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Hobby CNC vs Metal? LongMill MK2 carving a goddess into 6061 Aluminum

Hey everyone, over the past few weeks our engineers have been busy putting together feeds and speeds for the more rigid LongMill MK2, and Johann (one of the engineers) has decided to run the ultimate stress test by cutting a Versace Medallion in 6061 aluminum. The project features some big roughing cuts as well as precise finishing moves using four different cutting tools and we’d like to share the stunning results with you.

We used Fusion360 to generate the toolpath for this carve and the machining time was approximately 30 hours.

Click the links below to check out our new feeds and speeds page and see more information on the tools used.

1/4″ Single Flute Upcut End Mill

1/8″ Single Flute Upcut End Mill

1/8″ Ball Upcut End Mill

1/8″ D0.5mm Tapered Ball End Mill

Steps to engrave aluminum using your LongMill:

  1. Turn on REST machining and use climb milling when generating any of the following toolpaths.
  2. Perform roughing with the first 3 tools using our suggested feeds and speeds. Leaving ~0.3mm of stock on all sides of the model. Use slotting step-down values for all 3 tools and values in the engraving section for the ⅛” ball end mill.
  3. Optionally, run an additional parallel toolpath using the ⅛” ball end mill after you have completed roughing with the tool, again leaving ~0.3mm of stock on all sides (this will save you heaps of time running the ⅛” tapered bit).
  4. Switch to the ⅛” tapered bit and run a roughing pass LEAVING ZERO STOCK. Feeds and speeds for cutting aluminum with a tapered bit is experimental so it’s only listed here at this time.
    17000RPM | 1000mm/min Feedrate | 320mm/min Plunge Feedrate | 0.1mm Stepover | 0.12mm Stepdown
  5. Shift your machine zero downwards by 0.12mm and run the finishing pass. You will need to lower your stepover to 0.02mm and exclusively use climb milling to obtain a good surface finish.