Polycarbonate (PC) is a popular choice for advertising materials thanks to its transparency and resistance to elements. Here’s how to prepare your ZMorph VX for CNC milling in polycarbonate.

CNC milling in polycarbonate.
CNC machined PC sample.

What Is PC?

PC is an abbreviation for polycarbonate, a popular engineering thermoplastic with an excellent impact strength, heat resistance. It’s easy to machine and can be found on the market under trademarked names such as Lexan or Makrolon. 

CNC machined polycarbonate.
CNC machined PC sample.

How to CNC Machine PC?

Switching toolheads on ZMorph VX is extremely easy and takes no more than a few minutes. Mount the CNC PRO Milling Toolhead if you want to CNC machine PC. Here’s what else you should take into consideration while milling in polycarbonate.

Voxelizer Settings

Although we don’t have a preset for polycarbonate in Voxelizer yet, it will be available in future versions (right now you can use it only in Voxelizer Experimental).

You should set following work parameters:

StepdownSpeed
0.51-15
11-12
1.51-2

Workpiece Holding

You can safely secure PC sheets with double-sided foam tape. If you prefer to use clamps, be careful not to break the material. For more tips on workpiece holding refer to this article.

ZMorph CNC PRO Milling Toolhead and polycarbonate sample.
CNC PRO Milling Toolhead is compatible with a wide variety of materials.

End Mills

We recommend using universal end mills for CNC milling polycarbonate available in our online store.

Other

Close the covers of ZMorph VX to minimize the risk of chips and shavings escaping the enclosure of the machine. If you are preparing bigger projects that take more time to finish, you should vacuum the inside of the machine every now and then to prevent clogging of the end mill. Use safety goggles while opening the covers while the unit is working.

PC Applications

Polycarbonate is often used for advertising materials due to its transparency. You can also find transparent PC protective elements. 

Sample

CNC machined polycarbonate.
CNC machined polycarbonate.
CNC machined polycarbonate.
CNC machined polycarbonate. These heads can be used as an advertising material.

Note: This article is about CNC machining polycarbonate, however, this material can also be 3D printed.

Health & Safety

You should always follow the safety procedures suggested by the manufacturer. Do not touch the moving parts of the machine while it’s working. Use safety goggles to protect your eyes. Always wait for the machine to stop and let it cool down before taking out finished projects. 

CNC milled polycarbonate is not considered a dangerous material but remember that freshly cut PC sheets may have sharp edges that can cut your skin.

CNC machined polycarbonate.
CNC machined polycarbonate.

ZMorph Materials Library

ZMorph VX officially supports up to 48 engineering materials for subtractive and additive manufacturing. These materials were thoroughly tested by our team and described in the ZMorph Materials Library where you can find the most important features, applications, as well as technical data. It’s free for all and you can download it here.

ZMorph Materials Library
Author

Content Manager at ZMorph

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