Achieving a clear and glossy finish is essential when an acrylic edge is seen or touched by people. This is why polishing acrylic is such a popular topic within the CNC routing community. One way to achieve a great finish on acrylic is by flame polishing the edges after cutting a part out. However, this means that someone has to run each part through a flame consistent enough to reach the desired goal. The other options are using either a diamond bit that chucks up into a CNC router or a diamond edge polishing machine. These options minimize human error by automating the process.
One of our top suppliers, X-Edge Products, recently released the Acryl-X Series that contains MCD bits and a machine with MCD diamond. It’s important to understand the difference MCD and PCD diamond which I will explain along with the new Acryl-X Series. Let’s get into it!
What is PCD Diamond?
PCD Diamond is a synthetic polycrystalline diamond grit that has been fused together under high-pressure, high-temperature conditions in the presence of catalytic metal. The extreme hardness, wear resistance, and thermal conductivity of diamond make it an ideal material for the cutting tools manufacturing.
What is MCD Diamond and why is it better?
MCD Diamond is a natural monocrystalline diamond that is cut in a variety of ways for different diamond tooling applications. It is commonly used in special dressing and turning applications that require very different dimensions and crystal orientation to perform the required task.
Compared to PCD, cutting tools that contain MCD have a tool life that is 3-10 times more than cutting tools with PCD. There is also an improved and noticeable clarity difference on the edge finish with MCD. Even though the cost of MCD tools are higher than PCD tools, the slight increased price is often worth the 3-10 times tool life and improved clarity especially in a situation where the tool will be used long term.
The Acryl-X Series is dedicated to producing the highest acrylic edge quality possible by utilizing natural diamonds (MCD) to polish the acrylic. Offered both as a polishing router bit to use on your CNC router, and as a stand alone polishing machine for faster offline polishing of straight cut parts.
Acryl-X Series (MCD Diamond Bits)
- XPT-1068 (6.5mm Diameter) – SHOP
- 6mm Shank Diameter | 8mm Cut Length | 65mm Overall Length
- XPT-101014 (10.5mm Diameter) – SHOP
- 10mm Shank Diameter | 14.5mm Cut Length | 76mm Overall Length
- Cut Out: Use a single O flute bit to cut the part out
- Example: 1/4″ Material | Tool XO2012-S (1/4″) | 150 IPM | 21,000 RPM | Climb
- Cleanup: Step in the material .06″ and cleanup the edge at a lower feed rate
- Example: 1/4″ Material | Tool XO2012-S (1/4″) | 60 IPM | 21,000 RPM | Climb
- Polish: Step in the material .004″ and polish the edge at a low feed rate and spindle speed
- Example: 1/4″ Material | Tool XPT1086 (6.5mm) | 20 IPM | 10,000 RPM | Climb
To achieve the best possible finish, add a precision tool holder (such as a Titan Chuck) while using these tools. The extremely high clamping force allows for longer tool life and better edge quality.
Acryl-X Series (MCD Diamond Machine)
- XPM-1071 – SHOP
- 220 Volt (110v option) | 1 Phase | 3/4″ Max Thickness | MCD Head Included
The Acryl-X (XPM-1071) vertical desktop edge polishing machine is for producing high gloss as well as satined edge finishes or even tension-free edges for gluing.
Processing speed can be adjusted to suit any material with a turn of the variable speed input, conveniently located on the front of the machine. The housing is made entirely of heat-dissipating aluminum along with ventilation slots to prevent over heating. The protective hood of the polishing machine is designed to prevent material chips from causing surface smear.
*Note* 110v converter option is available at an additional cost
This is one of many articles to come, related to CNC routing on this website. We will also be sharing videos and updates on our social media pages. Stay up-to-date with Multicam Great Lakes by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
If you need any help cutting specific materials on your CNC Router or Knife Cutter, please call me at (616) 502-7277. I (Greg) manage the tooling department, where we are a distributor for CNC tooling. I work with some of the best tooling suppliers in the world, such as LMT Onsrud, X-Edge, Techniks, Whiteside, LMT Belin, Amana Tool, Emuge, and more. Feel free to check out our online webstore to see some of what we offer. Thanks for stopping by.
CNC Tooling Manager at Multicam Great Lakes
Here to help with tooling recommendations (bits, knives, collets, tool holders, cleaners and kits, torque stations, etc.) and cutting recommendations (feeds/speeds, tips/tricks, # of passes, etc.).