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How to Set Up CNC Milling Machine?


How to Set Up CNC Milling Machine?
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Although every CNC Milling machine set-up procedure is slightly different, here are explained these generic steps which CNC machinists practice on a daily basis for a 3 axis vertical CNC Milling machine.

1.Clean Surface

Clean all surfaces like table, vise jaws and part (workpiece) with cloth, so that no oil drops, material chips remain there.

2.Load Tool

Load tools required to complete part (including edge finder, vise leveling at 0 degrees).

3.Load Part

Load part (workpiece) in a vise or hold your part (workpiece) with your machine holding arrangements.

4.X, Y axis’s Offsetting

Set the part (workpiece) offset. For this purpose, you may use edge finder or you can do it with your End Mill Cutter (if you are using end mill cutter for tool offset, then read Tool Offset Article). First, do the zero offset for the X-axis. Pick up the X0 position by using edge finder. Go to the zero offset page and add the machine absolute X value to the value currently in the zero offset page’s registry. Do the same for the Y axis.

5.Z axis Offsetting

After X, Y axis’s offsetting set the tool length offset for each tool by loading the first tool in the spindle. Manually move the Z axis down until the tool’s tip is near the Z0 position. Get a piece of 1.00 mm shim stock (always use any fixed size of shim like 1 mm, 2 mm or 5 mm ) and hold it between the part (workpiece) and the tip of the tool. Carefully lower the Z axis in 0.001 mm increments until the shim stock can be pulled with a slight drag. Go to your tool length offset page and enter the machine’s absolute Z value plus -1.00 mm in the tools registry. Repeat procedure to additional tools. Note: -1.00 mm is added for the shim stock’s thickness.

6.Cutter Radius Compensation

Enter each tool diameter in tool length offset page. That will be helpful when you are using Cutter Radius Compensation in your program.

7.Coolant or Cutting Oil

Adjust coolant lines because coolant can properly cool tools and wash chips away, and most important coolant will increase the cutter life.

8.Cycle start

Put the machine in low feed, activate single block and then press cycle start. Be careful and read every block programmed and watch each movement the machine makes ready to stop the machine in case there are any programming errors.

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