If you’re planning on getting into CNC routing, you must probably consider all the amazing projects that you can engage in due to the exceptional precision that CNC machines offer. Computer numerical control technology can provide various creative potentials, irrespective if you’re cutting out project parts or creating signs. However, just like any other form of routing, the magic happens because of the tip of a bit or even several bits, and you must have the appropriate cutters in your CNC arsenal. As with conventional routing, the most essential variable for bits would be the shank size. You may discover a bit that is perfect for the job you want to do; however, it won’t be useful if it has a ½” shank and the CNC equipment has a compact router that only works with ¼” shank bits. Have a look at this list of the most commonly used CNC router bits and what they’re capable of.
Spiral Up-Cut Bits / End Mill Bits
End mill bits cut straight but have spiral flutes that free chips up and out of the indentation being machined, leaving it with a flat bottom. They are utilized for cut-outs, groove-making, pocketing and some drilling, therefore they are quite fundamental. A great place to begin is a¼” diameter end mill bit, however, you may want to consider using a 1/8” bit for:
- Grooving/cutting items that necessitate more detail
- Smaller pockets
- Drilling cribbage board peg hollows.
Straight-cutting bits are not recommended for use in CNC machinery.
As the name proposes, the bits have cutting profiles that are V-shaped. They can be bought in various “included angles”, but, and this is what establishes when they are best utilized. A ninety-degree tighter angle on sixty-degree bit permits for smaller details and lettering, and also deeper cuts, crisper definition and contrasting shadows.
Tapered ball-nose cnc bits Australia is used for lithophanes or bas relief carving. It’s useful to obtain ¼”, 1/8” and 1/16” sized ball-nose bits. If they are used for clearing out material from a broader area, they will leave small ridges where the cuts are overlapping. This could create a scalloped appearance which is desirable for certain projects. If the scalloped ridges are unwanted, you can eliminate them by lowering the step-over of the toolpath. You can also use a core-box for creating a scalloped effect.
Fly-Cutting / Surfacing Bits
Fly cutters possess cutters which are designed for planning sacrificial tables on the beds of CNC machinery, therefore they are faultlessly flat, and also for leveling workpieces before CNC machining.
As you evolve with CNC routing and would like to work with various materials, you may need to think about expanding your toolbox to include bits that are designed for aluminum, plastics, and finer detail.
More About Flutes
Bits that are used for CNC routing generally feature two cutting edges or flutes. Certain bits have more than two flutes though. Just bear in mind that generally bits with fewer flutes discard more material with every cut and necessitate a slower feed rate. Bits with multiple flutes create a smoother cut surface and necessitate a faster feed rate to prevent burning.