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The CNC Machine: An Overview

24. July 2018 12:06

By: Leland Thomasset: Taghkanic Woodworking

There are several different types of CNC machines that are used in today’s woodworking shops. However, for this discussion, we are going to focus on the nested-based router.

Flat Bed Nested Base CNC 3-Axis with Boring Block  

These machines are great for producing custom cabinetry use nested-based software.
 
To review, nested based manufacturing is where all of the cabinet parts for a job are optimized and laid out on sheets of material. The CNC first works on any operations that happen within the part outline. In other words, it will drill all construction and line boring holes. It will then cut any dados, grooves or lounges. The final operation would be to cut the parts out of the sheet.
 
That being said, these machines are not limited to sheet goods. They can be used for surface texturing, curved moldings, 3D parts/carvings, etc. Your only limitation will be your Z-axis clearance and your imagination.
 
Some other features available on these machines would be a C-axis, which is a rotary axis on the spindle which would be used with an aggregate head for operations that may happen on the side of a part with a ball nose bit – they may be a saw blade or grooving saw mounted on a spindle or a combination of both. Some machines come with multiple spindles and duel beds for higher volume operations. Automatic loaders and off loaders are becoming more common and compact.
 
As always it is important to know what it is that you need to accomplish and to purchase the proper machine configuration for your company’s needs.
 
To learn more, attend “Boundary-pushing with your Nested-Based Router” during IWF to learn tips and tricks from myself and two other veteran CNC owners.

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