Key Cutter Dimensions
Origin ships with 3 high quality cutters. They are made of carbide, a material known for maintaining a sharp cutting edge for a long time. The cutters are primarily designed for 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. This cutter is able to cut 1/4" deep per pass up to a maximum depth of 3/4". Two cutting flutes enable the cutter to move rapidly through large panels. When cutting wood with this cutter, start with a spindle speed of 5-6 and adjust as necessary.
UC . 1/8 . 1/2
UC = up cut, 1/8" cutting diameter, 1/2" cutting flute length endmill
When cutting finer detail work, the 1/8" cutter works excellently. The flute length limits the total cut depth to 1/2". When cutting wood with this cutter, start with a spindle speed of 5-6 and adjust as necessary.
V60 . 1/4 . 1/4
V60 = 60 degree V bit, 1/4" cutting diameter, approximately 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. When cutting wood with this cutter, start with a spindle speed of 3 and adjust as necessary.
Origin ships with a 1/4" collet, meaning that it accepts cutters with a 1/4" shank. Limitations to consider:
- The maximum cutter diameter is 1". Never attempt to force cutters with a larger shank diameter. When using cutters that are larger than 1/4," start with shallow passes as you get accustomed to the material and cutter.
- Origin does not accept cutters with guide bearings.
- Because Origin retracts whenever it encounters a tracking error, 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. Anything that can be done to reduce the build-up of heat on your cutter will help them maintain a sharper edge for a longer time.
- Do not linger: It is easy to get side-tracked adjusting offsets in the UI with the cutter plunged and the unit stationary. Always retract the cutter when not actively cutting, even if you only plan on stopping for a few seconds. This prevents heat build-up and cutter edge deterioration.
- Don't set spindle RPM higher than needed: The sound of a properly loaded cutter will become music to your ears after you've used Origin for a while. A good rule of thumb is to set the spindle at the slowest speed that still produces a good cut experience and quality cuts. Excessive spindle RPM will rub, generating heat, burning or melting of the worksurface and cutter edge deterioration.
- Clean your cutters: Resin, sap, and adhesives generate more friction if they are allowed to accumulate on your cutter. In turn, this friction can accelerate edge degradation. Take a moment to clean your 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. This 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: This is the standard cutter geometry used with Origin. It draws chips up out of the cut panel and pulls Origin down against the surface. This creates a smooth and predictable user experience. This geometry can leave a little fuzz on the top edge of cuts in good ply but this fuzz is easily removed with a quick rough-up with fine grit sandpaper.)
- Down Spiral: This geometry pushes chips into the cut, resulting in poorer chip and dust extraction. Down spiral cutters also push Origin away from the cutting surface, resulting in a jerkier cutting experience.
- Compression Spiral: This geometry combines Up and Down cutting spirals to achieve clean cuts on the top and the bottom of the worksurface. These cutters are ideal for cutting material with delicate top and bottom surfaces (i.e. laminate plywood, melamine, etc.).
- Straight Flute: This geometry is not conducive to good chip extraction. These cutters are typically 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 cutters 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 that is three times the length of the cutter diameter. Flute lengths that exceed this ratio tend not to be 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. Two flutes allow for a combination of good feed speeds and reasonable chip extraction.
- 3+ Flutes: These cutters tend to be the domain of fast-moving gantry CNC machines, to be used when cutting 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 resistant to heat and abrasion than HSS, carbide is a perfect material for cutters. Keep in mind that they are also more brittle than HSS, so treat them more like a ceramic. Avoid sudden shock loads such as result from 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. Use them with your traditional hand or table router.