Use the Right Feeds and Speeds
One of the most important components in getting your desired finish is to use recommended feeds and speeds for machining. To achieve a uniform surface finish, the CNC router must be set to the right feed and speed parameters depending on the material that’s being machined.
Adopt Lighter Cuts on Finishing Passes
At times, it’s challenging to create a workpiece in a single pass for 3 main reasons; either the resulting parts are too small or are likely to move, the suction on your vacuum table is not sturdy enough to hold parts for one pass, or because you’re not achieving the desired finish without having to take an additional pass. If you catch yourself in this situation, it’s recommended to machine the workpiece in multiple passes.
We advise the first set of cuts to be as deep as the cutting bit will allow, leaving the final pass with a smaller load, therefore reducing the cutting force and ultimately resulting in a much-improved finish.
Clear the Chips
Failure to remove chips from the work surface will result in the workpiece being scratched, as cutting bits will slide the chips along the finished surface. This is pronounced when cutting metals. Furthermore, re-cutting chips can cause a lot of router bit damage. To avoid these issues and arrive at a better finish, it is recommended to use a vacuum chip collection system that is powerful enough to clear chips of all sizes or to pay attention to clearing chips by air blasting them before completing another pass.
Minimize Tool Deflection and Chatter
Due to the mechanics of CNC router heads and cutting bits, it’s impossible to entirely eliminate deflection and chatter, however it is important that the right tool holder and tools are being used to prevent deflection while machining parts on the CNC router. You should also confirm that the cutting parameters, speeds, and feeds are within the recommended ranges. As for chatter, securely fastening the cutting bits in the collet and ensuring the workpiece is secured in place via suction or clamps will substantially reduce the possibility of your bits and working piece moving during machining. Not only will this tip improve the quality of your finishes, but it will also add to the longevity of your CNC router.
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