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CNC Machining

Modern CNC machines are capable of micron-scale (0.001+ mm) material processing. Typical accuracy and repeatability are under 10um (linear) and under 0.01 degrees (angular).


The ideal machine space is a climate-controlled room (temperature, humidity, airflow) with a flat, level, finished floor (ex. thick polished reinforced concrete).

We recommend a solid-state 3-phase converter (240VAC 1P to 240VAC 3P) that is rated for at least twice the rated power of the machine as marked on its nameplate (ex. 10kVA machine, 25kVA converter). This safety factor is important for burst power stability (ex. spindle ramp-up) and burst regeneration tolerance (ex. spindle braking).

We recommend a step-down transformer (240VAC 3P to 220VAC 3P, delta-wye) that supports at least the rated power of the machine (ex. 10kVA machine, 10kVA transformer or better).


For tapping, we use NT Tool Synchrofit 2 (elastic tapholders) with dual-contact BT30 (NT Tool, AHO type).

Function Toolholder (NT Tool) Collet (NT Tool) Tap Interface Standard
M2 WBT-AHO30A-SMH8-75 ER8-3.0A DIN371
M2.5 WBT-AHO30A-SMH8-75 ER8-3.0A DIN371
M3 WBT-AHO30A-SMH8-75 ER8-3.5A DIN371
M4 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-4.5-3.4 DIN371
M5 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-6-4.9 DIN371
M6 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-6-4.9 DIN371
M8 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-8-6.3 DIN371
M10 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-7-5.5 DIN376
M12 WBT-AHO30A-SMH16-90 ER16GH-9-7.1 DIN376


The automatic tool change command (ex. M06 T88) selects a tool number (88) in the tool library, checks whether that tool is installed in the ATC carousel according to the ATC list (ex. tool 88 in ATC slot 10), then, if installed, performs an ATC cycle to that ATC slot (10).

Setting new tools on the ATC list can only be done in MDI mode, for accidental change prevention.

The manual-pulse-generator pendant axis-selection knob must be set to OFF in order to move the machine-head (else "Handle Mode" alarm).

Workpiece clamping force deforms the part while held. Accurately machined dimensions may not survive when the part is released. Minimize clamping force while maintaining sufficient workpiece retention. Plan fabrication around clamp-release deflection.


Dimensional Standard: Metric

Machine: Brother Speedio M200X3 (5-axis VMC with turning-capable rotary table)

Spec Description
Main Spindle RPM 16K
Turning Spindle RPM 2K
Travel (XYZ position, A tilt, C turn) 200x440x305, 120 ~ -30, 360+
Simultaneous Axes 4 (XYZ + A/C)
Positioning Accuracy 6~20um
Linear Repeatability under 6um
Angular Repeatability under 0.005 degrees
Nominal Power Input 10kVA (200-230VAC 3P+GND)
Nominal Air Input 0.5MPa 165L/min (SMC, KK130 connector)

Add-Ons (most are default on NA product package):

  • 16k rpm spindle with dual-contact BT30 spindle-toolholder interface
  • 22-slot automatic tool-changer (1.4s chip-chip) (0.8s tool-tool)
  • top cover
  • PLC
  • A-axis clamp (turning axis) and C-axis clamp (4th axis)
  • chip shower and 150L coolant tank with chute
  • automatic grease lubricator
  • Coolant-Thru-Spindle Interface (CTSI) (WARNING: requires 1.5MPa)
  • hydraulic interface

Autodesk POST

CAD-CAM Workflow

Step Tool
General Design Regular Documents
CAD Autodesk Inventor
CAM Autodesk Inventor CAM



We generally prefer dual-contact hydraulic toolholders with short gage lengths (ex. 45mm) and direct tool mounting (no collets) for best rigidity and runout.

