 2 flute straight cut endmill without any issues as long as the chips were removed quickly. A single-flute just gives a lot more room for error.
One of the first times I cut plastic I sheared a 1/4" 4-flute upcut endmill clean off when the hard plastic melted in a tight corner and then re-solidified around the cutter as soon as it tried to move away.
Single-flute just gives a lot of room for error and, in plastics, the cut quality is more than adequate for my needs. However, if you find the cuts a bit too rough, give a 2-flute a try - but I wouldn't go anything higher than that unless you're just doing a finishing pass and removing a small amount of material.
Some years ago, I had a project, and I needed a relatively big amount of acrylic paper. I used this website, and you may check them too acrylic sheet china. The papers are made in China, but their quality is one of the best. On top of that, I looked for some models, and they had the best rapport when we spoke about price and quality. I think this could be a good starting point for you. Even discussing details about the contract with them is easy; go on the "contact us" page on their website, and I'm sure you'll find a solution.