Question: How do I determine what feedrate, spindle speed and depth of cuts to use?
This is an excellent question, since VoluMill toolpaths are breaking the milling rules that have been in play for decades. Customers are achieving amazingly fast cycle times due to the aggressive parameters that can safely be used with VoluMill. Customer-proven parameters for various materials can be found on our cutting data page which will continually expand, so please check back often. If the material, cutting tool, or machine tool you have isn’t represented there, the following is a rule of thumb that has proven effective at determining good starting points:
Start with the cutting tool manufacturer’s recommended values for surface speed and feed per tooth, and triple them. Make adjustments (typically upwards) from there based on how well it is cutting. For harder, and harder to machine, materials (stainless steels, tool steels, titanium, and exotics, for example), most customers have found that a deep axial depth of cut combined with a lighter radial width of cut (10% to 20% of the tool diameter) works best. Also, don’t be afraid to use 5- or even 7-fluted tools for roughing; the managed material removal rates that VoluMill provides makes this not only possible, but desirable. For softer, freer machining materials, like aluminum, increase the cut width along with the speed, feed, and axial depth. You may find that your only limitation with these materials is a physical limitation of your machine, such as the RPM or cutting-feed capability.
As you experiment with VoluMill in your shop, we encourage you to share your experiences with us so that we can continue to refine the answer to this question.