Aluminum: CNC Machining Materials Overview

CNC milling in aluminum sure is tempting, and therefore we’re happy to inform you that ZMorph VX Multitool 3D Printers have no problem with CNC machining aluminum parts. In this article you will learn how to set up your machine, what are the most common aluminum uses, and more.

CNC machining aluminum
Custom part CNC milled with ZMorph VX.

5754 Aluminum – Perfect for CNC Machining

Aluminum 5754 is one of the most popular materials and offers exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, excellent machinability, and great corrosion resistance. 

CNC machining aluminum
CNC engraving aluminum parts

How to Machine Aluminum with ZMorph VX? 

Although aluminum is a great material to work with, we don’t recommend CNC milling in metals for beginners. That being said, there are no hidden obstacles while machining aluminum with ZMorph VX, and in this article we’ve prepared tips & tricks on milling in this type of metal. Feel free to contact us in the comment section below if you have any additional questions.

CNC machining aluminum
CNC PRO milling toolhead

Voxelizer Settings 

CNC milling aluminum can be tricky and in the ZMorph Materials Library we’ve described it as difficult material. The Voxelizer settings will differ depending on your project, but there are few constants. We recommend:

  • Cutting speed: 1.5 mm/s
  • Lead in/out speed: 1.25 mm/s
  • Max. step down 0.15 mm.

Workpiece Holding

Use clamps to mount the material to the CNC worktable. Make sure the clamps are of good quality and won’t break when the machine is working. Aluminum is quite hard and you definitely don’t want loose parts flying away from your machine. 

CNC machining aluminum
Aluminum mounted on the CNC worktable.

Remember that if your material is loose, your project will fail. Check some of our workpiece holding solutions and you’re good to go.

End Mills

It’s been proven by our engineers that you can successfully mill in aluminum with ZMorph universal end mills that are provided with the CNC Fun Pack and ZMorph VX Full Set. For some professional uses it’s recommended to purchase special end mills only for aluminum CNC machining. Otherwise universal flat or ball end mills are enough.

End mills from CNC Fun Pack available at store.zmorph3d.com

Aluminum Applications

Aluminum uses vary, but it’s mostly used for prototyping and end parts. The material can be also easily engraved on. Here are some photos of samples of aluminum machining with ZMorph VX.

Samples

CNC machining aluminum
Custom aluminum part CNC milled with ZMorph VX.
CNC machining aluminum
Custom aluminum part CNC milled with ZMorph VX.

Health & Safety

ZMorph VX operates on high speeds and it’s important to remember not to touch any moving parts while the machine is working. They are signed with special stickers for your safety.

Once again we remind you to double check if the aluminum sheet is properly mounted on the CNC worktable. Bad workpiece holding will result in failed machining attempt and also can damage your machine or even cause your injuries. 

For general information and more tips on CNC milling in metals, see the metal CNC milling guidelines prepared by one of our engineers.

CNC machining aluminum
Aluminum samples

More Materials for ZMorph VX?

ZMorph VX Multitool 3D Printers are compatible with almost 50 different materials for 3D printing, CNC milling, and laser engraving and cutting. Because of that, we’ve prepared a comprehensive ZMorph Materials Library where we provide all necessary technical data. 

ZMorph Materials Library

Jakub Spiryn

Content Manager at ZMorph

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