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Possible Reasons for Broken Cutters in CNC Machines
by Nice Rapid | Feb 25,2021 | CNC Machining

CNC machines are mostly known for being sturdy and robust, but in actual truth, they are quite intricate and delicate machinery. One of the most vital parts of the whole CNC machining process is the cutters, the cutters are quite well-known for their constant breakdown which not only delays the production process but also impacts the overall manufacturing performance.

Normally, we tend to blame other components of the CNC machines such as speeds and feed of each cutter but in an actual sense, it's the cutter itself that might have a problem. One of the key reasons why the cutters tend to get damaged is the lack of knowledge on how to handle these machines and the misuse.

Broken cutters have been a major thorn in plenty of CNC machining operations. For this reason, we are going to briefly highlight the possible reasons for broken cutters as well as ways on how to mitigate them.

Excessive runout

Run-out is a major problem for small and medium-sized machines, this mainly happens when the cutter rotates off-center instead of being with the axis that it's supposed to have. The end-result being plenty of unwanted chips that are very thick with a lot of pressure specifically on the flutes that break down eventually.

Most engineers and technicians try to solve most issues arising from the run-out by minimizing the number of flutes, but quite frankly it's wrong and won't work. The only solution is measuring all the tool holders and replacing all the ones that don't align the way it's needed.

Improper and uneven lubrication

A lot of raw materials that pass through the CNC machines must be lubricated, when it comes to CNC machining; most material being used is metal. The most common type of metal used is aluminum, when it comes to blockage or clogging of cutters in most cases it's usually aluminum thus delivering a botched job.

If you haven't lubricated all the materials before passing them through CNC machines then the chances of making a very deep cut are very high. The number of chips will increase and spread out if the cutter is made from a metal that rivals the properties of the surface it’s working on are very likely that it will weld itself to it if you don’t lubricate it first.

Using a lot of flutes

For those working light materials, you tend to use a lot of flutes to increase the work rate. But doing so you’ll be hurting your machine. As we had mentioned earlier, you need to understand the correlation between the type of cutter being used and the material being used.

The more the number of flutes, the more likely your CNC machines are likely to clog, break and bind the cutters. Reducing the number of flutes will more than likely slow down the entire production process but it gets the job done in the long run without material wastage.

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