Acrylic CNC possible?

Hi there,

can the A350T do CNC milling on acrylic for e.g. distro plates for pc water cooling?

Something like this:

Thank you!

Regards

There are several threads on the forum with good advice. Search for “cnc acrylic”. Good reading!

Hi and thanks for your reply.

Well, I checked 30 search results and non gave me a clear answer.
I see tons of people trying to engrave things but no precise info about deeper milling like I would need it here.

Also, quality-wise a lot of CNC images posted here look not as near as good as needed for such a distro plate posted above.

I can’t figure out, whether the CNC module is capable of producing such clean mills or not.
So maybe someone with experience with the CNC module can help me out.

Appreciate your help.

The design looks fairly doable especially since you are (at least from what I can guess from the image) just routing out paths rather than engraving which is a whole different set of problems and bits.

The work will all be about figuring out the best type of bit and the optimal speed for working with acrylic. Fast enough that you’re milling cleanly but not so fast that you’re melting or burning the acrylic. Also, generic wood bits are not ideal for cutting in acrylic - you’re best off using an O-Flute like these, specifically designed for cutting plastic: https://www.amanatool.com/products/cnc-router-bits/plastic-cutting-cnc-router-bits/solid-carbide-single-o-flute-plastic-cutting-cnc-router-bits.html

Try and get the exact size for the path you’re cutting so it gets done in a single pass.

There’s also some questions around the type of acrylic - it appears that cast is better adapted to milling work than extruded so you’ll want to check with your supplier about which type you’ll be working with.

Also, unlike wood chips, having acrylic chips fall back in the cutting path creates the conditions for melting so you’ll really want to work with a vacuum or blower attachment.

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Thank you very much for that detailed explanation. Appreciate it.

I just ordered the Snapmaker F350 for now…want to check out its printing quality and capabilities, if this is fine I consider upgrading laser/cnc/case.

But before I just wanted to know if the CNC is good enough.
But if you say it can be done, I will go for it.

I know it will be a lot of testing, trying different acrylics, different bits, and everything, but that’s fine for me.

Again, thanks a lot. That was what I’ve been looking for.

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Thanks for your advice regarding O bits, never knew! Is there anywhere that educates people on bit types and best usage? I’m at least aware of up/down/both endmills and flute count reasoning. I lose it a bit when thinking about facing off wood, etc.

Read in this article my report including picture!!!
Milling acrylic goes very well with this cutter.
As Eableson already writes best with a cutter that mills the web in one. But these cutters with bevel are also very good because you quickly lead the milled material upwards through the bevel. Your paths remain clean.
As you can also see in the picture!!!

Here is the link to the article !!!

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I’ve found the Vectric articles and forums to be a good source of info as they are focussed on just the CNC side of things. A lot of the general points about different types of bits are machine-agnostic so apply equally well to the Snapmaker.

And frankly I’ve never been able to make heads nor tails of the Luban software for driving CNC beyond the samples. It’s (relatively) expensive, but the Vectric software makes the whole CNC with Snapmaker experience so much better. Just add the Snapmaker pre processor and it will spit out a .cnc file you can send directly to the Snapmaker.

As someone who worked for a sigh making company late 80s and early 90s I’ll tall you YES. Why so far back on something done today? Acrylic was the material of preference for lettering, back then it was done by hand, jigsaws and routers. Don’t cut too deep because it will crack if you’re not careful, small steps to achieve your depth, small. This concept applies today with the Snapmaker or any CNC. We ended up using Lexan for most job because is flexible and doesn’t break, even throwing a rock at it don’t brake it.
If your design calls for “bleed” or extended over the edge of your plastic, don’t let it the go back into the piece, it will chip the edge and never start from the outsie.
Lexan is a lot better because of what I mentioned before but it takes a little work to get a nice and clean edge and/work because is softer, what we did when cutting with the jigsaw or router was to have a small bottle with a needle nose and apply a couple of drops of oil about an inch from any blade, the heat won’t build up plastic around the edges, half of the times it was a two person job.
The most critical detail with acrylic and most of other plastics is the BIT, can’t stress this enough. There are cnc bits buil to work with acrylic. After 30 years of use, I can recommend “Amana” cnc bit you can buy onlne from “Tools Today”, and no, I don’t work for them nor this is a commercial, they are that good. I use another Brand, Whiteside, again online.
“The right bit, very low steps and lubrication”, works every time.

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Thanks a lot for this detailed answer!