Tips & Tricks
My CNC vibrates
Lately, I have been pushing my machine closer to its limits. I’m now often formatting plywood full-slot with one pass meaning the machine has to take a
F2700mm/min on a 6mm 2-flute rougher bit at
S=24000rpm. I’m using climb milling for my projects in wood.
Now the machine sometimes starts vibrating.
You might say “just reduce machine load by setting a more shallow depth of cut”, “slow down your feed rate and spindle RPM”, or “Don’t take a rougher, that’s always inducing more vibration” - and I might follow of your advice at some point, but first I want to understand what’s exactly going wrong here and whether I can fix this issue without sacrificing machine time or cutter life.
Machine vibration doesn’t only happen while formatting but also when I cut pockets, but it seems like only at certain positions during the cut. It feels like the whole machine is shaking just a little, but the sound of it makes me doubt that everything is alright. I captured two samples for your reference below.
Vibrations manifest at certain positions of the machine while pocketing (80% clearing feed)
Vibrations during formatting
Cutting results are looking good to me still…
I retried with somewhat different settings: Reduced
Z+ of only
6mm but increased feed of
3600mm/min with the same bit I used before - vibrations gone.
After contacting the machine manufacturer (refer to this thread in German), the most likely reason for the vibration is the router and its clamp that mounts to the Z-axis.
The router has less high-end bearings than heavy-duty spindles so they are subject to play. In addition, the 42mm standard clamp is attached to the Z-axis with two M8 fasteners while the router is clamped with only one fastener around its “neck”.
HF-spindles are most often flush-fastened directly to the Z-axis so the contact surface is incomparably higher, leaving little or no room for vibration.
I have three options now:
- Continue with high depth milling and tolerate vibrations and additional noise
- Change to more shallow passes which solves vibration issues but adds machining time
- Upgrade the spindle which adds considerable cost to my setup
I think I’ll go with option 2 for the time being 😅, update Mid-2023: switched to option 3.
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