Surfacing aluminum MIC6

Let’s say I wasn’t happy with the 0.015" flatness from a MIC6 aluminum plate. Would it be possible to flatten it further with my S03? What kind of bit would I need?

Assuming your machine is trammed well and it can achieve better (depending on how big of an area this could be a big if), you could use just about any tool you like. In a perfect situation, I would use the #203Z that Carbide 3D sells but the regular #201 would probably work just fine for a facing operation where you are only taking 0.020 off or so. I just wouldn’t use a single flute because of the lackluster floor finish they give. Datron 4 in 1 single flutes are the exception to that rule.

Thanks Nick. Looking at surfacing a 350mm X 350mm plate. I will be using a dial indicator to check the flatness of my MDF waste board before I start.

Keep in mind that using a dial indicator on your carriage and checking your MDF by moving it around is not checking flatness. That only tells you whether or not your MDF is parallel to your carriage. You really need a surface plate to check flatness. This is splitting hairs but depending on what you are trying to achieve, it could matter.

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Oh, sure, I get it now…

What I’m trying to do is machine a build plate for a 3D printer…I will have the ability to adjust the plate using adjustment screws, but flatter is always better…

Realistically, you are probably fine then. Precision measurement is quite the rabbit hole. If you want to start with better material, you could go for much thicker ATP 5 plate made by Vista Metals. At 5/8" (.625) and above, it is certified for 0.005" or better. You can get it here:

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Thanks. Not sure I understand the difference between flatness tolerance and thickness tolerance… this was actually the plate that I was referring to in my first post.

So it is not listed on Midwest’s site as being 0.005" flatness tolerance once you get to .625 thick but if you look at the manufacturer’s data sheet it is. The thickness tolerance is just a measurement of how close it is to the stated thickness throughout the plate.

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