Programming Tricks for Plastic Routing
The goals of using wood router bits are the same as they are with plastic routing, but with plastics the problem of the cut chips re-welding to the finished surface presents some different challenges. Whether you’re using plastic routers bits or wood router bits, however, the goal should be to create a high quality finish at a fast feed rate. Whatever kind of router bits you’re using the programming techniques will apply to the same goals, but with the routing of plastic the programming should also help to prevent re-welding. When all three of these routing goals are met, the perfect finished plastic product is sure to result.
To prevent chip re-welding during the plastic routing process, it is necessary to keep the chips cool. The most obvious way to accomplish this is to use router bits with a very fast speed rate, but this is not always practical since most routers have acceleration, deceleration, and curve speed limitations when cutting radii and corners. Another solution, however, is to use exit ramp programming in the plastic routing machine that program the corners as outside loops so the machine doesn’t dwell on them for long.
Unlike wood router bits, plastic bits can also be used to rout the hole to reduce dwell time and prevent the excess heat that leads to chip re-welding. Router bits are not typically used to drill a hole in wood, but by using a small diameter bit to ramp into the hole in a circular fashion and using a routing action one can cut the hole to size. This plastic routing trick allows the operator to hold tight tolerances and prevent the occasional blow-out on the underside of a hole when the plug is ejected.
There are many programming tricks that can be used to enhance the quality of the finished edge, increase the feed rate and avoid the dreaded problem of chip re-welding, which often occurs when the machine dwells on a certain area of the material.