Instructables

Metal Cutting using CNC Router

Hi,

I am wondering if a CNC Router can be used to cut 1/8" or less thickness aluminum.

Although my shop is primarily a wood working place, I do get into some metal stuff at times (I have gas and electric welders, drill press, etc) and I am in the process of restoring a 1952 Piper Tri Pacer airplane at the moment. I want to design and build (I have AutoCAD 2011) a new instrument panel for the airplane as well as some other small aluminum parts. None of these would be more than 1/8" thickness material and likely not even that.

Anyhow, I was wondering if I could install a milling bit in the router and use it to cut this lightweight, relatively soft aluminum. Does anyone have experience with that?

Thanks!

Michael
Woodland, WA

CNCCookbook2 years ago
Most any CNC router can cut 1/8" aluminum. One of the most popular posts on my CNCCookbook blog is 10 tips for cutting aluminum on a router:

http://blog.cnccookbook.com/2012/03/27/10-tips-for-cnc-router-aluminum-cutting-success/

Cheers,

Bob Warfield
Ideally, you want a single flute cutter for aluminium in a router type machine, and you need to get the revs right, as well as the feed.
If the CNC can move slow enough and you have the right bit then 1/8" metal shouldn't be a problem. You'll need something like this that will fit your router.