CNC routers are becoming incredibly popular, both among specialized manufacturers, and weekend warriors. These incredibly versatile machines allow the operator to create prototypes, custom parts, or decrease production cycles by automating simple tasks, depending on the type of machine you have or its intended use.
Your CNC Router Is Just The Initial Investment
Entry-level CNC machines require a sizable investment, while production machines designed to make every second of the cycle time count usually represent top dollars.
But once you purchase your equipment, you will soon notice that this activity is resource-intensive. Costs are driven up by several factors.
How Does Volume Affect Costs?
The size and geometry of the part is the first factor to take into account when calculating operational costs. It determines the amount of material required, and the machining time required to finish it.
Now, crafting a new design or prototyping involves a lot of brainwork as you need to come up with specific machining strategies and toolpaths that allow you to come up with an acceptable part. You also need to take into account tool changes due to the different types of cuts you need, such as holes, threads, inserts, and more.
In this industry, every second counts. So, every minute you are not running your tools through a part means you´re losing money.
That’s why bulk production tends to reduce costs per piece, as it allows machinists to find the most efficient process, and spread the initial operative costs over more finished parts.
Machinability Of Materials
Every material has its own physical properties. Machinability determines how easy it is to give shape to a piece of material. Soft materials like aluminum have high machinability, as they are usually easier to cut and allow fast feed rates. Non-ferrous alloys require a lot more effort and machining strategies require a lighter touch, so they take time to machine, especially when crafting complex parts. So they are considered to have low machinability rates.
Machining tolerance or dimensional accuracy determines how much room for error you can allow for your part. In this case, tool accuracy is extremely important. The stiffness provided by solid carbide end mills increases accuracy and precision, allowing the operator to work with very tight tolerances and stay true to print. This makes carbide invaluable for high-precision jobs, as you reduce the chances of having to scrap parts.
The costs of CNC cutting tools can be insane, especially if you are working with hardened materials, or are pushing your machine for more aggressive cuts and feed rates. Steel tools tend to be affordable and offer decent sharpness, but they can´t be driven too fast and tend to fail when exposed to high temperatures. Working with steel tools in competitive environments will drive costs up as you burn through end mills and drills. You also need to factor in the time wasted during tool cycle downtime.
On the other hand, solid carbide end mills are usually very expensive. However, they last up to 10 times longer than steel tools and can be plunged into hardened materials using aggressive paths without a problem. This saves a lot of time and money in terms of tool cycle and finished parts per hour. Moreover, their accuracy and reliability increase your ability to create parts in bulk.
The only problem is finding high-quality solid carbide end mills for sale. Fortunately, Online Carbide manufactures carbide tools for shops and businesses that need precision tools at the best price. Reduce the costs associated with your CNC machining operation with their solid carbide end mills for sale.