4 Most common CNC machining problems

February 6, 2017

Just like most current technological devices, most CNC machine problems are caused by:

User error

Lack of maintenance

So, the majority of issues you run into are within your control. You can do quite a bit to avoid having these problems in the future.

Here’s what to look for:

1. If Your Material Has Burns on the Outside Edge

This is a fairly easy problem to fix. Usually, you either have a blunt tool or too low of a feed speed. See if your feed speed is right for the material you’re cutting. Examine your tool. Simply replace your dull tool with a sharper one or increase your feed speed if you’re experiencing issues.

2. Making the Same Mistake Twice

CNC machining takes a lifetime to learn. At no point should you consider yourself a “master” who has it altogether. New situations happen that require new thinking and adaptation – even by experienced experts.

So, commit yourself to always learning. When you make a mistake, see what you can do to change so it doesn’t happen again.

3. Chatter

When your CNC machine “chatters,” it simply means it vibrates when doing its job. Chatter happens either to your entire machine or just its tool. Chatter harms the quality of your work, dramatically reduces the life of your tool, and can even shorten the life of your CNC machine too.

To prevent chatter from ever happening in the first place, simply make sure your cut width or depth keeps deflection below 1/1000th of an inch. Most CNC machinists also react with slowing down. That’s not necessarily bad, but there is a better solution. Speeding up can also work, so simply test different RPMs first.

4. Overheating, Which Can Cause Your Entire CNC Machine to Fail

Your CNC machine can reach more than 150 degrees on the inside. Filters can get clogged with dirt and debris, which can push temperatures even higher. Of course, this can cause serious damage to your CNC machine.

Prevention mostly consists of routine maintenance. Have a regular schedule for clearing dirt and dust from your AC units and filters. Cutting fluids and metal shavings should be cleared away routinely, as they can contaminate your equipment.

Overheating rarely results from problems other than these. If you do this maintenance, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

And if you routinely maintain your CNC machine, you won’t have to worry about any serious issues. Keep these four tips in mind as you do your work.

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