Why and when to warm up your CNC machine
January 31, 2017
Think of your favorite professional athlete. Or, maybe you’re more of a music person. Even though they might be the best in the world at what they do, they both still take the time to warm up. They don’t suddenly run out on the field, the court, or the stage and start playing. They still have to get their mind and body ready so they can do their full performance to the best of their ability that day.
Your CNC machine’s no different. It needs a little bit of a warm up before working at full speed. This distributes lubrication oil evenly, which reduces wear on your CNC machine and increases its life. As you know, heat can also cause your machine and its tools to expand, even if ever-so-slightly. But, you don’t even want a little expansion because that affects the precision of your cutting. Warming your machine up keeps it operating at a stable temperature so you don’t have to worry about that.
It turns out your CNC machine may actually need more than one warm-up during the day. Assuming you have a shop with at least mild temperatures and that you never give your CNC machine more than a 4-hour break during the day, you only need to warm it up once. However, if it stays cold inside your shop throughout the day, you should give your CNC machine a warm-up even if you’ve only let it sit idle for your lunch break.
You should also give your CNC machine a warm-up if your project requires a tight tolerance. That means if you even take a short break to run to the bathroom, you should leave a warm-up routine executing.
For your spindles, make sure you warm those up when you need to run them at high speeds. You should also do this if your CNC machine’s spindle had not been operating for at least the last 4 days.
Your CNC machine’s manufacturer often has a custom made warm-up program for your machine. If it’s available, use it. If not, you’ll have to make your own.
Stay tuned to this blog because we’ll have a guide that helps you create the right warm-up program for your needs.
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