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Author Topic: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!  (Read 7746 times)

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Offline simpson36

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Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 04:09:44 PM »
If by 0 flute, you mean a burr type cutter (for fiberglass/carbon fiber. etc) definately not.

I would suggest for acrylic that you use high speed steel straight single flute.

You can use a two flute spiral cutter if your stock is thick enough to not try and climb up the cutter. It will be really tricky if you have a high speed spindle. When I have to cut plastic, I use the fastest feed that does not check up the edge and the fastest spindle speed that won't melt the plastic . .  which is usually still pretty slow.

I much prefer Polycarbonate as it is harder, stronger, and cuts fine with two flut end mills. Best again to use high speed steel made for aluminum which are high helix and poilshed.

Avoid carbide insert or brazed carbide cutters for soft plastics like acrylic unless you have some method of putting a razor edge on the carbide.

No matter what cutter, the best thing I have found for success is LOTS of very high velocity compressed air to keep the tool and the plastic cooled down and keep the chips from recutting or sticking to the tool. I've never used fluid on plastic so other than the caveat I mentioned previously, I can't comment on it's effectivness compared to air. 
Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 07:15:24 PM »
Apparently,  Canola cooking oil when used with a misting system has good results as a coolant / lubricant when cutting acrylic and alluminium.  I have used a dilute mix of Methelated Spirits and water, sprayed on with a hand spray bottle, as a coolant also with some success.  (keep it wet) ( be careful of spark swhen handling the metho!).   I agree with he other comments, you need to keep the chip loads high to allow the chips to take the heat away from the cutting tip.



Bruce

Offline Greolt

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Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 08:23:38 PM »

Offline 2bits

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Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2009, 11:46:01 PM »
I'm new here and just a hobbyist with this, but I spent weeks on this as 95% of what I'm currently working with is Acrylics.  I found as someone else said, you need CAST Acrylic and be careful, even some vendors or their employees don't realize the difference or it's not real clear what they are selling.  TAP sells only cast, a little pricey, but it will be cast.  I'm using 2 flute carbide bits I purchased from Precise Bits and I'm generally using bits 3mm and under.  For example, I run a .1181 2 flute end mill at around 8-12 ipm with the router speed around 25k with .04 passes and I get gorgeous chips with a nice clean edge.  I'm using no lubrication and having zero issues, sorry I can't help with extruded, I gave up on it as I couldn't come up with the right combination and using cast is so much easier. 
Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 03:01:15 AM »
We are  cutting acrylic successfully with O-cut (single flute) cutters. Keep the  plunge moves slow to prevent the acrylic broken only. Speed is around 18000 rev/min . Spindle concentricity is very important to get smooth finish.Othervise you will see rough surface.  With 5 mm cutter you can go 25mm/sec. Last thing do not use climb milling. Conventional milling gives better result.

Offline Dan13

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Re: Routing Acrylic!!! Please Help!
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 12:42:30 PM »
Like it has been said here, you have to use razor sharp cutters for plastics. High helix cutters designed for aluminum work well. The feedrate should be very fast - about 3 times faster than for aluminum with a given cutter diameter and spindle speed. For example, I am limited on my mill to 2000RPM, and I found that a feedrate of 600mm/min with a 6mm cutter gives a nice finish.

Daniel