Find the best way to load your workpiece for CNC Machining

When making CNC machined parts, it is important to first figure out the best way to load and hold the workpiece. This step comes before plotting the tool path, and plays an important role in the process.



 

When making CNC machined parts, it is important to first figure out the best way to load and hold the workpiece. This step comes before plotting the tool path, and plays an important role in the process.

Workholding and loading are crucial aspects of the CNC machining process. Your workpiece is only going to be as good as how well it stands and stays steady on the work surface of your machine. As such, machinists and engineers have come up with a plethora of solutions for keeping the workpiece stable.

In this article we’ll look at some of the most prominent methods for workholding, evaluating their respective pros and cons.

Find the best way to load your workpiece for CNC Machining

Bolts are a great way to hold the workpiece down for machining by using the T-shape table directly. Frankly, adding an aluminum block is even a better idea, because it is easy to create thread holes wherever needed. Thread holes go hand in hand with clamps and allow for better leveling and stabil...

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Bolts are a great way to hold the workpiece down for machining by using the T-shape table directly. Frankly, adding an aluminum block is even a better idea, because it is easy to create thread holes wherever needed. Thread holes go hand in hand with clamps and allow for better leveling and stability.

Items used for bolting materials down include T-nuts, studs and flange nuts. Bolts and nuts can be particularly useful if a work surface has threaded inserts instead of T-slots. In these cases, bolts can be threaded into the inserts to hold clamps of various designs, keeping them in place.

Pros: Bolting is a very stable way to hold the workpiece, which you can then cut very forcefully. Complex geometries won’t be a problem to hold.

Cons: Using bolts requires extra material to be used as a frame. The material wasted can be critical when machining large-volume parts, and loading time are significant. When cutting parts from the frame, hinge marks can present a problem.

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Published by 3E Rapid Prototyping Limited on Mar 17, 2020

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