Milling 6061 noob question

I am milling a piece of 6061 aluminum in which a large portion of it has to be milled away. The machine seemed to do well until the part came loose…but it is taking a ton of time.

Keep in mind this is literally the 3rd part I had cut with this machine.

Two questions:

1)Using the #102 tool what would you think a good tool setting is? I have it set to feed of 1ipm and plunge the same at a .01inch depth each pass. I can take a picture of my setup later if that helps.

  1. it appears the issues I was having which is why I went so slow was because the first cut went significantly deeper in the very first cut versus subsequent cuts. Like z0 was off but I had it starting at the top of the material. The depth was about 1.5mm where the others appear to be.25mm.

Anyways, I let it machine for 8 hours and it was only 20% of the way through. I knew it would be slow but this doesn’t seem right does it?

Your problem is you are going way too slow and with a tiny DOC. You need to go faster.

Carbide3D has a great video series going on with various materials and their feeds and speeds. Check out the one they have for aluminum on the Nomad.


Thank you so much. I would never ever have guessed I was going to slow. So far so good at 30ipm. I am impressed this little machine can handle that! Great video! What is an ideal DOC to use. I am using .012" but it seems shallow.


Just try going deeper and see what happens. Listen for chatter and make sure to keep chips out of the way. Worse case scenario is you break an endmill. Winston recommends a DOC in the video too.


coated tooling and some air to help chip evacuation can help to push the speeds and feeds.

workholding is huge too, part shouldn’t be coming off


Thanks guys. The part came out well. The big challenge is learning the machine and creating toolpaths. I completed roughing but the machine tried pushing down on the endmill too hard on the sides and stalled. Easy to clean up and fix.

The question is this,

  1. what is the easiest way to create a tool path to remove .25mm on the backside of the entire part?

  2. what do you recommend drilling holes out with and is there an option for “pecking”? I am using meshcam.

I don’t believe MeshCAM has a drilling operation

EDIT: The above is wrong, see below

— endmills don’t really drill well so it’s better to machine as a pocket.

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It claims it does, but now I have little confidence in its usefulness.

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MeshCam V6 has a drilling operation. I have not used it and can not speak to any other version. I only use meshcam when I have an STL I can not handle with the tools I usually use.

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I stand corrected:

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