May 8, 2020

Common Problems Encountered in the CNC Machining of Aluminum

Most problems you encounter when using CNC machines for machining aluminum boil down to two major categories:

  • Operator Error
  • Poor Machine Maintenance

But the specific problems are easy to identify if you know what to look for:

CNC-machining-for-aluminum in action


Internal overheating is one of the most common issues encountered by a CNC machine operator, but fortunately, one of the easiest to prevent. A CNC machine that overheats can seriously damage the machine itself. Typical causes of overheating include filters and AC units that are clogged with dirt and debris from the machining process. Making a practice of brushing off metal shavings and wiping away cutting fluids frequently is a good way to limit these clogs before they create a big problem. But be sure to check the filters and AC units often to make sure that they don’t get clogged. Performing these tasks is a quick and simple way to assure that your CNC machine works well for a long time.

Excessive Vibration

Vibration, also known as “chatter,” is more often heard than felt. CNC machining is a noisy process, but if it seems like your machine is louder than usual, take the following actions to help uncover the issue:

  • Verify that you have selected the correct tool holders and that they are properly balanced.
  • Confirm that you have selected the proper cutting tool for the job.
  • Check to see if the part has been properly secured.
  • Adjust the RPM of your machine for the job.

Programming Errors

Every CNC machine operator encounters these issues from time, especially new operators. The best way to prevent these issues is by providing excellent training and supervision of new CNC machine operators. Learning the common errors and programming issues is also very helpful when diagnosing CNC programing errors.

Use of Improper Tools or Settings

If you notice burns or scratches on the corners or edges of the worked material, this may indicate that the tools are too blunt, in the wrong position, or that the feed speed of the material is too slow. This may also be an indicator that you are not using enough coolant for the process. If you notice any of these things, inspect your cutting tool to make sure that it is sharp, check the settings, and the amount of lubricant you use in the process. This is a simple problem to prevent or fix when encountered that will prolong the life of your CNC machine and produce high-quality products.

Getec is an Industry Leader for Precision CNC Machining Services

At Getec, we have over 30 years of experience providing high-quality precision CNC machining services. We are RoHS compliant and have earned our ISO 9001:2015 certification which proves our dedication to quality. For more information give us a call at 888-999-8499, contact us online , or send us an email at to get a quote or consultation about your job today.