technical tip of the week

Technical Tip of the Week: The Importance of Using a Cutting Strategy

Have you ever tried to make a cake by mixing the wet and dry ingredients together, at the same time? Probably not. The strategy to making any cake-based dessert succeed is to separate the wet ingredients from the dry, and to bring a healthy appetite. Your CNC Router cutting strategy works in a similar way. Understand a few basic machine fundamentals, select the correct cutting tools and perform regular checkups. Add a dash of unfettered enthusiasm, and there you have it – a sure fire way of creating a cutting strategy that works best for you. In this week’s tech tip, we’ll take a look at all the ingredients you’re going to need to ensure your cutting strategy is a hit every time.

Step 1 – Learn the Fundamentals

Take the time to understand how your machine is configured. Remember – vibration is the enemy and should be avoided at all costs. Use a high-quality servo motor, a helical rack and pinion system to produce outstanding cut quality and reduce vibration levels.

For further details, read How to Avoid Bad Cut Edges When Using CNC Routers– Part One

Step 2 – Minimize Movement

Before you start cutting, take a good look at your router deck – is it free of dust and chips? If not, start cleaning.  You’ll also need to use the right sacrificial board and examine it regularly, to check for cutter marks and ensure the surface is skimmed smoothly. Don’t forget to check for plumbing leaks.

For more information, read How to Avoid Bad Cut Edges When Using CNC Routers – Part Two

Step 3 – Choose the Perfect Cutter

Confused about which cutter to choose? Give us a call. We’re here to answer all your cutting questions, whether it’s about tool fit and size, understanding the difference between upcut versus downcut spirals, when to use a cold air gun and selecting the right speed and sharpness.

For additional details, read How to Avoid Bad Cut Edges When Using CNC Routers – Part Three

Step 4 – Keep up the maintenance

An important part of creating a cutting strategy is to make sure you perform regular maintenance checks of your machine consistently. Ensure the drives are properly greased to minimize wear and tear on the rack and pinion, reducing tool vibration.  Follow a schedule and stick to it. If you need a refresher, give us a call. We’ll show you how to review important inspection checkpoints that will help extend the life of your router and tools for many years to come.

For an overview of all these steps, read How to Avoid Bad Cut Edges When Using CNC Router – Part Four

Interested in more tips about improving your cutting quality?

Watch videos on How to Avoid a Poor Finish When Cutting Acrylic or How to Avoid a Poor Finish When Cutting Aluminum.