Machining operation to be completed
Let’s begin with saying that the primary machining operations that can be completed on a CNC pantograph are:
Specific cutters exist for each machining operation, but the most important things to consider are the part of the panel which will be processed, the quality of the finish desired, and the depth of the treatment (or rather the volume of shavings that will be removed).
The first two variables affect the choice of geometry of the cutter’s cutting edge, while the depth of the milled portion determines the choice of shank. For a “heavy” or “deep” milling operation, it is necessary to aim for greater support than what is necessary for a “light” milling operation like, for example, that needed to bevel a corner.
Analysis of the type of machining operation must be looked at in relation to other parameters like the material to be processed, the number of rotations, and the feed speed.
The type of material
We previously emphasised the fact that every machining operation is different and that it is absolutely fundamental to establish a relationship between the various factors which affect the machining operation in order to select the most appropriate pantograph cutter. Among these factors, analysis of the type of material is very important.
Every material has its own unique characteristics. For example, wood is a natural material with many variations, from very hard to very soft and from pure to composite, while others, like chipboard, may contain scraps of wood, metal, glue, etc.
That is why each material may require a cutter with a specific design.
For example: the pantograph bits used in the machining operation of wood laminate are designed not to ruin the layers of coating, while those used for wood are designed to leave a clean edge.
To summarise, being highly familiar with the material to be processed is imperative to selecting the cutter material that is most suitable to one’s machining operation.