Thanks to its mechanical properties CNC machined PTFE, also known as Teflon, has a lot of industrial usages. We’re here to discuss it all and tip you on how to set up your ZMorph VX All-In-One 3D Printer to work with the material.

ZMorph CNC PRO Milling Toolhead and CNC machined PTFE samples.
CNC PRO Milling Toolhead allows CNC machining various thermoplastics such as PTFE.

What Is PTFE?

PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene and is known as Teflon. It’s an engineering thermoplastic characterized by chemical inertness, exceptional low friction coefficient, and high heat resistance. It’s often used in cold temperature environments thanks to its high thermal resistance.

Additionally, Teflon offers great electric stability which means it can be used in many machines as sliding elements, joints, bearings and housings. Below you’ll find some tips on CNC machining Teflon and hopefully, you can start your project today!

Teflon CNC milling.
CNC milled PTFE.

How to CNC Machine PTFE?

ZMorph VX All-In-One 3D Printer can be quickly turned into a CNC milling machine by changing the toolhead and worktable. This way you save on space and gain a lot of versatility. 

PTFE is believed to be a rather easy to CNC machine material and if you follow further instructions you should achieve the best possible results.

Voxelizer Settings

Although Voxelizer 2 doesn’t support PTFE preset yet (it will in the next major update) you can already find it in Voxelizer Experimental. If you’re into CNC milling we recommend testing the experimental version as it was prepared especially for this workflow.

Here are our recommended parameters for CNC milling in PTFE: 

StepdownSpeed
0.51-12
11-12
1.51-12

Workpiece Holding

In most cases, you can use double-sided foam tape to safely mount Teflon sheets to the CNC worktable. If you want to be 100% sure we recommend plastic clamps added to every ZMorph VX Full Set (alternatively you can just 3D print them – the files are on the internal SD card of your machine). Before you start your work check twice if the material is properly mounted. If it’s loose your project will most likely fail.

End Mills

Check out our online store for universal milling bits. Single or double flutes should be just fine for CNC milling in plastics such as PTFE.

CNC machining PTFE.
You can use the universal end mills for CNC machining Teflon.

Other

Closing the covers of ZMorph VX means less chips and shavings escaping the machine enclosure. Don’t forget to vacuum the inside from time to time to minimize the risk of the milling bit clogging, especially with bigger projects.

PTFE Applications

As we mentioned before, CNC milled Teflon can be used for sliding elements, joints, housings, gears, bearings, and other mechanical elements

Samples

PTFE insulating washers made using ZMorph VX.
Teflon insulating washers made using ZMorph VX.

Health & Safety

Standard safety measures should be applied while CNC milling PTFE. Minimize the amount of time you spend in the same room as the machine – the noise can be overwhelming to your eardrums after a while. Don’t touch the moving parts machine while it’s working – it can lead to serious injuries. 

Be sure to properly home ZMorph VX axes, especially the Z-axis. If your Z-axis is not properly homed, the toolhead may hit the worktable. Make sure you know where the reset button is in case of an emergency.

CNC machining PTFE.
PTFE CNC machined samples.

More Materials for CNC Machining with ZMorph VX

In the ZMorph Materials Library you can find descriptions and technical data for almost 50 engineering materials available for ZMorph VX All-In-One 3D Printer. You can read it online or download free of charge via our website

ZMorph Materials Library

Author

Content Manager at ZMorph

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