High Speed Machining Guide and Why You Need it for Prototype Production

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High-speed machining refers to high feed rates and spindle speed for removing material without compromising part quality and precision. The major advantage of HSM is fast cycle time and better tool life.

The main features of HSM are as following:

High metal removal rate( MRR) & Minimize machining time

  • High productivity & Low cost
  •  Excellent dimensional precision & accuracy
  • The ability for 3D complex parts with high precision
  • Elimination of unnecessary steps such as polishing and assembly

What is High-Speed Machining (HSM)?

High-speed machining is a process in which we can achieve high metal removal rates (MRR), light and fast cuts with high feed rates, and spindle speed.

It is a combination of fast movements and well-planned applications to achieve accurate parts and the best results.

Some main factors you have to consider for high-speed machining and CNC services are:

  • Tool selection & balance
  • Chip thinning
  • Machine requirements
  • Workpiece & tool rigidity
  • Material & machining strategy
  • CAM programming
  • Cutter selection

Techniques Used for High-Speed Machining

High-speed machining is a complicated process for manufacturing parts, and you have to know how to perform HSM. If an inexperienced person performs the process with the right tooling, it will be unsuccessful.

HSM is a mixture of techniques that are used for various applications. These collections of techniques are user-friendly and very useful for operating any operation.

Some best techniques for high-speed machining are:

1: Plunge Roughing

It is a type of CAM tool path and programs manually. You can say it is a secret weapon for saving your bacon. The two main properties of plunge roughing are:

  1. You can get more rigid cutting by changing forces from XY plan to axial Z- up and down forces.
  2. You can remove more material due to its twisted drills than the endmill.

Plunge roughing or milling is best for deep pockets when side pockets cause more tool deflection. Plunge milling allows you to perform roughing on old machines in the shop. Some disadvantages of plunge roughing are:

  • Centre cut & Conventional twisted drill
  • 2D vs. 3D plunge roughing
  • Scalloped edges

2: Trochoidal Machining/ Milling

This CNC milling method can apply for milling deep pockets, confined cavities, and grooves. Trochoidal machining is an excellent solution for slotting exotic and hard materials like titanium and Inconel.

The big advantages of trochoidal machining are:

  • Reduction in cycle time
  • Able to perform multi fluted tools
  • Can remove more material
  • Improve tool life
  • Chip thinning effect
  • Reduce the number of axial passes
  • High-speed capabilities
  • Maintain continuous feed rates

3: Side Steps

These are the connections that can be effective for transition between adjacent tool paths during high feed rates. It tends to produce a sharp stepover move at the end of the pass. Simple round moves can be sharper at a high feed. For the last decade, parallel scan line surface machining has been using to finish machine multi-surface models.

An appropriate solution at a moderate feed rate is using a simple looping tool path as alternative sharp turns between scan passes.

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Machines Use for High-Speed Machining

It is essential to examine a machine, torque graph/ power tool before starting an HSM operation. The machine should be capable of handling all requirements. A high-speed machine is suitable for 300-M may not be suitable for another material such as titanium. Therefore a proper strategy for HSM operation should apply to get high-quality, precise parts.

Many machines are capable of high-speed machining. It may be a 5-axis milling or a 3- axis milling machine. Some machines which can use for high-speed machining are as under:

1: Mikron Mill-S-400- U

Mikron Mill-S-400-U is specifically designed for high-speed machining and makes it possible to get quality surface finishes and high precision of parts. The unique feature of an intelligent temperature management system keeps the machine precise at running time and high milling speeds.

Mikron high-speed machining milling centres are 10 times faster than other conventional machines. The compact construction can provide you with extraordinary accessibility to all machine areas for maintenance.

The power components of HSM and the machine bed cool optimally, improving thermal stability in the production environment.

2: Matsuura LX -160

It is a high-grade linear machine with a short cycle time. The optimized rigidity of LX- 160 assures a high level of precision and a stable machining platform. LX-160 reduces the cycle time, and all axes of Matsuura LX -160 drive by a motor. Due to this factor, you can achieve rapid acceleration and high speed.

The rare features and intelligent protection system make LX-160 user-friendly and best implement HSM feed operations and techniques.

Tools for High-Speed Machining

HSM requires advanced machining tools. There are different types of high-speed machining tools to perform different applications. The requirements for each industry are different such as in the automotive industry; horizontal machining tools use for large batch production.

