Feeds and Speeds Tutorial for CNC
Getting the best possible results from your CNC machine covers a lot of ground. To begin with, there are several different goals we might be trying to optimize for:
- Best Material Removal Rates
- Maximizing Tool Life
- Good surface finish
You'll need to decide what your priorities are among these three, as different techniques emphasize each goal and you can't necessarily get great surface finish, maximum material removal rates, and the best tool life all at once.
In this series of articles, we'll go through some CNC Cookbook recipes that help you optimize for your goals, whatever they may be.
Note: This section supercedes my old Mill Surface Finish page and Lathe Surface Finish pages together with tons of new material I've collected since writing the original pages were written. It's also been broken down into more bite-sized pieces. It's still under construction, but once it's finished, I'll replace the old Mill Surface Finish page with this much broader set of articles.
||Table of Contents
Here are the articles available for maximizing your CNC machining productivity.
signifies the most popular articles in each section if you want to skip ahead!
Basics Every Machinist Should Know
Basic Concepts for Beginners: You gotta start somewhere!
Chiploads, Surface Speed, and Other Concepts: Key concepts and terminology.
Calculating Feeds and Speeds: How do you calculate your feeds and speeds? (Hint: Use a state of the art Speeds and Feeds Calculator)
INFOGRAPHIC: Why you need a Feeds and Speeds Calculator
Toolroom vs Manufacturing Feeds and Speeds: Do you know the difference between toolroom and manufacturing feeds and speeds?
Coolant and Chip Clearing: Best practices for coolant and chip clearing on the mill.
What Now: My CNC Won't Go Slow Enough or Fast Enough? CNC Router and DIY users especially, check this one out. These are workarounds for cases when you can't get to the right feeds and speeds because your machine can't feed fast enough or turn the spindle slow enough. It's a blog post, not part of the tutorial, but it can really help.
Turning Down the Heat in a Cut: Reducing heat prolongs tool life.
Dry Machining: Yes, you can machine without flood coolant. Often, it's even better.
Tool Deflection Control: Critical to Your Success: Are you in control of tool deflection, or is it something that just happens?
Climb Milling vs Conventional Milling: There are times when Conventional is better!
Toolpath Considerations: How is your CAM program treating your tooling?
Why Use a Single Flute Endmill? Another one for CNC Router users, though regular mill users may find it useful. This is a blog post, and not directly part of this series.
Ballnosed Tools and 3D Profiling: This is a great guest post to our blog on how to choose a stepover when 3D profiling.
How To Choose a Stepover: Thoughts on how to optimize your stepover for best finish and shorter toolpaths.
Twist Drill Feeds and Speeds: Delving into the considerations for twist drill feeds and speeds.
V-Bits, Dovetails, and Other Exotic Cutters: Finding feeds and speeds for these less often used cutters.
High Speed Machining: Tool Engagement Angle, Trochoidal Milling, Peeling, and all that Jazz.
Dealing With Chatter When Milling: Fixing Chatter via Rigidity or Tuning Speeds and Feeds.
Micro-Machining: How to avoid breaking those tiny little cutters.
Advantages and Pitfalls of Rigid Tapping
Button Cutters, Copy Mills, Bullnoses, and Toroidal Cutters: Good discussion of these tools and their feeds and speeds. This is a blog post and not directly part of the Tutorial series.
Long Reach Tools, Thin Walls, and Other Rigidity Challenges
Milling Tough Materials
Using a Cutting Knowledge Base to Beat Manufacturer's Recommended Feeds and Speeds
CNCCookbook Blogs Posts Relating to Feeds and Speeds: Lots more in-depth information in bite-sized posts.
10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success: Take these shortcuts and skip a lot of pain.
Tips for Getting the Best CNC Milling Surface Finish: And the truth about mirror finishes.
Feeds and Speeds for Fly Cutters and Manual Mills: Tips and tricks for using G-Wizard with Manual Mills
7 Software Excuses for Bad Surface Finishes: It isn't just about Feeds and Speeds.
Maximizing Material Removal Rates
Tips for Longer Tool Life
Recipes for Increasing Workholding Rigidity
Recipes for Toolholders and Tooling
CNC vs Manual Cutting Speeds: Why is CNC so much harder to figure out?
A Quick Video Course in Feeds and Speeds
Try the Free Trial Version of G-Wizard Speeds and Feeds Calculator...
No credit card required--just your name and email.