Tools for CNC Cutting and Shaping of Thermoplastics
Machining thermoplastics like PVC, ABS, acrylic and polypropylene is a lot like working with wood in that, there can be so much variation between batches from different vendors that it is virtually impossible to come up with optimized feeds and speeds that will work in all situations.
On the positive side, there are usually enough similarities between different lots of the same type of thermoplastic that general purpose guidelines can be found to get you started. However, for those of us who want to squeeze the last drop of performance out of our CNC routers, nothing beats chasing down the "perfect" combination of RPM and feed rate(chipload) whenever we embark on a new project. To that end, we developed the "Sweetspot Test". It really works and repays the time you spend by reducing bit breakage, improving cut quality and increasing the productivity of you cutting operation.
Tool Family: MM204
Deep cutting end-mills optimized for shaping the sheet goods commonly used in the manufacture of dimensional signage, including HDU and PVC. The flute geometry has been tuned to insure smooth cutting and low deflection under high chip loads.
Designed to work together, the fish tail bit is a high-performance roughing tool while the ball cutter is intended for clean-up and fine surface finishing. Both bits can be used as stand-alone cutters for single pass, high-speed cutting and shaping .
Tool Family: MM3316
3-flute deep cutting end-mills designed for cutting thermoplastics used in packaging and thermoforming. The flute geometry has been tuned to insure smooth cutting and low deflection under high chip loads.
Tool Families: CM204, CM304, CM404
The 1/4 in. shank with 1.00 in. depth of cut (DOC, CM304 and CM404) are designed for deep machining in large format dimensional signage as well as very detailed carving of architectural components, back-lit lithophanes and other decorative items.
Although the geometry of these tools was optimized for cutting and shaping hardwoods, they are equally at home machining plastics, phenolic composites, unfired ceramics and aluminum.
Tool Families: EM2D8, EM2E8 & EM2E4
Designed specifically for the dimensional signage and egraving markets, 2-flute solid-carbide "V" cutters feature polished, high-rake cutting edges capable of producing a surface finish suitable for edge-lit transparent signs and plaques. Edge finishes are typically smooth and free of chatter.
High flute volume and precisely shaped ejection paths support high chiploads in a wide variety of sign making substrates. Precise "V" angle formation (±0.2°) permits either single-pass or multi-pass cutting without fear of steps or streaks.
This tool family combines large flute volumes and high-shear flute geometries to produce clean, chatter-free cuts in most thermoplastics with little, or no, melting of the swarf. High feed-rates at moderate RPM (12K - 40K) offer significant productivity gains over conventional tooling.
Tool Families: MP103 & MP108
Optimized for high-speed cutting of thermoplastics, the very high rake angle and large flute volume make this the perfect cutter for virtually all thermoplastics, even polycarbonate (Lexan®). These tools are particularly useful for cutting plastics with low melting temperatureswhen using CNC routers with limited RPM and/or feed rate controls.
These tools excel at cutting materials that tend to fray or chip during machining.
Tool Family: MM208
High-rake 2-flute cutters optimized for cutting and shaping most soft plastics, especially high temperature materials that do not melt when being cut with moderate chip loads. The flute geometry supports relatively high chip-loads and efficient swarf extraction.
Tool families: DC208, DC2M8
Like all of our cutters, PreciseBIT PCB drills are made using the finest grade submicrograin carbide. Sizes ranging from 0.008 in. (0.2mm) to 0.250 in. (6.35mm) are available from stock. Diameters down to 0.001 in. (25 micron) are available upon request. Slotting drills and high aspect ratio tools are available on a special order basis.
Tool family: EM4E8
4-flute tools designed to produce chatter-free counter sunk holes with no edge fraying in G10, carbon fiber and phenolic substrates. The cutting edge geometry generates virtually zero lifting forces making the tools compatible with thin sheet goods.