Milling Titanium

Does anyone know if the machine will cut titanium? I would use the standard .125 round or flat end mill… any suggestions on rates if anyone has used it before? If not, I’ll try it and let you guys know how it goes.

Titanium is notoriously difficult to machine. The professional machinists at my workplace try to avoid dealing with it when possible. I’ve never cut it myself, because its really expensive, but I’ve asked why. The reason is that titanium is a “gummy” metal that work hardens. If you don’t know what you are doing, the work hardening effect prevent a cutter from cutting effectively. Couple that with it’s “springy” (low elastic modulus), it’s really hard to get the desired tolerances out of it.

I’m sure you can engrave into it without much issue, but getting a milled part with decent tolerance and surface finish requires getting the feeds and speeds (feedrate and spindle rpm) perfect.

Here’s a good article outlining the difficulties with machining titanium. I wasn’t too far off. Basically if you don’t cut it well, it ends up rubbing and overheats the cutter. Both the heat and the rubbing will cause excessive tool wear and will likely break the bit.

Probably want to have a Class D dry powder fire extinguisher handy just in case you actually try to cut titanium. I’ve never seen it cut without flood coolant and the fine powder you’d be making, if you’re successful at all, would be a real hazard.

yes, I’ve engraved Titanium multiple times, and I’ve even wrestled it into shape into bracelets and rings, but I’ve never milled it before. That’s a great article! I think I’ll do quite a bit more research before I tape a piece down and start cutting! thanks guys!