CORK

Milling guide for Mekanika CNC Machines

INTRO

Cork is a material that is harvested for commercial use primarily from the bark of the Cork Oak tree.

Since cork has suberin in its cell walls, this makes the cells consist of sealed elements. And having sealed elements make it greater for acoustic insulation and even thermal insulation. This combined with cork's elasticity and its near-impermeability makes it suitable as a material for a wide variety of applications.


The cork industry is generally regarded as environmentally friendly. The sustainability of its production and the easy recycling of cork products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects.


MILLING ON EVO

Milling cork is very easy on the machine so EVO will handle it perfectly, but it can be tricky to obtain nice results as depending on the cork panel conception, the material can be either brittle, or too elastic.

Follow our general tips below and do some testing as the range of possible cork you can find is very wide.

We recommend that you test your parameters to find the right feed/speed for your combination of tool/material. Start with safe parameters and low depth of cut, and increase progressively to find the sweet spot for your setup. 


Parameters used in the video :

Machine : Mekanika EVO S / High-Z / Router AMB 1050W
End mill :
Ø 6mm / 2 Flutes Carbide / Downcut spiral
Feed rate : 3 000 mm/min 
Spindle speed : 14 000 rpm
Depth of cut : 4 mm


MILLING ON PRO & FAB

Milling cork is very easy on the machine so PRO & FAB will handle it perfectly, but it can be tricky to obtain nice results as depending on the cork panel conception, the material can be either brittle, or too elastic.

Follow our general tips below and do some testing as the range of possible cork you can find is very wide.

We recommend that you test your parameters to find the right feed/speed for your combination of tool/material. Start with safe parameters and low depth of cut, and increase progressively to find the sweet spot for your setup. 



MATERIAL  TIPS 

  • If the cork you have is brittle (most likely with small granules) : prefer downcut (negative spiral) bits with a wide angle spiral to avoid tearout. But be careful that the tool does not get clogged if the panel is thick.
  • If the cork you have is more elastic (most likely with big granules) : you should be able to use straight or upcut bits for easier chip evacuation (but do some testing, cork sheets variations is huge).
  • The tool must never have material stuck in it, but even with good parameters, the binders used in cork panels tends to make it stick to the tool. Using compressed air on the tool is a good way to avoid this. 
  • Avoid tools with more than 2 flutes for better chip evacuation.
  • Use ramps or helix instead of plunge to increase your tool's lifetime and avoid clogging the tool.
  •  If the surface finish is not good, it can be related to various things: 
    • check that your stock is fixed strong enough and not vibrating
    • check your tool's edges to see if it is damaged
    • use the shortest tool possible for the job
    • Test different feed/speed (most likely: reduce feed rate or increase spindle speed, within the machine's capabilities).

More materials :

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