If you want to create anything on your machine, you're going to need to learn some of the basics on cutting tools. These cutters are used by the Mill One's router to carve away at materials in order to make the object you're trying to create.
Creating a project with a nice surface finish on any CNC router usually comes with its difficulties. With the Mill One, we've continued applying our industry experience so that your chances of success when creating something awesome are as high as possible.
Most CNC cutting tools can be thought of like drill bits. However, not only can these cutting tools drill downward like drill bits, they can usually cut side-to-side as well. This enables the CNC router to cut away material in any fashion required to make your final 3D object.
When cutting material with a rotating bit, you can imagine that going too slow will dull or break the bit very quickly. For example, imagine trying to cut through a plank of wood with a saw except instead of moving the saw back and forth you're just trying to push it directly through. Similarly, a bit that's moving too fast can burn or melt the material that you're cutting. Finding a happy medium between these two extremes is a balancing act between three main factors:
- How quickly the tool is translating (feed rate/plunge rate)
- How fast the tool is spinning (spindle speed)
- How much material the tool is removing at any given time (depth of cut & step over)
Each of these factors must be suited to the properties of the material that you're cutting; cutting through foam can happen much faster than cutting aluminum. We generalize these variables under the term 'feeds and speeds', and each cutting tool has a different set of ideal feeds and speeds.
Since there are so many different types and sizes of cutting tools, we've created a list below of just 3 different cutting tools that we strongly recommend to get started on your Mill One. We've created feed and speed tables for these tools for cutting in various materials so that you can copy/paste the values you need for your first projects. If you're looking to get started with this recommended list, all of these tools can be found for purchase in our store!
With one of these tools in hand, you can start making cool and good-looking things on your Mill One without added complexity! Ensure that any cutting tool you end up using is installed as deeply as possible into the router, with a bare-minimum of 3/8” of the tool being inside the router for light cuts.