  • Standard hydro holders for light milling, drilling, and finishing.
  • Slim hydro holders for tighter spaces.
  • Strong hydro holders for roughing.
Use MFG Product Family Ordering ID Description (mm)
6D Big Daishowa Slim Hydro BBT30-HDC6S-60 dual-contact, 60 gage
6D Maritool Standard Hydro BT30-HC6-2.25D dual-contact, 60 gage
6D Big Daishowa Standard Hydro BBT30-HDC6-45 dual-contact, 45 gage
8D Big Daishowa Standard Hydro BBT30-HDC8-45 dual-contact, 45 gage
10D Big Daishowa Standard Hydro BBT30-HDC10-45 dual-contact, 45 gage
12D Big Daishowa Standard Hydro BBT30-HDC12-45 dual-contact, 45 gage
12D Strong YG1 Power E Hydro CBT30-HC12P-69 strong hydro, torque withstand 110Nm
20D Strong YG1 Power E Hydro CBT30-HC20P-90 strong hydro, torque withstand 520Nm
External/Facing (20 square vertical) NT Tool Turning Tools for Brother Speedio 2120 12020098 BT30, Right-Hand, 98 Gage, 20x20x50 Toolslot
Facing (20 square horizontal) NT Tool Turning Tools for Brother Speedio 2120 11020081 BT30, Right-Hand, 81 Gage, 20x20x58 Toolslot
Boring Bar (10 round vertical) NT Tool Turning Tools for Brother Speedio 2120 00010038 BT30, 38 Gage, 10 DIA x 40 DP Toolslot




Series Spec (DIA/DOC/LG) Use Ordering ID
ALUPOWER 12x24x83x0.5R ALU 4XNEM12005RET


Series Spec (DIA/DOC/LG) Use Ordering ID
Varimill Extreme 12x24x83x0.5R PMKSH 4XNEM12005RET
Varimill 1 BALL 6x10x57 PMKSH 47N006002T


WIDIA, Varidrill 3xD (PMKNS) (solid carbide, coated, grade WU25PD)

Drill DIA (mm) Hole Purpose Shank DIA (mm) Ordering ID
1.984 2D PREP 4h6 VDS201A01984
2.1 M2 SCREW 4h6 VDS201A02100
2.5 M3 TAP DRILL 4h6 VDS201A02500
2.947 3D PREP 4h6 VDS201A02947

YG1, Dream Drill Alu 5xD (solid carbide with coolant-thru)

Drill DIA (mm) Hole Purpose Shank DIA (mm) Ordering ID
3.1 M3 SCREW 6h6 DGE433031
3.3 M4 TAP DRILL 6h6 DGE433033
3.9 4D PREP 6h6 DGE433039
4.1 M4 SCREW 6h6 DGE433041
5 M6 TAP DRILL 6h6 DGE433050
5.9 6D PREP 6h6 DGE433059
6.1 M6 SCREW 8h6 DGE433061


WIDIA High-Speed Reamers for Blind Holes (solid carbide)

Grade K10F: uncoated fine-grain carbide (supports PMKNS, but best for non-ferrous reaming)

Hole DIA/TOL (mm) Shank DIA (mm) Ordering ID
2H7 3 2446025
3H7 3 2446029
4H7 4 2446031
5H7 6 2437472
6H7 6 2437523
8H7 8 2437525
10H7 10 2437526
12H7 12 2437527


Video Link
Tapping Basics
YG1 Prime Tap Intro




Thread Tap Standard Ordering ID
M2 DIN371 TRE30136GS
M2 DIN371 TRJ15136GS
M2.5 DIN371 TRE30176GS
M3 DIN371 TRE30206GS
M3 DIN371 TRJ15206GS
M4 DIN371 TRE30246GS
M4 DIN371 TRJ15246GS
M5 DIN371 TRE30286GS
M6 DIN371 TRE30316GS
M6 DIN371 TRJ15316GS
M8 DIN371 TRE30366GS
M8 DIN371 TRJ15366GS
M10 DIN371 TRE30426GS
M10 DIN371 TRJ15426GS
M12 DIN376 TRE30506GS
M12 DIN376 TRJ15506GS


Chamfering: Carmex, (carbide grade MT8) (PMKNSH)

Carmex, Mini Chamfer

Carmex, Multi-Function Tools

8mm cutter DIA is ideal for small parts because holes are typically for M6 and under (for efficient Z plunge chamfering).

