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3 Axis Nested Based CNC-What Else Can I Do With It?

8. June 2016 09:17
So you have purchased your first CNC Router! The jobs are flowing thru the shop at a pace that you could have only dreamed of and you are becoming more comfortable with the machine and the programing. Now you start to dream about the possibilities and doors that are opening up if you could make other items with all of the excess capacity that is available for your CNC. This is precisely the vision that I had for my CNC router 8 years ago when I purchased my first router.
For the first year or so we produced just our cabinet parts via Cabinet Vision we would occasionally cut curved bottom rails or lambs Tongue feet for vanities and the like. Along the way we learned about fixturing methods for flat table CNC routers.

We then took on a project that would require elliptical casings, Keystone with center carvings and a two story tall great room with spoon gouged rift oak panels and large detailed crown with applied rafter tail ends. This required additional software with which we would be able to produce complex 3-D shapes and geometries. We used Vetric V-Carve Pro for the spoon gouge texturing and Bob Cad Cam for the true 3-D carvings and elliptical moldings. Both packages were fairly easy to learn and we were producing code within a couple of weeks. With these software packages you had to understand more about 3-D drawing and layering as well as proper tooling and tool path strategies.


As we developed all of these skills we were able to diversify our products and offerings to our customers which in turn bought additional work into our shop and allowed us to bid on jobs we would have passed on prior to having the CNC in our shop. We were also able to produce just CNC parts for other companies and individuals. We have turned the machining of cabinet parts and components into its own business that we market separately from the cabinet business with great success and profit.

In closing I have found with few exceptions that we are able to produce just about anything we or our customers can dream of. You will need to put in time to research the proper software and tooling to produce the product need and learn about different fixturing techniques, tooling types and tool path strategies. If you do all of this you will put your investment of time and money to work for you and your company in ways you had not imagined.

You can learn more about the discussion above this summer at IWF in Atlanta myself and David Bushsbaum will be presenting for IWF Education Conference on Wednesday August 24th from 3-4pm CNC Tips And Tricks

Author: Leland Thomasset

I am Leland Thomasset owner and president of Taghkanic Woodworking, CNC-Cabinetparts.com, Wine-cube.com and Pawling Closet Company



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