Importance of Rigidity in Plastic and Composite Routing
Rigidity is an extremely important consideration in composite routing, plastic routing, wood routing and metal routing. Whether you are working with metal cutting router bits, upcut wood router bits or any other type of router bits, it is extremely important to have rigid control over the machines and tools that you are using. This is perhaps the most critical component of the routing process regardless of the type of materials you are using, though the tools will definitely vary depending on the materials.
The idea of rigidity applies both to the stability of the composite routing or plastic routing machines, but also to the fixturing of the components that are going to be cut. Plastic routing, for instance, is entirely different than wood, metal or composite routing because the feed rates are typically much faster. Metal cutting router bits typically move much slower, and upcut wood router bits will not require as precise of a finish compared to plastics.
When composite routing machines, plastic routing machines and their drive systems are properly lubricated and maintained, it is much easier to achieve optimum feed rates as a result of stronger rigidity. This is especially true of plastics, which are so sensitive to the relative motion of the cutter and can show a noticeable difference with even the slightest backlash, worn track or worn ball area. If the table or spindle mounting systems are moved even slightly it can lead to an erratic marring of the work surface and a waste of resources.
Whether you are working with metal cutting router bits, upcut wood router bits, composite routers or any other type of cutting tools, it is important to make sure that the machines and each individual part is rigid. The material being cut must also be extremely rigid. Failure to follow a preventive maintenance schedule with the spindle and the other parts can cause severe concentricity problems. The fixtures should also be rigidly mounted, and you should have as steady a hand as possible.