‘Klever’ Nesting of Alloys, Plastics and Foam – Made easy with Biesse

We at Biesse are always striving to be helpful for our customers, many of whom have asked us to perform machining operations on materials other than wood. So Huw Davies, our Manager for Plastics and Advanced Materials has some extremely useful information on a selection of materials we’ve been cutting using Biesse’s Klever and Skill flat table routers, the results of which we think look pretty amazing.

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Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) is manufactured by bonding two sheets of aluminium (0.3-0.5mm thick ) to a core of solid polyethylene. This sheet material is used for a wide range of architectural and display purposes, including wall hanging cassettes, hoardings and sign trays.  ACP is folded by machining grooves into the material. Precise Z axis control is essential to rout ACP to a consistently accurate depth to produce folds that leave the face material intact.  No problem for a Biesse Klever!

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Foamalux Xtra is another material popular in the display industry.  Nesting letters from the 10mm thick sheets with a Biesse CNC router is as easy as ABC. Simply use a single flute upspiral cutter for a good edge finish.  To enhance the overall effect, try adding a 4mm bevel with a 90 degree V Bit before cutting your letters out. Very Klever!

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Foam engineering companies will be very familiar with Plastazote LD 45 – a light and strong polyethylene foam widely used for producing customised foam inserts in the packaging and case making industries. A good vacuum bed is crucial when machining this material.  Needless to say, Biesse routers hold this material with a vice like grip.


Engineering plastics like polypropylene pose significant problems for lightweight CNC machines. There are no issues when you use a heavy duty Biesse CNC router. In addition to strong vacuum hold down and a powerful HSD spindle motor, the correct cutter choice and feed rate is crucial as these materials can be hard wearing on tools.


We also had a play with some High Density Rigid Foam, using a bullnose tool to create some 3D images which we also think are quite ‘Klever’. We hope you agree.

So, if you’d like more information on cutting plastics and other composite materials, please use our usual contact details or call us on 01327 300366. Alternatively, you can talk to Huw Davies on 07931 238686.

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