CNC Plasma Table Exploring Materials

CNC Plasma Table Exploring Materials

Today, CNC machines have become an important work tool. They offer several advantages, including efficiency, safety, versatility, low production cost, low waste production, and low workforce. You can work on various materials using CNC machines, so you will need to do some CNC plasma table exploring materials to learn everything.

So, we will explore the important CNC plasma table materials’ dos and don’ts. Also, you can discover the factors you should consider when choosing CNC machining materials. It will help you produce parts more efficiently. But first, let’s look at the materials most commonly used for CNC machining.

Most Common Materials for CNC Machining

Versatility is one of the biggest advantages of CNC machining, as you can work on a wide range of materials to produce parts. However, you can use some materials more often than others, as they do well in most fields. 

Some of the most used materials are the following:

Metals Plastic
Aluminum 6061 ABS
Aluminum 7075 Nylon
Brass PMMA Acrylic
Magnesium AZ31 PEEK
Stainless Steel 303 and 304 UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene)
Carbon Steel 1045 PVC (polyvinyl Chloride)

These materials are commonly used in the industry; however, many other options are available, and you can go for them if they suit your needs. If you are new to the field and don’t know what works best for you, it’s best to hire professionals and let them do the job for you.

No matter which material you choose, you should know some basic dos and don’ts of CNC machining. These small things can make a big difference in terms of efficiency, safety, cost-cutting, and many other fields

In the following section, we will discuss the things you should do and avoid when working on projects.

How to Choose CNC Machining Materials

The following section will discuss the factors you should consider when choosing CNC machining materials.

Machinability

The first and most important factor is machinability. You don’t have to worry about it if you have chosen a soft material. But some extremely tough materials can damage expensive cutting tools, so you must be careful. 

Additionally, while working on some materials, the operator must carefully and properly control the cutting speed and feed rates. Some materials take longer to process than others. 

In the long run, choosing a material that machines quickly can save a lot of time, effort, and money. However, if you have to work on tough materials, stay extremely careful.

Moisture

Based on the project requirements, you should determine the product’s end-use. Will you expose it to salt or freshwater? 

Materials that aren’t corrosion-resistant, such as paints, need an extra layer of protection. However, some materials are naturally resistant to corrosion, and using them can be a good idea in this case.

It’s important to know that some types of plastic can also absorb water over a period. It can lead to premature product/part failure, which is the last thing you want. Therefore, choose the right material if the product has to withstand moisture.

Cost

Cost is always an important factor to consider, as the price of different materials can vary a lot. While it’s important to stay within your budget limits, we never encourage people to choose lower-grade materials to save money, as it’s never a good idea. 

A low-quality material will be affordable, but its quality won’t be good. Moreover, it’s unlikely to last as long as you would want.

The best option is to choose a material that offers the necessary functionality based on the project’s demands and isn’t overpriced. It will likely be durable, which will help you save money in the long run.

Heat

You should know that materials expand and contract when exposed to temperature changes. They also get softer and more flexible in the presence of heat before reaching their melting point. As a result, the part can get damaged, eventually leading to the part failure.

The good thing is that some materials offer better heat resistance than others. So, if the part is exposed to fluctuating temperatures, make sure to choose a thermally stable material.

Weight

Weight isn’t a concern for some projects, but you may need to consider it based on your requirements. In such a case, you should use a low-density metal; fortunately, many options are available

If you are willing to compromise in terms of strength, you can also go for plastic, like ABS, to bring the weight down.

Strength

Strength is also an important factor for product engineers. Tensile strength, elasticity, toughness, and compression come into play; however, some can be more important for you, depending on the project requirements.

Overall, these are the things you should keep in mind when selecting CNC machining materials. You should consider all these factors, but in some cases, you may have to compromise in one or more fields. In such situations, you should know your priorities and pay more importance to the product’s end-use.

How to Choose CNC Machining Materials
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Zoran Zeremski

CNC Plasma Table Exploring Materials: Dos and Don’ts

Safety

Dos

Ensuring a safe environment in your workshop should be your top priority. You should remove potentially dangerous items from your surroundings.

Don’ts

You should never ignore red flags such as loose connectors or screws. You must mount all the parts properly before hitting the start button.

Automation

Dos

Ensure to take advantage of automation, increase production efficiency, and reduce time consumption. Today, plenty of software options are available, and you can reduce the workforce with the help of automation.

Don’ts

Don’t get confused about which automation system works best for you. The supplier can help you decide which option works best for your production needs. 

We offer the best and most affordable CNC plasma tables, and you can contact us to find the most-suited option for your needs.

Surface finish

Dos

You should use the right speed and feeds during the machining part, as it can greatly affect your part’s surface finish. An error in this area can result in a premature part failure. So, use the right cutting tools and settings based on the project’s demands.

Don’ts

Never use worn-out tools if you want a good finish, as they can leave marks on the part. Additionally, you shouldn’t use the same tool for roughing and finishing.

Tolerance

Dos

You need to maintain a stable temperature in your workshop because fluctuating temperatures can affect tolerances. You will have to supply clean air to the CNC machines.

Don’ts

Avoid placing your CNC machine near welding, foundry, and grinding machines. The heat released from other machines can cause temperature fluctuations in the workshop.

Operators

Dos

You should hire experienced machine operators, as a person with little to no knowledge about expensive CNC machines isn’t suitable to handle them. Plus, you have to train them continuously and help them upgrade their skills to make the production unit more efficient.

Don’ts

Don’t let the operators work on machines they aren’t familiar with, even if they have industry experience. You should give them some time to familiarize themselves with the machines.

Lubricant and coolant

Dos

Check the coolant regularly and use the right amount for smooth operation. You will also have to use the recommended amount of lubricant for the machine. Such information is usually available in the user manual.

Don’ts

A highly concentrated coolant can damage the machine and its components, so avoid using it. Also, refrain from using cheap lubricants. Make sure to choose an option that is compatible with your machine.

These are the CNC plasma table exploring materials dos and don’ts you should know. The most important things are operating the machine carefully and ensuring a safe environment.

If you know the basics, you can start on the right note. As you gain experience in the field, things will get easier. But as a beginner, you may not know which materials are ideal for CNC machining based on your needs. 

CNC Plasma Table Exploring Materials: Dos and Don’ts
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Zoran Zeremski

Conclusion

We hope you have found this article helpful and got clarity on your doubts. We have explained the CNC plasma table exploring materials dos and don’ts in detail to help you work on your projects efficiently.

Each product and part has a specific purpose and may need to withstand extreme conditions. This is why it’s important to choose the right material according to the requirements. 

If you have read this article carefully, you will know which material suits the task, as we have discussed the important factors one should consider when choosing CNC machining materials. 

If you take care of these small things, the final product will likely last longer and serve the purpose.

 Simon Patterson

Simon Patterson

Simon Patterson is the owner and founder of Squickmon's Engineering & Engineering. With over 15 years of fabrication and manufacturing experience, alongside a mechanical engineering degree, he knows exactly what it takes to create a quality product for small fabrication shops as well as large industrial manufacturing companies. He set out to create a company that stands by their products with confidence as well as integrity. His goal was to build a company with a strong foundation, quality product, satisfied customers, and a product that is 100 percent designed and built in the USA.

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