Type Use (hole DIA, material grade) Description (Internal DEG x Cutter DIA x Max Radial Cut x Tool Length x Shank DIA) Ordering ID
Multi-Function CHAMFER PMKNSH 90x8x4x73x10 MF 1008 L16 A90 CR3
Multi-Function SPOT PMKNSH MF 0605 L10 A120 CR3
Multi-Function ENGRAVE PMKNSH MF 0605 L10 A60 CR3
Mini Chamfer 2+ PMKNSH 90x1.5x0.3x39x3 MC 03015 C3 A90 MT8
Mini Chamfer 2+ KNS 90x1.5x0.3x39x3 MC 03015 C3 A90 K20
Mini Chamfer 3+ PMKNSH 90x2.5x0.5x39x3 MC 03025 C6 A90 MT8
Mini Chamfer 3+ KNS 90x2.5x0.5x39x3 MC 03025 C6 A90 K20




Single Point Diamond Tools


We use Schunk KSC3 self-centering vises for their high clamping force (35kN) (workpiece pre-stamping is not required), fully encapsulated spindle, and 10um repeatability.

KSC3 Info Sheet

KSC3 Webpage

Compared to the previous gen (KSC):

  • better anti-corrosion (nickel-plated body)
  • better mounting flexibility (Lang 96x96 M10 compatible)
  • more compact form-factor (driving hex does not stick out)
Function Description Schunk Product ID
Vise with Reversible Jaws KSC3 grip 125-160 1514238
Vise KSC3 125-160 1514241
Mounting Pin SPA-40RF (between vise and quick-plate) 0432369
Indexing Pin IXB-V1 (between vise and quick-plate) 0432371
Quick Plate NSE3-138-V1 1313723
Adapter Plate (between quick-plate and machine-table) custom
5-axis System Jaw compact, not reversible, requires top jaws, 1-piece 432472
Ground Top Jaw simple flat, 1-piece 1373278
Prismatic Top Jaw for round workpieces, 1-piece 1373344

These vises support a clamping range of 0 to 156mm/163mm (with the default reversible jaws) but they only have a ~40mm actuation range; the system jaws must be reversed and/or remounted (to either the inner or outer position). For max ranges of different system jaws, see the KSC3 info sheet, page 24 (default reversible jaw is 10).

For best efficiency building prototype parts, use multiple vises because it's faster and more reliable to quick-swap the vise than the jaws.

Name Function Description
Vise1 0 - 40mm (up to 1.5") reversible jaws, inner
Vise2 38 - 78mm (2" to 3") reversible jaws, outer
Vise3 85 - 125mm (3" to 4") reversible jaws, inner, reversed
Vise4 123 - 163mm (5" to 6") reversible jaws, outer, reversed
Vise5 0 - 40mm (up to 1.5") 5-axis jaws with ground top jaws, inner
Vise6 38 - 78mm (2" to 3") 5-axis jaws with ground top jaws, outer
  • driving interface: 12mm male hex (use socket)
  • driving max torque: 100 Nm
  • jaw screw head: M10 female hex
  • jaw screw target torque: 60 Nm

Supporting Tools

BT30 tool handling: Maritool, 30-Taper-Lock

Coolant: LubeCorp, GreenCut Cutting Fluid

Product Page

Power Supply

Utility (240VAC 1P) -> Main Breaker Panel -> Solid-State Phase Converter (240VAC 3P) -> Fusible Disconnect -> Delta-Wye Step-Down Transformer (220VAC 3P) -> 3-Phase Electrical Outlet

Dedicated Phase Converter: Phase Technologies, PTE010RQT-H3S1 (Phase Perfect Enterprise, 10HP, NEMA 3R, Quiet, On/Off Switch, Protec Surge Protection, 30kg) (input 1-phase 240VAC, output 3-phase 240VAC with max steady-state 36A and class 10 thermal-overload motor-starting)

Fusible Disconnect (pre-transformer): Schneider Electric, CH362AWK (60A/600V/3P, NEMA 3R/12, CSA) (with fuses, Mersen AJT30; fuse-reducers, Mersen J636)

Dedicated Step-Down Transformer: 3-phase 240VAC to 3-phase 220VAC, isolation, 10kVA

Receptacle/Plug (NEMA15-50, post-transformer): Hubbell, HBL8450A/HBL8451C (CSA/UL)

Air Supply

Dedicated Air Compressors: Makita, MAC320Q (4 parallel units) (each rated 50% duty cycle per hour)