Sign & Digital Graphics

September '18

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 82 of 104

76 • September 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ing a project. Compared to sand blast- ing, for example, the CNC adds a much higher degree of control, nearly limitless background textures, the possibility of 3D relief carving, and the ability to work with more materials," he adds. CNC machines come in different sizes and can be affixed with different heads. The main head is a spindle or router, says LeRoy. "This is a bit-based motor that drills, cuts, pockets, 3D mills and engraves into the materials. Other heads are possible to add, such as knife heads for foam, creas- ing wheels, cameras for print jobs, drag knives and more." The machines also come in different horse powers but the standard and begin- ner level is a liquid-cooled 3 HP spindle. Advanced spindles, such as a 12HP Italian air-cooled spindle, come on the higher end cabinet making routers, he adds. Warner estimates that shops can expect to spend between $8,000 and $11,000 for a desktop CNC; between $14,000 and $20,000 for a 48"x 48" or 96"x 48" machine; and between $40,000 and $50,000 for a fully equipped industrial model. AXYZ International's entry-level rout- ers start at around $35,000. This is a sin- gle-head machine complete with every- thing a shop would need to get started and is available in three standard sizes. If a shop needs something with greater flexibility or a wide choice of process areas, AXYZ's Trident Series is a good choice, Hooley says. It is more expensive than the entry- level CNC, but it comes pre-configured with a routing spindle, oscillating knife, tangential knife and vision system. It also includes helical rack and servo motors to deliver smoother and quicker per- formance, alongside an automatic tool changer and auto-zone vacuum bed man- agement. The MultiCam 3000 Series router, effective for cutting foam, composite materials, and marine fabrication. A highly configurable CNC router from AXYZ, suitable for small batch production as well as high volume and high productivity applications. Warner says that when deciding on which router to purchase, shop owners should consider the maximum material size they want to machine, the type of projects and material and the budgeted amount they can afford to spend. "If you are a high-production shop, the cutting and positioning speed capa- bilities will be an important consider- ation, and those needing frequent bit changes in a shop anticipating heavy production may want to add an ATC (automatic tool changer), but this is an expensive option," he says. ShopBot's most popular routers are the Desktop MAX 36"x 24" and its PRSstandard and PRS alpha Gantry 96"x 48" models. He adds that potential buyers should make sure the router manufacturer has a long enough history and a good repu- tation because it is important for when they need parts or technical support. MultiCam's Boudria says that the type of CNC router purchased depends

Articles in this issue

view archives of Sign & Digital Graphics - September '18