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First Time Machining Copper


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So I've been primarily machining A-2, 4140, D-2, etc. but I have a 14 inch wide 2 inch thick plate that needs a ton of milling. Any starting points for someone new to the material? I linked the file for what I'm making. Its expensive material and I'm trying not to mess it up.

EXAMPLE.mcam

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For speeds and feeds start by looking at tool manufacturer recommends.

For e.g. Imco 3 flute streaker 1/2" dia non-coated sfm 500 for slotting, 575 for peripheral roughing and

feed per tooth of .004 to .005" 

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30 minutes ago, AHarrison1 said:

For speeds and feeds start by looking at tool manufacturer recommends.

For e.g. Imco 3 flute streaker 1/2" dia non-coated sfm 500 for slotting, 575 for peripheral roughing and

feed per tooth of .004 to .005" 

All my endmills are carbide 4 flute, and pardon my ignorance but could i get by with those or will i have to order 3 flute? 

https://www.osgtool.com/exocarb-wxl-3670?page=offering_details&number=36702611&combination=21190

Here is what we use at the moment.

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For one or 2 parts you can get away with 4F, but if you have a lot of parts and you want to go fast you need 2F or 3F.  Its worse than aluminum as far as the chips welding to the tool.  Also depends on which copper your machining.  

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14 hours ago, AMCNitro said:

For one or 2 parts you can get away with 4F, but if you have a lot of parts and you want to go fast you need 2F or 3F.  Its worse than aluminum as far as the chips welding to the tool.  Also depends on which copper your machining.  

 

14 hours ago, #Rekd™ said:

No you want something like this.

https://www.helicaltool.com/products/browse-by-product-name/aluminum-non-ferrous-materials/h45al-3

I only have 3 to make, Say I drill out the bulk of the slots and holes so my actual cuts are .03-.05 a side, would that reduce chip load enough to get away with my current tooling? For most of the perimeter cuts ill be using a 2 inch insert shoulder mill so that's no problem. just worried mostly about my cutter blowing up mid slot,

The picture below shows my holes.

copper plate.PNG

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17 hours ago, BradyCNC said:

So I've been primarily machining A-2, 4140, D-2, etc. but I have a 14 inch wide 2 inch thick plate that needs a ton of milling. Any starting points for someone new to the material? I linked the file for what I'm making. Its expensive material and I'm trying not to mess it up.

EXAMPLE.mcam 800.78 kB · 4 downloads

Is the material round stock or rectangular? If it's round it more than likely 145 material and that cuts nicely. If it's rectangular it's more than likely 110 material and that loves to hold stress so you will need to take lighter cuts. The part looks rather stable though.

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3 hours ago, BradyCNC said:

 

I only have 3 to make, Say I drill out the bulk of the slots and holes so my actual cuts are .03-.05 a side, would that reduce chip load enough to get away with my current tooling? For most of the perimeter cuts ill be using a 2 inch insert shoulder mill so that's no problem. just worried mostly about my cutter blowing up mid slot,

The picture below shows my holes.

copper plate.PNG

The holes would help, but then how much time are you wasting on drilling, to then just use the same toolpath as if you didn't drill?   I would do like Rekd said, contour ramp and call it a day.  Im curious as to which copper it is.  110 copper is PITA to cut, I hate it. 145 (telleriium copper) cuts really nice.  

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If that's beryllium copper mask and coveralls up. That's some nasty stuff. You may also have a hard time getting rid of the coolant if it becomes known what you were machining. We no longer machine that crap.

The speeds, feeds and depth of cut will need to be slowed down also.

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21 minutes ago, Tim Johnson said:

If that's beryllium copper mask and coveralls up. That's some nasty stuff.

100% agree...also...if you get any splinters or cuts from it of chips...make sure it is all cleaned out and disinfected...you can get blood poisoning from it as well...

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So once machined the coolant will need disposed of differently? can anyone link specifics so I can inform my management team? Or can I just look up the SDS on it? Once again apologies for my ignorance but I'm solo here and I've inherited the department with a pretty low skill ceiling. I'm learning on the job haha.

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If you are machining beryllium copper your management should train you on the proper safety precautions to take in machining and handling it.  It they aren't doing that I would be really concerned.  As for machining copper, it moves a ton so I typically rough to near net size, then finish everything at the end with sharp finishers.  I use the same tools on copper that I use for aluminum and make sure the finishing tools are really sharp.  Dull and worn tools will make it warp more.  It is also hard on tools so be on the lookout for tool wear.  I have never machined beryllium copper so I'm not sure how this applies to that stuff.

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They're a amazing company to work for and would never knowingly put me in a bad situation, My predecessor was here for 20 years and was family to management so his sudden leaving left us picking up the pieces. My taking over of the department was very sudden and a lot of the information was held by the man who left and I never got to learn it. So management is learning right along with me now that we're without his knowledge. I work in tool and die so I'm the only one here who knows CNC and I'm ALWAYS learning and looking to improve the Dept. Its why I lean on these forums so often. All of your info is greatly appreciated. I would've gone into this assuming copper is copper so I'm definitely glad I reached out here. Now I can approach it safely. 

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On 8/1/2022 at 6:32 AM, BradyCNC said:

The material is round stock, 14in diameter, 2in thick. Paperwork says class 3 copper. 

They make a class 3 Beryllium free copper.

https://nsrw.com/metal-types/beryllium-free-copper-18000/

Need to check the specifics of what you are cutting so you can be 100% sure. Should have a Material certification that came with the stock to know.

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So I've reached out to get specifics on the copper so I can make sure its disposed of properly, I've got a 3 flute 7/16 cutter so I can ramp those slots and its running now. Thank you all for your assistance. Lets see how it goes!

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On 8/6/2022 at 6:25 AM, BradyCNC said:

SUCCESS!!

The darn photo wont upload... but ive finished the first one with no issues.

Need to use the choose file option to upload it. You cannot drag and drop photos anymore on this forum is link to outside sites. The slow death of the forum.

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On 8/7/2022 at 1:42 PM, crazy^millman said:

Need to use the choose file option to upload it. You cannot drag and drop photos anymore on this forum is link to outside sites. The slow death of the forum.

You can still drag & drop pictures, you just have to drag them into the correct spot.

Capture.PNG

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