Face milling aluminum question

Is there something similar to tormach superfly for nomad? Do you do face milling on the top surface to make it pretty?

I don’t think that the Nomad is going to be successful with a fly cutter. The needed torque isn’t available.

2 Likes

The torque isn’t there on the Nomad as @enl_public mentioned .
1/4" tooling can stall the Nomad on aluminum.
The leverage of a larger flycutter/face mill would only make matters worse.

Best bet is to keep a nice and sharp endmill for facing/finishing operation to get a clean finish.
Using the same endmill that you use to rough/plunge will likely leave a less than ideal face.

Got it. Thank you. What would be a good endmill for this?

Reaching into the dim past early on the micromark fly cutter has been tried with various very soft materials with some limited success (make sure to check out the thread link inside this link as well)

That being said I think all would agree you will probably have better luck just using an endmill on harder materials. Light finishing cut with a sharp stub endmill (yes, I am addicted to stub end mills these days for the increased rigidity)

A 1/8" or 3mm short endmill. For surfacing, small depth-of-cut final pass is what does it. If you can, a stubby like @PhilG suggests gives a finer finish.

A basic 2 flute is fine.

For better performance, a coated tool will reduce friction and clear chips better than a plain one, and the edge will hold up better. Coatings do several things, but on a carbide tool, the key ones are reduced friction and reduced adhesion. Reduced friction allows chips to clear more readily and reduces heat to the tool, and reduced adhesion controls build-up on the cutting edge and flute surface. See a supplier catalog for recommendations, but my go to for many things is TiCN (titanium carbo-nitride). It is hard, pretty slick (not the slickest, though), suitable for a wide variety of materials that for stringy chips (aluminum, many plastics), and hold up well. Many people prefer TiN for everything.

Watch out for coatings that are not material-compatible, like TiAlN.

Even for a very fine cut, I’m not sure a higher flute count will help, as when surfacing you get drag on the retreating side. I have not tried a 3 or 4 flute on the Nomad to find out.

Would 3/16 or 4 and 5mm endmills be a compromise between efficiency and ensuring that one does not exceed the power available from the Nomad Spindle?

You should be fine @luc.onthego

I would imagine you can get away with a 1/4" tool as well if you have good lead ins and very low depth of cut(s). However as mentioned before it is not as forgiving due to the available torque - so if something is slightly out of line it will become apparent (stall/etc).

Another item to consider are endmills with a wiper flat and corner radii. These leave better finish and eliminate the known area to wear first the corner tip.

What would be a good stubby endmill to get for this?

I use a 10 mm face mill successfully on Aluminium (this one: https://www.sorotec.de/shop/Zerspanungswerkzeuge/sorotec-werkzeuge/Planfraeser/)

I use 10,000 rpm spindle speed and 1000mm/min (39.37 in/min) feedrate at a maximum cutting depth of 0.2 mm (0.00787 in).

Very important: this tool only cuts on its sides, it cannot be plunged into the stock at all, so it must always be assured that the tool path approaches the stock from an open side. If this is not possible, I had success with pre-milling a sufficiently large hole in the stock from where the tool path can start.

This works so well for me that I occasionally use that mill for roughing if I need to get rid of lots of material and the part allows it (like cutting a very large diameter hole). Overall this leads to quicker results than using a 1/8 inch tool.

2 Likes

That is very very interesting! Would not have thought the Nomad would have the power to mill with that!

Unfortunately I am traveling so don’t have the details on the stubs I use - I do remember for the 1/4” stub its overall length is 1.5” (the shortest I could find) with 1/4” flute length. The 1/8” stub is 1” overall length with I think 1/4” flute length. Both from KBC tools.

Thank you. 10mm one looks interesting. need to track one down states side

is this it?
https://www.kbctools.com/itemdetail/1-329C-016
https://www.kbctools.com/itemdetail/1-329C-008