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Feeds and Speeds

Feeds and Speeds for Engraving Tools, and Spring Loaded Engraving Tools


  • Reference the below tables for general Feed and Speed Rates.
  • Table 1 - Engraving using an engraving tool in a rigid holder, such as a collet.
  • Table 2 - Engraving with a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool.  See how much faster it is.

TABLE 1
Engraving with a Rigid Tool
(Held in a Collet, End Mill Holder, Shrink Fit Holder, Top Loading Engraving Machines, Other Industrial Engraving or Marking Systems, etc.)
Engraving Tool Feeds and Speeds

Material 3000 RPM 6000 RPM 7500 RPM 10000 RPM  
Aluminum/Aluminum Alloys 6 12 15 20 Feedrates
(IPM)
Brass/Bronze 6 12 15 20
Copper/Copper Alloys 6 12 15 20
Cast Iron, Soft 6 12 15 20
Cast Iron, Hard 2.4 4.8 6 8
Ductile Iron 3 6 7.5 10
Malleable Iron 3 6 7.5 10
Magnesium/Magnesium Alloys 6 12 15 20
Monel/High Nickel Steel 3 6 7.5 10
Nickel Base Hi-Temp. Alloys 2.4 4.8 6 8
Plastics 9 18 22.5 30
Plastics, Glass Filled (i.e. Phenolic) 9 18 22.5 30
Steel, Low Carbon 3 6 7.5 10
Steel, Medium Carbon 4.5 9 11.25 15
Steel, Hardened 1.5 3 3.75 5
Stainless Steel, Soft 3 6 7.5 10
Stainless Steel, Hard 1.5 3 3.75 5
Titanium, Soft 3 6 7.5 10
Titanium, Hard 1.5 3 3.75 5

Copyright 2014, 2L inc., www.2Linc.com

Please note as with all machining, it is important to take appropriate safety precautions.

RPM= Spindle Speed.
IPM = Inches per minute.
 

Plunge Feed to Depth at 50% of feedrates listed above. Typical engraving depths for permanently marking workpieces are 0.005 0.010.

Notes: To reduce tip breakage on tougher materials or if small tip widths are being used, reduce feedrates above by 50% and make shallow passes (0.001" depth per pass or less is not uncommon on very tough materials). Use of the Tough Tip tool will allow faster feedrates at deeper cuts in tough materials.

Use of the Spring Loaded Engraving Tool will allow significant increase of feedrates and reductions in cycle times. At feedrates above 15 IPM ensure the high speed lookahead feature is enabled on the cnc machine to prevent rounding of corners and sudden starts and stops in corners.

Use of coolant will extend the life of the engraving toolbit.

Engraved lines that appear rough or jagged are usually caused by a dull toolbit or material buildup on the end of the toolbit. Material buildup mostly occurs with gummy materials such as aluminum or copper. Too fast a feedrate or too deep a cut may not allow the material to be cleanly cut. Taking a finishing pass of .001" - .002" deep at a slower feedrate can be used to reduce any burring or jagged edges. Using coolant to engrave helps reduce this buildup. Engraving Cutters are available specifically for softer materials.

Note: Variations in the above table may be required depending on material being engraved and cutting conditions. Consider the above recommendations as a starting point.



TABLE 2
Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

Feeds and Speeds

Please Note the Maximum RPM recommendations per Spring Loaded Engraving Tool Diameter <<< BELOW >>>

Material 3000 RPM 6000 RPM 7500 RPM  
Aluminum/Aluminum Alloys 15-25 30-50 37.5-62.5 Feedrates (IPM)
Brass/Bronze 15-25 30-50 37.5-62.5
Copper/Copper Alloys 15-25 30-50 37.5-62.5
Cast Iron, Soft 15 30 37.5
Cast Iron, Hard 10 20 25
Ductile Iron 13 26 32.5
Malleable Iron 13 26 32.5
Magnesium/Magnesium Alloys 20 40 50
Monel/High Nickel Steel 13 26 32.5
Nickel Base Hi-Temp. Alloys 13 26 32.5
Plastics 25 50 62.5
Plastics, Glass Filled
(i.e. Phenolic)
25 50 62.5
Steel, Low Carbon 13 26 32.5
Steel, Medium Carbon 13 26 32.5
Steel, Hardened 10 20 25
Stainless Steel, Soft 13 26 32.5
Stainless Steel, Hard 13 26 32.5
Titanium, Soft 13 26 32.5
Titanium, Hard 10 20 25
Glass & Stone
(with diamond engraving tool - use coolant with spindle rotating or non-rotating)
17 Not Recommended

Copyright 2014, 2L inc., www.2Linc.com

Please note as with all machining, it is important to take appropriate safety precautions.

RPM= Spindle Speed.
IPM = Inches per minute.

The 3/4" Shaft Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool has been tested up to 10,000 RPM and has a 1,000 - 10,000 RPM recommended speed range.

The 20 mm Shaft Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool has been tested up to 10,000 RPM and has a 1,000 - 10,000 RPM recommended speed range.

The 1/2" Shaft Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool should not be used at speeds above 7,500 RPM and has a 1,000 - 7,500 RPM recommended speed range.

The 3/8" Shaft Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool should not be used at speeds above 6,000 RPM and has a 1,000 - 6,000 RPM recommended speed range.

The 1/4" Shaft Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool should not be used at speeds above 3,000 RPM and has a 1,000 - 3,000 RPM recommended speed range.

(RPM speeds for the Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tools are due to the reduced shaft diameter. Bending of the shaft may occur at higher RPMs).
  • Plunge the tool to depth at a rapid feedrate.  For example: G1Z-0.020F350 or G0Z-0.020
     
  • Decrease the feedrate to produce deeper more pronounced marks and increase the feedrate to produce shallower less pronounced marks. 
     
  • When engraving tougher materials, use of the Tough Tip engraving toolbit is recommended. 
     
  • Ensure the high speed look ahead feature is enabled on the cnc machine to prevent rounding of corners due to the high feedrates required.

    It has been observed that when using the latest generation of cnc machines, the fastest feedrate actually obtained when engraving letters 0.200" tall is approximately 80IPM. Increasing the spindle speed beyond 7500RPM requires feedrates that the cnc machines are not capable of providing and provides no additional benefit in cycle time reduction.
     

Use of coolant will extend the life of the engraving toolbit.

Since the Spring Loaded Engraving Toolholder uses a spring to provide the downward pressure against the toolbit, in general, slower feedrates produce deeper more pronounced marks and faster feedrates produce shallower less pronounced marks.

Slow feedrates allow the spring to press the toolbit into the material being marked for a longer period of time and therefore produce a deeper mark. (i.e. if you completely stop feeding the tool, it will just drill down into the material until it is fully extended.)

Fast feedrates cause the toolbit to skim over the material being marked and produce a less pronounced mark. Too fast of a feedrate will cause the tool to skip over the material without cutting it and will produce marks that appear as dotted lines.

A depth controlling nosepiece is available for absolute depth control.

The feeds and speeds listed above are a good place to start and have been used successfully to engrave a wide variety of materials including aluminum, stainless steel, glass, and plastic parts. Increase or decrease the feedrates to achieve the desired results. Note that as you increase your spindle speed, your feed rates increase also. If you do not have a "look-ahead" feature on your machining center or CNC machine, fast feed rates may create a rounding affect on your engraved lettering.

The depth of cut (total amount of spring travel) can be up to .40". For standard engraving on flat surfaces, a depth of approximately Z-0.020 will compensate for normal material irregularities.

Note: Variations in the above table may be required depending on material being engraved and cutting conditions. Consider the above recommendations as a starting point.

 

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