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Metal Cutting using CNC Router Answered

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

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user
CNCCookbook (author)2012-05-01

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

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user
steveastrouk (author)2012-05-01

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.

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mpilchfamily (author)2012-04-30

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.

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