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Brass is a copper-zinc alloy ideal for producing CNC machined parts, including CNC milled parts. CNC milling of brass involves placing material or a sheet of paper on a die under a spindle that holds the tool. This one rotates, creating two axes of motion. A cutting tool mounted on the rotating spindle removes the raw material, forming the shape. After various surface treatments, such as plating, polishing, heat treatment, nickel plating, zinc plating, tin plating, silver plating, and chrome plating, the final brass abrasive product can be obtained. This precision milling service for CNC machined brass parts is suitable for industrial equipment, smart home, communications, and computer components.

Machining and features of milling brass parts:

  • long-lasting,
  • strong wear resistance,
  • good elasticity,
  • flexible and resistant to rust,
  • easy to shape,
  • excellent tensile strength,

Sometimes, there may be no other option, and the job will be done with the available accretive materials. If aluminum and brass are such second-choice raw materials, perhaps, here are some key points to keep in mind when machining them on CNC machines.

Classification of brass as CNC metalworking:

machine-pressed brass,

  • red brass,
  • lead brass
  • nickel brass.

Types of brass-based casting materials:

  • silicon,
  • aluminum,
  • tin,
  • manganese,
  • lead,

Aluminum – a relatively soft but strong material that is lightweight and malleable. It is non-magnetic, which means it won’t ignite easily, and it is often used in prototyping because it is flexible and durable. However, it tends to stick to the tool’s edges, reducing performance and life. This should be considered when cutting, as the material and coating can already affect this problem. Chips should also be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, the tool may break.

Tips for cutting materials

  • proper lubrication prevents chips from sticking to the cutting edge,
  • using a blower and cooling spray helps simplify the process,
  • it is necessary to choose a tool of sufficient strength,
  • keep in mind that the feed point and speed are much lower for aluminum and other soft metals than for wood or plastic,
  • when machining aluminum with a CNC milling machine, use an aluminum tool and one with a small diameter specifically designed for cutting this material, as this will help increase the rpm.


Brass is a metal alloy consisting of copper and zinc and is one of the most widely used materials in the world. It is also one of the most accessible raw materials to work with, especially compared to aluminum. Where aluminum often sticks to tools, brass behaves appropriately, is better than plastics, and guarantees good quality and the desired shape. Its relatively low melting point and flow properties facilitate shaping and use in electrical work, medicine, plumbing, and various industries.

Advantages of brass

Brass is an cheap and durable, resistant to corrosion, on of the easiest materials for CNC, and can withstand extreme temperatures. More straightforward to cut at higher speeds and feeds without adversely affecting tool wear, surface finish, and chip formation, In addition, it is 100% recyclable, which minimizes waste and material utilization. Brass is widely used in the manufacture of musical instruments and electronic components because it is a highly conductive material, 

Two-component brass is the oldest and simplest. Copper is mixed with zinc in various proportions. It was known as early as the 1st century BC, although it was not patented until the 18th century after the discovery of zinc metal in the 16th century,

Bronze appeared much later and was more of a „household” material. It was used to make jewelry and utensils, tools, and weapons. For centuries, the ability not to lose its beauty under a thin layer of oxide has allowed jewelers to use brass as a substitute for gold, which is why it is called poor man’s gold,

After the development of navigation, due to its good antimagnetic properties, it began to be used in the manufacture of navigational instruments,

Good corrosion resistance facilitates water systems (controllers, fittings, nozzles). This is done to add new properties and improve machinability. With the development of the shipbuilding industry, the addition of tin began to be used. In marine conditions, this extends the life of marine bodies by reducing corrosion,

Silicon and lead reduce friction losses,

Manganese and nickel, in turn, are used for greater strength and resistance to corrosive environments.

Machinability – brass milling

CNC milling of brass is more brand-dependent in terms of machinability. The fewer special additives that optimize chip formation, the worse the milling material. The closer the physical properties are to pure copper, the more difficult the metal is to work with. Adding lead in milling brass removes the main disadvantage of copper alloys in brass and cutting – high ductility. The brittleness of the cut product helps remove it from the cutting edge area and ensures a uniform, clean cut. Such alloys are called automatic alloys because they are specially designed for continuous (high volume) cutting on machine tools.

CNC machining error

CNC plotters are equipped with the latest technology that provides maximum precision and productivity in signage, furniture, aluminum, brass machining, and more. But these benefits only come if you know how to use your existing equipment effectively. CNC machines are very complex equipment, so sometimes even experienced operators make mistakes on the job, reducing productivity and causing problems they could have avoided. If you’re working under tight deadlines, this loss of productivity will almost certainly result in a loss of profitability. From programming to production, here’s a rundown of some of the most common mistakes encountered when working with CNC milling machines and how to avoid them daily to maximize productivity.

Proper installation of the machine

This is the first step in the process and, if not done correctly, can negatively affect the entire project. Many factors contribute to the overall success of the job, from tool selection and material feed rate to spindle speed and depth of cut. Over time, the experience gained from using machines on various projects tells you how to configure devices effectively to achieve success. If you are unsure about a configuration at any time, it is wise to seek help from an industry expert or trusted sales representative.

Choosing the right tool

This involves the mistakes mentioned above but is crucial in getting the best results. However, it is essential to understand that finding the only suitable option at the beginning of field research is not always easy. In many cases, multiple tools can do the work simultaneously, but it is still necessary to identify one that will produce the highest quality results. Each equipment supplier usually has a product guide to help you choose the right one for your planned project. If the work is with new materials, we should not be afraid to make a few test cuts to see how different knives or blades work.

Proper placement of the material

Because of the way CNC routers work, it’s essential to make sure the material is held securely in place before cutting. Otherwise, inaccurate cutting and excessive waste can occur. You can’t machine something that isn’t left in place! Therefore, before starting work, ensure that the material being cut is smooth and clean and that there are no leaks around the vacuum system and seals (if applicable), as these are common causes of poor final quality. If the cut material is not perfectly flat, it will be more difficult to protect it during the project entirely. The correct size of the vacuum pump is the key to successful vacuum application. These numbers should correspond to the size of the canvas being used. It’s a good idea to consult a CNC specialist to ensure you’re using the right size system. Depending on the size of the material or part, mechanical clamping of the material or position may be required.

Proper and regular maintenance

Like any high-performance technical machine, CNC routers need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure continuous operation. Improper maintenance can cause dirt, dust, and debris to build up in the machine, leading to failure. The material can start slipping, leading to precision errors, etc. In addition to regular cleaning, lubricating moving parts ensures that nothing gets stuck during operation and can move smoothly when needed. Before each use, make sure the plotter is in working order. This will help you get the best results and save time and waste when restarting your project.

CNC machining of brass

The brass strip has:

  • good mechanical properties, 
  • hot ductility, 
  • good cold ductility, 
  • adequate machinability, 
  • ease of welding, 
  • corrosion resistant.

Brass-milled parts are machined by computer-controlled machine tool paths, using high-speed rotary tools if the material is to be shaped. As product, brass is one of size requirements are getting higher, machining has gradually changed from the original two-axis machining to three-axis machining, four-axis machining, and five-axis machining centers, and accuracy can reach 0.001 mm. The rotary motion of the machine spindle is 20,000 rpm, so the surface of the workpiece is smooth, and turning or grinding is very good while maintaining high quality. Cutting brass and using brass CNC are not easy. Its copper content doesn’t make more accessible for CNC operators. It has a wide range of applications – in medicine, plumbing, or in screw machine parts. If You want to use this material, a good idea is to meet the Brass parts manufacturer.