Sign & Digital Graphics

April '19

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ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CNC r o u t e r s h a v e b e e n around for a long time and, because of that, many people dis- count them as old technology. But, old technology or not, these machines are very versatile and sign shops and other businesses continue to find new and cre- ative uses for them. Routers come in all sizes, from small models used by hobbyists to larger mod- els for building furniture and large, 3 D signs. What drives demand for C N C routers is their precision. Higher-end models can cut within 1,000th of an inch on aluminum, MDF and various sign foams. Mark Gawor, president of GRG Group Inc. in Dallas, Texas, uses his Computerized Cutters CNC routers to make intricate architectural models of NFL football stadiums, office buildings, resorts and even oil drilling platforms. His shop uses other types of cutters, like laser cutters, but 85% to 90% of the work is done on a router because of that precision. He makes his models out of styrenes, a thin and soft plastic, which will bow and lose dimension on a laser cutter. Because his models have to be so precise, Gawor says he needs to use the slower, older router technology to produce the best and most accurate scale models. B Y P A U L A A V E N G L A D Y C H Paula Aven Gladych is a writer based in Denver and has been covering the signage and graphics industry since 2014. CNC Routers 20 • April 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S THE VERSATILITY OF C N C R O U T E R A P P L I C A T I O N S New uses for current technology Most CNC routers now come with attachments that allow users to perform die cutting. (Image courtesy of AXYZ Automation Group) Image courtesy of AXYZ Automation Group. Along with cutting and routing, this spin- dle is being used to touchup the edge of a plastic sheet. (Image courtesy of AXYZ Automation Group)

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