6 Essential tips for CNC Milling Machine Beginners

Are you just a starter in the use of a CNC milling machine? Firstly, remember that using a milling machine can practically develop different clock parts, guitar parts, and even bicycle hubs; you need to invest just some of your time and effort, and with practice, you will become a master. However, as a beginner, you must watch for many precautions, as building such complex CNC machines will surely ease your efforts. Hereunder are some guidelines you should consider when planning to commence your first project. Have a look at them:

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Avoid using stainless steel – switch to aluminum, brass, or mild steel.

Stainless steel is hard when it comes to making cuts. Therefore, you must stay away from its use. Instead, it would help if you practiced making cuts by initiating them using softer materials like aluminum, ass, or even mild steel. And when you feel confident about making cuts, you can return to stainless steel.

Buy a quality Vise and Clamping kit.

You may take Vises as a costly resource, but you can keep it safe for several years once bought. Workholding is essential, and without using a quality vise, it is incomplete. Combined with it comes a clamping kit, which will help mount your vise to the T-slots of your table. All these are necessary to keep the part intact and not let it shift out of position.

Learning the use of MDI is a must.

Manual Data Input, or MDI, boosts productivity and saves ample time. It is quite easy to learn, and once you have set some fundamental g-codes and adjusted your X, Y, and Z coordinates, the machine will start moving as you move the axes. This movement of the device is known as Rapids. This way, the cutter will move exactly where you want it to go.

Use a misting setup for coolant.

A misting setup is crucial to prevent chip buildup as it will help extend the life of your cutters and aid in avoiding the breakage of the blades. While some machines have an inbuilt coolant, perhaps some still don’t. Look for a misting coolant with your setup, and if your CNC milling machine does not have it, you can set it up yourself. A micro-drop system is quite effective as it will vaporize the coolant when it hits the workpiece.

Buy instruments to measure accuracy.

Accuracy is the most desired characteristic when making cuts using the milling machine. For this very purpose, you must purchase a speed calculator that can accurately measure the speed of the spindles. Besides, the right feed rate is vital to ensure the machine is set to the correct feed rate from the beginning. Thus, you must provide the use of these instruments, which verifies that you are very particular about giving preference to precision.

Use decent quality cutters.

With the rise in the use of CNC milling machines, there has been a consistent growth in the manufacturing of cutters. Thus, it is recommended that you buy only supreme quality cutters so that no problems occur due to using a cheap knife. While you don’t need to buy some luxurious edge since it is just your beginning, it is still highly recommended that you develop a decent bite.


Writer. Extreme twitter advocate. Hipster-friendly food expert. Internet aficionado. Earned praised for my work analyzing Yugos for the government. Spent 2002-2008 short selling glucose with no outside help. Spent several months developing strategies for xylophones in Ocean City, NJ. What gets me going now is supervising the production of cod in Cuba. Spoke at an international conference about supervising the production of inflatable dolls in Hanford, CA. Spent two years short selling cabbage in Tampa, FL.