High-speed machining videos including machining acrylic, machining aluminum mold, machining aluminum housing and machining aluminum aerospace component


This Page Contains High-Speed Machining Videos:

So, you might ask "what is high-speed?" and we don't blame you because there are machine tool manufacturers that tout high speed on equipment with spindle speeds under 20,000 RPM. On this high-speed machining page you will only see videos for milling machines with maximum spindle speeds between 40,000 and 60,000 RPM.


High-speed machining and micro tooling defined:
High-speed machining has no set definition or absolute parameters, but one workable definition is machining with spindle speeds of 25,000 RPM or more.


Micro tooling involves mills and drills with a diameter of 0.250” or less. It is required for very intricate or detailed machining and works best with high-speed spindles.


The challenges of machining with micro tooling:
With a trend towards miniaturization in manufacturing, work piece sizes are decreasing and part versions are increasing. So, the use of micro tools is becoming more and more prevalent. However, efficient and cost-effective use of these small tools requires both the foresight to employ equipment specifically designed for them and a willingness to deviate from standard machining practices. This is primarily due to the fact that the spindles on conventional CNC equipment cannot achieve the higher RPM speeds required for small diameter tools. Even if they can, it puts undue stress on the equipment by constantly red-lining their spindles. As an example, a conventional CNC machining center running tools smaller than ½” in diameter at 10,000 RPM or less will result in unfavorable feed rates and costly tool breakage.


Often this tool breakage is blamed on operator error, incorrect machining parameters, or worse yet, simply the nature of small tools. The reality is that it’s due to the force of a conventional machine’s heavy spindle and it’s inability to reach the high RPM speeds required to effectively evacuate chips from the cutting channel.


High-Speed Machining Technology. The smaller the tools, the higher the spindle speed you will need to efficiently machine quality parts and avoid tool breakage. High-frequency spindles with speed ranges up to 60,000 RPM are ideal for milling, drilling, thread milling and engraving using micro tools.


High-speed machining technology uses high RPM rates, taking a smaller stepover, but with significantly increased feed rates. Move your hand through the flame of a burning candle. If you move too slowly, there’s enough time for the flame to cause damage. But if you sweep your hand swiftly through the flame, there’s insufficient time for the fire to damage your skin. The same principle applies to high-speed machining with micro-tooling. Move fast, and there’s insufficient time for heat to feed back into the part and cause issues.


During the machining process, the tool continually carves a chip out of the work piece. The generated heat develops approximately 40% from friction on each side of the tool, and 20% from the deformation (bending) of the chip. Therefore, about 60% of the heat is inside of the chip. High-speed machining tries to evacuate the bulk of the heat with the chip, providing for a cleaner cut. The better machining quality is based on cooler tooling, lower machining forces, and therefore less vibration.

The high spindle speed reduces the chip load to less than 0.005”. Such a low chip load significantly reduces the forces between the tool and the material. High-speed/low-force machining yields less heat, reduces tool deflection, and allows machining of thinner walled work pieces. This all results in cooler machining, superior surface and edge quality, better accuracy and, as a by-product (of low force), easier workholding — since modular vacuum tables can be employed for quick set up and job changeover (particularly with thin flat substrates).


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Download a real-world case study on High-speed Machining Acrylic using vacuum chuck workholdingRead Case Study: High-Speed Machining Acrylic

Download real-world case study on high speed machining aluminum mold.Read Case Study: High-Speed Machining Aluminum Mold

Download real-world case study on high-speed machining aluminum housing using pneumatic clampingRead Case Study: High-Speed Machining Aluminum Housing

Download real-world case study on high-speed machining aluminum aerospace component using vacuum table workholding system.Read Case Study: High-Speed Machining Aluminum Aerospace Component

More Info. on High Speed Machining:


High Speed Machining Enables Innovative Workholding for Quicker Part Setup:
The high-speed and low-force of DATRON spindles made the job of innovating Set Up fairly easy (at least for the clever DATRON engineers in Germany). That’s because low force means that a vacuum can be used to hold fixturing and blanks — something not possible with a conventional CNC. What’s resulted is a “modular” workholding design that allows for multiple setups on the bed.

One station or segment may be a Quick-Pallet™ (manual pallet changer), another a VacuMate™ (vacuum table) and a third a Quick-Clamp™ (pneumatic clamping system). This variety of segments provides the agility to adapt to job changes. Centering inserts on the bottom of each segment register with conical cavities (milled by the machine itself) on the surface of the machining table. This results in a “boss-in-cavity” system that insures location repeatability.

So if you’re in the middle of a batch and an unexpected rush project comes in, just remove one pallet and replace it with the new job. When the rush job is complete, return the first pallet to its place and pick up where you left off. The ability to quickly adapt to changing needs is the essence of agility ... and agility is the very thing that gives a manufacturer the competitive edge.