i need a solution for cutting sheet metal


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  1. #1
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    Default i need a solution for cutting sheet metal

    im new to cnc machining ..im a designer at an embelishment factory and we recently added a roland mdx 40a milling machine, this machine is great and im loving it and while its not intended for metal, i find its pretty good at cutting softer metals(slowly) but it works.

    the problem is, since we added this machine, im finding that the demand for metal is a lot larger than i intended so i would like to possibly get a new machine thats better for metal, but i dont believe we need a full feature 3d milling machine like our mdx40a...aside from cost(my company will not buy me another expensive milling machine) i feel we really dont need one anyway but i do need a machine that can cut sheet metal(aluminum, brass and copper) because when i cut it on our mdx40a , its very slow and ties up the machine for other projects like wood and such that the machine is really intended for.

    basically, id like to try and figure out a low cost solution , thats also a small footprint because i have limited space in my work area(already have a milling machine, 3d printer, several laser cutters, uv printer, a kiln and various other toys and tools so i need something small..the thing is , this machine will be ONLY for cutting relatively thin sheet metal(like 20 guage the thickest)..i will use it to cut small, detailed objects that are very intricate and will require small tools to cut(imagine jewelry size and detail)...

    so basically knowing that i would like a cnc tool capable of cutting sheet metal in small ,detailed shapes, something that can be small(i need a small foot print and im cutting very small things so i dont need a large table size) like a 12'x12' cutting area is plenty big and i can even live with something smaller... if money was a large consideration, and knowing i already have a full feature 3d milling machine and only need this new machine for cutting sheet metal shapes, knowing all this, i would love to hear what you guys suggest i add in order to achieve this.

    in all honesty, in order to achieve faster cutting of sheet metal, the solution might not be in another machine at all, but perhaps a endmills to cut with...like i said, my mill is not intended for metal and im wondering if it cuts so slowly because the bits are not either...like i said, im using tiny tools because i need lots of detail in small cuts(like a 1/32 endmill) but after i do one cut on metal, the bit is ground down to being useless... this cant be normal right??

    should i be using a special small bit , maybe perhaps a diamond coated bit that would help?

    anyway, you should understand my problem now and id love to hear what you guys would suggest.

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    Default Re: i need a solution for cutting sheet metal

    It's difficult to cut sheet metal with a mill; the reason you're getting such short life from your bits is probably because you aren't holding it down well enough. If the metal gets to move even a little, that will destroy a small bit like that in short order. You also need to spin them at the max RPM for effective cutting. You might look into vacuum pods for holding down your small pieces of metal. Lubrication of the cut helps too; especially with sticky metals like copper and aluminum. Diamond-coated bits are expensive, but they can stay sharp longer. Mostly they're used for abrasive materials like graphite.

    Really, if you need to make a lot of highly-detailed cutouts in thin sheet, you should look into another process. Laser cutting might work better, or spray-etching. If you do keep doing this with your MDX-40, be sure not to let the chips escape down into the works of the machine, which are exposed underneath. It's not designed to deal with metal shavings getting in there.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Sheet metal cutting is a major classification for many different pressworking operations. Cutting operations involve the separation of the metal of the sheet in certain areas. This separation is caused by shearing forces acting on the metal through the edges of the punch and die. Pressworking, a term referencing sheet metal operations in general, involves the working of a sheet between two die. In pressworking, the upper die is called a punch. Sheet and plate generally refers to rolled metal with a high surface area to volume ratio. The difference is that sheet metal is under 1/4 inch (6mm) in thickness, while plate metal is thicker. Most of the sheet metal cutting processes discussed can be performed on both sheet and plate metal, although for many sheet metal operations difficulties will arise with increasing plate thickness. Usually "sheet" and "sheet metal" is also referencing plate.
    i google for you you can visit here thelibraryofmanufacturing.com/sheetmetal_cutting.html



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