Milling square tubing

Material: 1″x2″ rectangular tubing
Thickness: 0.095″ (approximately 3/32″)

From the video: 6061 aluminum – 3/16″ thick


  • Chip thickness – controlled by feed rates and spindle rpm. Faster you go the thicker the chip.
  • SFM – surface feet per minute – how fast the edge of the tool is going along the material
  • Bit deflection – if you cut too deep the bit deflects
  • Maximum depth of cut per pass – wood you can go 2x the tool diameter. Plastic the maximum depth of cut is the tool diameter. Aluminum – the maximum depth of cut is 1/2 the tool diameter. So a 3/16″ tool cutting 3/16″ thick aluminum will require two passes – a rough pass (conventional cut) and a finish pass (climb cut).
  • Lubricate the cut – make sure we use cutting fluid!
  • 60ipm at 14k rpm with a 0.1″ DOC i
  • Plunge is at 30ipm
Aluminum chips


O Flute

O flute
O flute
CNC Bits

1/8″D x 1/2″ L Up-Cut
1/8″D x 1/2″ L Down-Cut
3/16″D x 1/2″ Down-Cut
3/16″D x 1/2″L Up-Cut
1/4″D x 5/8″L Down-Cut
1/4″D x 5/8″L Up-Cut
1/4″D x 3/4″L Up-Cut
1/4″D x 1-1/4″L Up-Cut


PPE – Safety glasses, hearing protection

dust collection system to handle chips


Square Tubing for the S and T Drive Train – another day in our build blog

Square tubing

After work yesterday I picked up the square tubing we ordered from Reynolds Wm & Sons Metal Fabricators Ltd. This is a local company that have been wonderful to our team. They mentor for the team and have been incredibly helpful.

The robot frame will be made of aluminum – it is a very strong but light material. For this frame we are using 1″x2″ tubing – it comes in lengths of 24′ so we had it cut in half to ensure we could easily get around corners! The thickness is 0.095″ and it has square corners. This is thinner than we usually use. Our goal is to determine how durable the thinner material will be. It will be considerably lighter which can be very valuable for complex mechanisms.

Horizontal Bandsaw

Students will be cutting the metal to the sizes we need using the horizontal bandsaw. They are working through the safety lessons to learn how to use it properly.

One of the parts

This is one of the parts. For these drawings we are only worried about the proper lengths for cutting. When we are ready to drill holes we will do a more detailed drawing with the measurements.

Introducing the build blog for the S&T Drive train

Last spring Sam Topps designed a new drive train for first robotics. Sam was the lead designer for team 4152. The S&T Drive train is a combination of sheet and tube. The design features a number of things that we are interested in doing. We are making a sample version to test it.

Today we inventoried the parts we have. There are a few things on order. We are making sure we have what we need.