I made a poll, because honestly this is me learning too about what materials people really like working with when doing CNC milling. This is the list of about 50 people in the trade and some added opinions behind the why.
Hard Maple (1450)
Red Oak (1220)
Baltic Birch (1260)
Beech (my personal favorite) (1300)
Douglas Fir (660)
So some wood side notes. I think really any wood can be cut- but the key is finding the wood that is going to hold together well (a hard wood) but not kill your bit, be ridiculously expensive or be brittle in the fine portions of the cut. I added some hardness scales (Janka) to the woods above for additional information. Higher numbers are hard (highest being 5060).
Also you should know that woods, 1. Can smell wonderful and make it worth the carve, and 2. Can cause allergies! Many people have strange allergies to wood dust. I have issues with hickory.
PLASTICS / COMPOSITE.
HDU or High-Density Urethane
MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard
HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene
HDPE Color Core (really cool and easy way to get multiple colors on layers)
Corian (acrylic polymer & alumina trihydrate)
High Density Fiberboard
Fire Rated MDF
MDO Plywood or Medium Density Overlay Plywood
Insulation Foam Board
Aluminum Composite (Dibond, Maxmetal)
Titanium (ouch- I’m gonna have to try this one, sounds expensive and hard)
Last but not least (a little joke) Unobtainium! Which generally refers to whatever species of material you are looking for when you ABSOLUTELY need it.
If I missed something, please comment and I will add it!
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Have a great one!
Hill Country CNC & Woodwork
#cncmachining #makersformakers #sanantonio #dakotahardwoods