Cutting Aluminum First Time

Someone has asked me to cut a sign out of aluminum plate. I have a ShopeOKO Pro.
Any advice from someone who has done this on how to approach this.
Cutting speed, depth of cut, bits used. Any special setup or cooling needed.
I have never done any aluminum cutting.

Any input would be appreciated

What cutter, and what grade of aluminum.

I cut a lot of aluminum using O-flute single flute cutters. (Both endmills & ballmills)
ZrN or Spektra coated tools. Kool-mist coolant/lubricant. Here are my parameters for 6061T6:

1/8" 15000 RPM, 60 IPM, 0.010 DOC, 0.060 Stepover (or 0.060 DOC, 0.010 Step for adaptive)
1/4" 12000 RPM, 60 IPM, 0.020 DOC, 0.120 Stepover (or vice versa for adaptive)
1/2" 9000 RPM, 60 IPM, 0.050 DOC, 0.200 Step ( or 0.200 DOC, 0.025 Step for adaptive)

Some guys will bump up the RPM & IPM & keep the same chipload. I’m not in a big hurry & these speeds keep the tool nice & cool. Longer tool life -vs- faster tool paths.


Not sure what cutters or material as i haven’t got the design yet. So you have to use a coolant. How do you do that. Seems like it would make a holy mess on the machine. Do you have some way of applying it.

Coolant can help, and may be necessary for some alloys, but I’ve cut 6061 w/ the alu. defaults for single flute tooling in Carbide Create w/o difficulties.



A friend tried to cut this with a torch. I have no idea what type of Aluminum it was but it was pretty thick.

I used the O flute that came in the package I bought with the machine. Sorry for the lack of info it’s been almost a year since we did this.

This was the only time I cut aluminum and used WD40 if I heard any chattering and it cut like butter.
This plate was for heating and shielding parts on a game console motherboard when heating the board for repair.

Since we only had sort of an idea of the dimensions he needed I cut some plastic pieces the same size as a pattern before the aluminum.

When you’re cutting aluminum for the first time on a ShopOKO Pro, setting your spindle speed around 16,000 to 18,000 RPM will give you a smoother cut. Start with a shallow depth of cut, about 0.5 mm per pass, and adjust based on the machine’s performance. Carbide bits, especially a single-flute or two-flute upcut spiral bit, are great for clearing chips and preventing the aluminum from melting onto the bit. Make sure to use some coolant or a misting setup to keep things cool and reduce sticking. Also, ensure your aluminum plate is securely clamped and place a sacrificial layer underneath to protect the bed during through cuts. You can check this guide[1] for additional insights in handling aluminum.

1 - beskamold com/case-studies-cnc-machining-aluminum-parts/