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Possible Reasons for the Breakdown of Cutters on CNC Machines

by Nice Rapid | Dec 07,2020 | CNC Machining

At first glance of most CNC machines is they appear to look very robust and sturdy, but this couldn't be further from the truth; they are quite delicate pieces of machines. One of the major features of the machines that tend to breakdown regularly is the cutters, in case of a breakdown your production process will have to be halted.

For beginners and novices, they blamed the feeds, but one of the major contributing factors is the improper use and mishandling of these CNC machines. For this post, we are going to tackle a few issues that will prevent the breakdown of your CNC machining process. 

Excessive runout

For medium-sized and small machines, runout is usually a major problem. This will only happen if the cutter will rotate off the center rather than on its aligned axis. The result of this is usually plenty of unwanted chips that are very thick and heavy and it also increases the pressure exerted on the flutes causing constant breakdown.

Most engineers and technicians always try to solve the issue of runouts but reducing the number of flutes, but in my honest opinion, it's the wrong move. The proper way of dealing with these persistent problems is by measuring all the tool holders and replacing the ones that are worn out.

Steel metal automotive parts cutting machine

Improper lubrication

A lot of materials that pass through the CNC machines have to be lubricated, most of the materials used are usually made of metals. When it comes to botching up a job or clogging of the cutters, aluminum is usually the main suspect.

For technicians who don’t lubricate the materials before passing them onto the CNC machines, the moment the machines make a big cut it will mostly result in the spreading out and increase in the number of chips.

If the cutter is made from metals that exceed the properties of the working area, it's highly likely that it will weld itself if no lubrication is done.

Lack of chip clearance

Chip clearance is one of the most overlooked features by technicians, but as you know; the CNC machining process comes with its fair share of plenty of chips especially for those working on solid surfaces.

The consistency of the resultant chips is quite strong as the materials used, even the tiniest of chips found in the wrong place can significantly damage your cutter since it will cause accumulation creating something known as "hardened carbide land mine” which increases the accumulation of heat on the tool holders causing the material being worked on to expand and hamper the specification requested by the client. 

Usage of plenty of flutes 

If you are especially working on light metals and using a lot of flutes at the same time to improve your work rate, you are most probably going to overwork your machines. You need to establish the link between the material being worked on and the type of cutters used in your CNC machining project.

The more the flutes used in light materials are most likely to cause a clog, break, or bind the cutters. Reducing the number of flutes is likely to slow down your CNC machining process but it will get the job done.

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