On the other side in mould/mold die industries, surface finish, accuracy, and precise parts are of much importance, and it requires a different set of high-speeding tools.

Tool selection depends on many things. It depends on

  • Features of the HSM part
  • High-speed & High accuracy
  • Size & Rapid feed rates
  • Material & Cost

These factors determine the best tool for high-speed aluminum machining. The most important thing is stability and well-balanced tools. Otherwise, it may create vibration and lead to short tool life.

HSM tool selection starts and ends with a workpiece. Tool balance is very important and indirectly affects the tool life and spindle. Some steps for tool balance is

  • Cleanliness of balance machine & cutting tool
  • Cutting tool placement in spindle
  • Measurements & zero the imbalance in the machine

It is necessary to choose the right tool with tight tolerance and speed. The success of HSM operation relies on many factors such as:

  • Machine programs
  • Tool use and strategies
  • Tools & proper strategy

HSM tools should be designed for high speed, and some rules of thumb for high high-speeding can apply. A small percentage engagement of the tool diameter would prove effective to chip thinning effects. It also allows increased speed rates.

Material for High-Speed CNC Machining

Many industries use HSM, such as aerospace, medical, aviation industries. HSM has a wide range of materials according to the requirements of its specific operation. Some common types of materials are:

1: Aluminium Oxide

It is one of the basic cutting tool materials use for high-speed aluminium machining. It uses due to its chemical stability at high temperatures and superior hardness. It has low resistance to fracture.

2: Ceramic Cutting Tool

Ceramics are highly resistant to abrasive wear and high-temperature hardness. They are non-metallic materials available in two classes:

  • Silicone nitride-based ceramics
  • Alumina based ceramics

3: Diamond

It has high hardness, excellent chemical stability, and heat conductivity. The most costly tool material is a natural diamond, as it has sharp edge blades. Natural diamonds mainly use in:

  • Micromechanical parts
  • Retroreflector
  • Hard disk chip
  • Ultra-precision machining
  • Navigate gyroscope

There are four types of diamond we can use in high-speed CNC machining and high-speed aluminium machining.

Applications of High-Speed Machining

High-speed machining can use for the direct production of prototypes, small batch components, cutting tools for engine parts manufacturing. The main target of HSM is to reduce production costs with higher productivity.

The other target of HSM is the increment of overall competitiveness with delivery times and short leads.

high-speed machining for medical device 

1: Aviation Industry

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An aviation industry’s requirements are of high durability and reliability, and many restrictions are involved in the aircraft design manufacturing and designing process. Aviation is one of the most complicated and complex technologies, and HSM techniques mostly use for the aviation industry. The use of high-strength aluminium alloys is also increasing for the implementation of the latest processes and techniques. The main reason to choose HSM for aviation and aircraft designing is:

  • Depth of the cut layers
  • Cutting speed & high efficiency of machining
  • Feed rate & precise mechanical surface
  • Selection of cutting parameters

These factors make HSM a better choice for the aviation industry than other milling techniques and methods.

2: Medical Industry

Medical instruments, tools, and parts demand more precision and accuracy, and you can achieve this high level of precision with high-speed CNC machining. It may use for orthopaedic implants, joint implants, mould, or surgical instruments. The material requirements can be different with high-quality standards.

Many CNC services provider companies serve the medical industry and have gained a great depth and knowledge in high-speed CNC machining, and high-speed machining feeds.

The medical parts manufacturers are becoming more efficient, and they didn’t compromise quality. 

3: High-Speed Machining for the Automotive Industry

High-speed machining offers a wide range of products and uses for various applications. In recent years, and high-speed aluminium machining have been increased to reduce weight and cost in the automotive industry.

It mostly uses for small batch production, complex parts, and mould manufacturing. The automotive industry requires high-speed milling and high-volume parts production, and HSM is a good choice for fulfilling these requirements.

The automotive industry’s main focus is to produce fast and cheap vehicles, and high investment requires implementing different methodologies.

The automotive parts are manufactured with high-speed machining, and many companies providing CNC services can be a good choice for your automotive parts manufacturing.

Get High-Speed Machining with Wayken

HSM is the emerging machining process and a technological solution for the mass production of parts.WayKen provides high-volume products without sacrificing quality, and we understand how to provide manufacturing solutions to our customers. Wayken is your best choice for building a progressive and profitable business. You can get better parts with a superior surface finish, better tool life, and fast material removal. Contact us for more information. WayKen are here to help you in boosting your business.
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