Creating stunning carvings in acrylic plastic or wood has never been easier since manufacturers started using CNC machines. Think of every creative possibility for carvings, including signs, artwork, awards, emblems, frieze boards, box lids, and door panels, just to name a few.
A CNC machine will not just add interest and beauty to your project. It may also be a blast to watch as the machine dances along workpieces precisely and methodically, revealing a stunning carving.
So how can you get started with creating carvings using CNC machines?
At first, you will require digital images. You may create yours or get one online. Afterward, use the following tips to complete the project:
1. Understand the Programming of the Machine
Different computer numerical controlled machines come with different technical and coding requirements. Before you buy and use a CNC machine, you have to ensure that you understand the interface that comes with it. If you’re not familiarized with coding, complex systems might leave you surprised.
If another person is going to use the machine, they should be brought along when buying so they may see how it works and determine whether they may operate on the machine.
2. Use a Compression or Downcut Bit
There are a bit specially meant for CNC machines to use when carving. They are made to reduce splintering by changing the direction the cutters pull against the material you’re carving.
Downcut usually pushes down on the material, whereas upcut tends to pull up. This encourages splintering.
At the same time, compression bits will try pulling towards the center to ensure neither the bottom nor top of the material splinters. So when carving, use a compression bit for through cuts and a downcut bit for pockets.
3. Use the Right Software
Woodworking designs usually get translated to the production stage through G-code programming. Luckily, it is not a must you understand this language.
Easy-to-use Easel software may help achieve the goal and even so much more, including commanding and automating different processes involved in your carving project.
4. Watch Speed of the Spindle
You will need to use small shank tools with low-power spindle motors for good results. It will also be necessary to make sure the cutting speed is not too fast so as to reduce resistance when carving. If you want to increase the speed, use engraving tools with a large shank diameter.
5. Consider Going with Flow
The workflow of CNC machines breaks into several steps. Each step involves the use of software. These steps might appear challenging at first, with many details and settings to remember.
However, after you work through every step severally, it will become a routine, opening up more possibilities for creativity. By practicing, you will completely master the finer points of using your CNC machine and even expand your project accomplishments and skills.
CNC machining is among the oldest methods used in manufacturing. But it still attracts attention, making many industries use it these days. Since it has also experienced a lot of advancements, it is necessary to know how to use CNC machines in order to improve efficiency and increase production.