Carbon Fiber milling

First, yes I’m aware it’s a hazardous material to cut on a CNC.

My googling suggests to me a water bath is best. I’m thinking a cut down foil roasting pan tape/ca to wasteboard. A piece of 1/2” bb ply tape/ca to the pan (using water resistant tape suggested by Saunders) and CF sheet tape/ca to ply.

Add water to just cover the sheet and cut

Any better ways out there?


I think dust extraction on the router is sufficient for occasional, non production use. Butt up similar thickness material if you’re cutting close to the edge.

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Good to know. Still researching, appreciate your input.

I agree that good dust collection is workable for occasional use… with the caveat that you have at least a non-leaking 1 micron filter. Some shop vacs can be had with proper filters post motor or on the exhaust. I also thought that an online HEPA filter would be workable for light use. I haven’t tried it though.

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Winston did a thing recently:

One of the things I was looking at recently was doing something like this guy for the water bath.:


I think what I’ll do is print an adapter for my Festool HEPA. Mask up with my trusty 3M 2097/100 and try a couple of test cuts, see what develops.

Thanks all for your responses.

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If it is a one or two time thing, vent it outside.
If worried about the neighbors, place the vent hose in a 5 gallon bucket of water and cover it with a box.

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I’ve worked with composites most of my life as a profession, and simultaneously as a hobby. I definitely wont tell you that it isn’t dangerous, and I regret breathing as much of this garbage as I have, but I consider all particulates dangerous, and more so, chemical particulates i.e paint.

I do my best to mitigate the dust, I use dust extraction when I can, where a mask as often as possible, work wet when feasible, and make chemical bonds as much as possible. Peel ply. Prepreg. ect. The reality is, I use a zip wheel, air power recip saw, disc sander, grinder ect more often than not, and there is very little one can do to practically mitigate the dust from this in a non production environment, and difficult still in a production environment. I rarely if ever wear a space suit, too hot, too much sweat dripping into my material, I wear clothes that don’t enter my home. I wear a N95 with silicone face interface…(you can see the leaks on your face after a day of grinding regardless, snorting snow or dirt) or a full face mask when really going after it, ideally with supplied air. This is just the crap reality of working with the stuff outside of some dream made aerospace facility.

Machine shops have to consider their valuable machines, and this generally makes cutting CF with a spindle less than desirable. Additionally, such machining doesn’t typically fit the application of such products that well anyway. Water jet to cut flat stock, CNC fiber/hybrid laser or knife to precut fabric or prepreg, and 3d printed or mutliaxis routers for plug/mold making often fit the bill better.

My shop with the Shapeoko is a “clean space”. No enclosure on the machine. I wouldnt run the stuff all of the time, but I wouldn’t fret running it with one of my overpriced festools hooked up. But that’s me, and as I’ve demonstrated, I am not that smart.


I have not it myself, but use dust extraction with a proper filter on the vacuum. Also, I plan on building into my enclosure a place for air filtration, this would be as simple as a slide in Hepa filter, with a fan above it, pulling air out of the enclosure and filtering out particulates.

I do want to CNC Carbon Fiber, and this is my current plan.

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My issue is pretty simple compared to yours.

I’m just cutting an occasional quad copter frame. And, I agree, paint is the worst!


Just in case someone looks at this thread in the future.

Pragmatically, normal dust extraction would appear to be adequate for occasional CF milling.


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