Carbon fiber on CNC machine

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Hi everyone,

I’ve had some fun in the past moulding some carbon fiber parts by using 3D printed moulds (and a set from EasyComposites:, see photos below, and sometimes some of the features can be too small to get in the mould (or the mould will keep them stuck in them and rip it apart, not ideal). The photos below are for different methods of using CF: one is moulded via the kit I linked, the other one is the more traditional sheet of CF epoxied on the part itself.

I was wondering if it would be fine to use the mini CNC to cut some features out of some similar parts? I’m happy to even buy a few cutting tips and leave them at the workshop if there is any worry of wear and tear :slight_smile:

@CNCtechs? @Kyle?

Would be very interested in working with carbon fibre. When cutting carbon with a handsaw we use foam, gloves, respiratory protection, and do it in a well-ventilated space. In small shards it’s much like asbestos, and there are reports of asbestosis in the cycling industry from working with cf.

I’ve never worked with carbon fibre… I’m very interested.

My worry on the CNC is just about the dust and micro fiber… It won’t be healthy for the messy room… But again i’m no expert with the material

Yes fair, I guess the Henry hoover might not be sufficient for the dust - would we need some more aspiration for it potentially then? Could the aspiration from the laser cutter be used for both?

Not that I know of

Fair, and do we think that it would be fine to do on the large CNC then once the space is enclosed with the door etc?

The extractor is way better there but i’m still concerned about health… Again this is me not having enough knowledge, but shouldn’t we treat carbon fibre or glass fibre particles as they do with asbestos? Isn’t there water involved to damp down the dust?
I’m only meaning sanding/milling process i think moulding it’s ok ( actually keen to learn it with CF)

That’s my understanding of cutting and drilling cf, fwiw.

Yeah, this video shows an application where they have a “milling bath” to keep the dust within water:

I guess this would be a fairly easy to do thing on the big router, but maybe not so easy to get on the small CNC?
I might workout a small jig at some point to allow this and then we can review together and see if you’re happy with this measure? What fo you think?

I have an idea for an aluminium camera house done on the cnc and for such job you need coolant… Every time i envision it, it has always ended in flooded woodshop and people running and screaming everywhere… So… Happy to try :stuck_out_tongue:

I can bring my armbands, you bring rugs to dry everything

But seriously, i don’t see a problem with the bathtub assuming it works, i have lots of “accessories” ideas for the cnc…
In regards of the CF… Still think we need a broader assessment to work with it in the space… For instance: what do we do with the water once the milling is done? Draining down the toilet? In that case I’ll be furious…

What do you think?

Ps: whatever i say doesn’t stop the project… It’s only my view

Hi Frederico,

I agree, we need to do a full risk assessment and a clear SOP for how to work with machining CF product. Happy to take that under my hat to review later on! I’ll try to see what’s the state of the art on this front to replicate what makes sense in the Space!

And on what to do after with the water, I would see if being filtered before discarded but just my thoughts on the fly. :slight_smile:

Cool, glad that there is a way forward anyway!

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