Key Cutter Dimensions
Origin ships with 3 high quality cutters, the material used is carbide, known for maintaining a sharp cutting edge for a long time. The cutters are designed for primarily cutting wood with Origin.
The tag on the side contains the essential data:
UC . 1/4 . 3/4
UC = up cut, 1/4" cutting diameter, 3/4" cutting flute length endmill
This is our most commonly used cutter for working with any wood type, be it ply or hardwood, at 1/4" cutter diameter it is able to cut 1/4" deep per pass up to a maximum depth of 3/4". Two cutting flutes enable the cutter to be moved rapidly through large panels. We set the spindle speed to 5-6 when cutting wood.
UC . 1/8 . 1/2
UC = up cut, 1/8" cutting diameter, 1/2" cutting flute length endmill
When cutting finer detail the 1/8" cutter works excellently. The flute length limits the total cut depth to 1/2", once again, when cutting wood select a spindle speed of 5-6.
V60 . 1/4 . 1/4
V60 = 60 degree v bit, 1/4" cutting diameter, approx 1/4" flute length.
For engraving, the V bit performs admirably in a range of materials. Very fine lines can be achieved with shallow cutting depths. We run these cutters on a spindle speed of 3.
Origin ships with a 1/4" collet, meaning it accepts cutters with a 1/4" shank. Limitations to consider:
- The max cutter diameter is 1". ( never attempt to fit larger cutters, and always cut shallow passes when using large diameter cutters )
- Origin does not accept cutters with guide bearings,
- As Origin retracts when it encounters tracking errors, keyhole cutters and dovetail cutters need to be used very cautiously. Straying beyond the corrective circle will cause the cutter to be retracted vertically through the material you are cutting.
- Never attempt to cut deeper than the cutting flute length.
Heat is the biggest cause of cutter edge degradation, outside of cutting highly abrasive or hard materials. anything that can be done to reduce heat buildup will help cutters maintain an edge for a long time.
- Do not linger: with the cutter plunged and spinning, It is easy to get side tracked adjusting offsets in the UI with the cutter plunged and the unit stationary. Always retract the cutter, even if you only plan on stopping for a few seconds. This prevents heat buildup and cutter edge deterioration.
- Don't set spindle RPM higher than needed: The sound of a properly loaded cutter will become a second nature over time (we will post a video). A good rule of thumb is to set the cutter at the slowest speed that still produces a good cut experience and quality cuts. Excessive spindle RPM will rub, generating heat, burning / melting the material being cut and degrading the cutter.
- Clean cutters: resin / sap and adhesive buildup generate more friction accelerating edge degradation, take a moment to clean cutters with a small brass brush, citrus cleaner and a rag.
- Clean the collet: material build up inside a collet reduces the clamping effectiveness of the collet, and can result in a misaligned cutter, introducing "runout" ultimately reducing cut quality. Be sure to regularly inspect and clean the collet.
Cutter flute geometry:
- Up Spiral: The standard geometry used with Origin, draws chips up out of the cut panel and pulls Origin down against the surface, offering a smooth predictable user experience. leaves a little fuzz on the top edge of cuts in good ply ( easily removed with a tough up with fine sand paper.)
- Down Spiral: Pushes chips into the cut, resulting in worse chip extraction, Down cutters also push Origin away from the cutting surface resulting in a jerkier cutting experience.
- Compression Spiral: combines Up and Down cutting to achieve clean cuts on the top and the bottom of the panel. Good for cutting material with delicate top and bottom surfaces (i.e. laminate plywood, melamine, etc.).
- Straight Flute: Not good at extracting chips, they are commonly used on table routers where plunging into material is less common. Many straight flute bits are not capable of plunge cutting - we don't recommend using these with Origin. Straight cutters often include carbide inserts, making them suitable for grinding into custom profiles ( round over cutters, keyhole cutters, dovetail cutters etc).
- Burr: Regularly used for cutting composite materials, burrs are ground with many small flutes resembling a file.
- The length of the cutting flute represents the maximum depth a particular cutter can cut. The longest cutter we ship with is the 1/4" cutter, with a 3/4" flute length.
- You will notice flute length and cutter diameter are related. The longer the flute length relative to the cutter diameter, the more flexible the cutter. A common rule of thumb many manufacturers use is to aim for a flute length to 3x cutter diameter. longer ratios are not as stable.
- 1 Flute: Great for chip extraction and slower feed speeds, good for acrylic/plastics and soft metals.
- 2 Flutes: A nice compromise for wood, faster feed rates and reasonable chip extraction
- 3+ Flutes: More the domain of fast moving gantry CNC machines through metals that are not appropriate for cutting with Origin.
- High speed steel: (HSS for short) Hard, heat resistant and durable steel alloys, commonly used in inexpensive cutters.
- Solid carbide: Stronger, harder, more heat resistant and abrasion resistant than HSS, carbide is a perfect material for cutters. keep in mind they are also more brittle, so treat them more like a ceramic, avoid sudden shock loads like dropping them on the floor.
- Carbide insert: Carbide, brazed onto a softer steel support and shank,
- Coatings are used to reduce friction and protect against heat, improving the durability of a cutter. TiN (Titanium Nitride) and ZrN (Zirconium Nitride) are common examples.
- Origin does NOT support cutting with following cutters, save them for your traditional hand/table router.