5 Tips for Cutting Aluminum with your CNC Router

Tips for Cutting Aluminum with your CNC Router

Most often people use their CNC routers to cut wood or acrylic, however; you can use your router to cut aluminum if you do it correctly.

CNC Routers Make Short Work of Aluminum Projects

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CNC routers can make short work of challenging and intricate aluminum projects. However, many manufacturing companies shy away from projects using aluminum, sticking to plastic and wood instead. The old school of thought was that it would take expensive milling machines to handle aluminum properly.

However, CNC routers can be perfect for softer metals like aluminum. Cutting aluminum has some challenges, but can also be rewarding. Working with aluminum gives you a wide range of unique products that your business can create. Beautiful, extraordinary cuts in visually pleasing patterns can turn something plain into a work of art.

What Aluminum Products Can Be Made with CNC Routers?

A few examples of fantastic, trending products that you can make in aluminum using CNC routers include:

  • Decorative Privacy Screens: A viral product trending in backyards and patios everywhere. Beautifully cut patterns into aluminum sheets in large 4-foot and 6-foot lengths are great home additions, and profitable products to sell.
  • Car Badges: Popular items among car enthusiasts, these badges can be easily created using CNC routers, and can even be customized.
  • Lampshades: Lampshades with intricate cut patterns that can light the room in soft designs are hot items among decorators. In addition, Moroccan drum-like lamps made with a CNC router can be a top-selling item.
  • Interior Décor: Many decorative pieces can be created on a CNC router. In addition, you can find hundreds of CAM software applications to help you design head-turning pieces.
  • Home Improvement Products: Homeowners enjoy adding unique touches to their homes with higher-end products. For example, you can create register and vent covers with many floral and geometric designs.
  • Custom Signs: These can be cut out of metal on both small and large scales. The first impression for any business comes from their signage, and business owners want to invest in quality and design.

The number of products that you can manufacture from aluminum with CNC routers may be endless. Your imagination is your only limit.

5 Tips to Cut Aluminum Correctly

1. Work Out Your Feed and Speed Rates

You need to take your time with aluminum; it’s not the same as routing wood. This is why you need to calculate your feed and speed rates. The best way to do this is to use and online feed rate calculator.

2. Use Carbide Bits

Carbide-coated cutters can handle the high RPMs that you need for routing aluminum. Even high-speed steel and cobalt won’t be able to handle the job. Don’t forget to tell you feed and speed calculator that your bit is carbide-coated; it will give you more RPMs.

3. Use a Misting System

A Mister system will help cool down the bit as it cuts through the aluminum extending its shelf life and helping retain the integrity of the material.

4. Frequent Shallow Passes

Don’t make the mistake of trying to make deep cuts to save time. It won’t work with aluminum. Make many shallow passes to reach your desired depth, that way you’ll have better access, and it will be easier to remove your chips.

5. Watch Your Flutes

You may be used to using a four-flute cutter for your woodwork, however, when you’re cutting aluminum, a three-flute cutter is your maximum. This will prevent overly large chips which can cause your router to jam. Don’t forget, fewer flutes also require a slower feed rate which your CNC router will be able to handle better.

Aluminum Products Manufactured with CNC Routers Raise Profits

Adding aluminum as a material to your manufacturing lineup will create more viable product options for profitability.

The more diverse your material options, the more marketplaces will have demand for your products. Looking at the list above alone shows products in these critical marketplaces:

  • Home Décor/Improvement Stores
  • Lawn and Garden Marketplaces
  • B2B Industry
  • Automobile Repair and Customization

Trust CAMaster for your CNC Router Needs

CAMaster is a leading provider of CNC routers, laser cutters, and router applications. Consult with a specialist at CAMaster today to find out how they can provide for your manufacturing solutions.

To learn more about CNC Routers and laser cutting for your business, contact CAMaster. CAMaster delivers tools, applications, and parts for your business needs.