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HomeAircraftHelicopterCAD - Engineering - Technical › What grade/type of aluminum is best for small CNC parts?
04-02-2009 01:55 AM  9 years agoPost 1
mgjones

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Seattle, WA - USA

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I am just in the final stages of setting up a small CNC mill and would like to create some misc. parts for my 450 size heli.

What grade/type of aluminum would be best for this function?

Thanks,

- Michael

First Heli - ESky BeltCP v2 2.4G
The addiction begins!

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04-02-2009 02:46 AM  9 years agoPost 2
Greg McFadden

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Richland, WA

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Many types would work. 6061-T6 extruded is a great material to start with and work with, along with 7075-T6. Both are forgiving of feed rates and are structually quite good.

I have also used 5052-H32 when it was available cheap from the scrap bin but 6061-T6/7075-T6 have cut the best for me and when I can get it cheap I prefer 7075, but at considerably more expensive than 6061, it often is not warranted...

If you are going to anodize the parts, however, 6061 is much easier to anodize than 7075. You really need to know the stresses the parts will see and base your material choice off of that and the machinabiltiy, and suitability to any other process you will do, e.g. anodizing, plating, etc..

The silence often, of pure innocence persuades, when speaking fails

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04-03-2009 02:43 AM  9 years agoPost 3
zackesch

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Greg, you got me curious. This is the first time of hearing that different grades of aluminum are harder to anodize then others. How is that so? Itll be good for me to know, as I am a mechanical design student.

mgjones, sorry to hijack your topic

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04-03-2009 04:09 AM  9 years agoPost 4
mcraig79

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Beckley, WV

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I prefer 6061..for one its easier to weld then 7075 and alot of times to me 7075 seems to gum up more when machining

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04-03-2009 04:44 AM  9 years agoPost 5
DaOne

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Prineville, OR - USA

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6061 for just about any heli part imaginable. Its what everyone uses. It also soaks up anodizing like a sponge. With 7075 I have noticed grain showing up in anodized parts. also it is very hard to get certain colors to take. The problem with a small cnc mill is normally spindle speed. In order to get proper feeds and speeds for chip load these need to be able to be adjusted and held under load most little mills don't even have a spindle speed control much less compensate for load.





www.alumafx.com

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04-03-2009 05:06 PM  9 years agoPost 6
mgjones

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Seattle, WA - USA

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mgjones, sorry to hijack your topic
Quite alright
The problem with a small cnc mill is normally spindle speed.
So are you saying that 7075 is better for these parts, but a small CNC mills without constant speed control will have issues? or just commenting on the abilities of small mills in general?

Fortunately this mill has a speed control with a circuit that maintains the speed under load.

- Michael

First Heli - ESky BeltCP v2 2.4G
The addiction begins!

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04-05-2009 08:42 AM  9 years agoPost 7
DaOne

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Prineville, OR - USA

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So are you saying that 7075 is better for these parts, but a small CNC mills without constant speed control will have issues? or just commenting on the abilities of small mills in general?
I would start with 6061 first. Its easier to machine, more readily available, cheaper, easy to anodize and should be plenty strong enough for any RC heli part. If you feel that the part wasn't strong enough and you need to use 7075. Its as simple as changing the speeds and feeds. Also a tip on machining aluminum... carbide isn't always the best choice for an end mill. I only use it when I am having issues with tool flex. HSS will be much sharper than carbide and will provide a much better cut and surface finish unless chatter becomes an issue. I highly recommend high helix HSS cutters in 2 or 3 flute.





www.alumafx.com

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10-02-2009 12:26 AM  9 years agoPost 8
duckmansweb

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Sunshine coast, QLD, Australia

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5083 ally plate , 6061 machines like crap compared to it

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE HELI AT A TIME

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