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Milling an aluminum gantry prototype

We recently ordered a set of end mills designed for aluminum and got around to putting one of them through the paces. It worked exceptionally well, letting us cut a lot more aggressively than we were able to with standard multi-purpose carbide end mills.

At first we did some testing, pushing the end mill with different speeds and feeds. We were able to push the machine to 1mm depth of cut and around 800mm/min feed rates. While having chips weld itself to the end mill was a problem with older end mills, we didn’t have any problems with the new end mills.

With this project, we found the middle ground and used a 0.5mm depth of cut at 600mm/min on quarter inch 6061 aluminum.

So what did we learn? End mills for aluminum work really well on aluminum (obviously) and that we can put the Mill One a lot harder through aluminum than we thought we could as long as things are set up right.

Need help with speeds and feeds? Make sure to check out our Facebook group for help!