milling aluminum

Hey there,

Im going to be milling some 1.5mm thick sheet of aluminum 6061 using a 2 flute 1/36 carbide endmill.

What kind of settings would you recommend? as far as feedrate, how deep to go on each pass etc.

Im using a dewalt dw660.


edit: this is what i will be milling: (just the parts at the top where it says to use 1.5mm metal.

Should I use holding tabs for all of those square cutouts? and the circle cutouts as well?

I should start with no more than .2mm of DOC, slowest rpms you can get from the router and no more than 4 or 5 mm/sec.
I have never tried 1/36 end mills with aluminum. Pay attention to how the cut “sounds” and be prepared for losing a few bits.

1/32?! Holy cow, I can’t wait to see the detail. That is going to be crazy.

Thanks for all of the feedback… trying to decide if its better to cut the outlines of the squares in the center of the peice or if its better to start from the center and mill out all of the material.

Just worried about pieces flying about if i only mill the outline…

Any suggestions? Was also thinking a tab on the top and bottom of each individual square piece.

Mill the outline, and use holding tabs.

Are you sure you need such a small tool for that, I am honestly not sure what is possible with a 1/32" mill? It will be much much easier with a larger tool.

Where did you find a 1/32nd mill?

Tried doing it with a 1/16 endmill that snapped on the final pass :’(

I wasn’t using any lubrication or coolant. I was too scared to stand next to the machine as I thought the endmill might snap and go flying.

The reason for doing this with a 1/32 endmill is because the cutouts are meant to fit something specific and im afraid that if i go 1/16 or larger that it may alter the shape of the cutouts too much.

Should I try a slower speed (mm per second)? Use wd-40? maybe .1 or .15 depth per pass?

A smaller endmill is more difficult to use. Meaning the CAM and the machine need to be much more precise.

Check the smallest radius you need to cut and match it to the tools radius.

Really can’t give anymore help than that without tons more details.