While the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine is optimized for machining aluminum parts fast and easy, it can mill a wide variety of materials. Below is a list of materials that work great, materials that work great if you're intermediate/advanced, and materials you shouldn't try milling with the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine. We also have guides for many of these materials on our site. Each guide provides an overview of the material and suggested feeds and speeds.
Materials that work great:
- FR-1 (PCB Blanks)
- Machining Wax
Materials that work great if you're intermediate/advanced:
- Magnesium. Warning: Chips can ignite and are difficult to extinguish.
- Soft stone (e.g., soapstone)
Don't mill these materials:
- Steel (stainless or otherwise). Dull/melts the cutting tool.
- Titanium. Dulls/melts the cutting tool.
- Iron. Dulls/melts the cutting tool.
- Fiberglass. Makes unhealthy dust.
- Hard stone and precious gems/Dulls/melts the cutting tool and creates dangerous dust
- Glass. Shatters, creating dangerous shrapnel
- Silver chloride or other powdery materials. They’re crumbly and don’t hold their shape.
- Chocolate, cheese, or other food products. The milling machine is not food safe.
Material Tips and Tricks
- If you’re cutting hard materials, shallower cuts will improve the longevity of your cutting tool.
- If you’re cutting a small, deep hole, make sure that the flutes on your tool are at least as deep as the hole. Otherwise, the material will fail to eject, gumming up the cutting tool. This can damage or break the tool.
- To improve milling times on jobs with large areas to clear, use a larger tool in addition to a smaller tool. For example, it’s typically best to use a ¼” flat end mill to rough out a part and then use a smaller tool for the fine details.
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