Awards & Engraving

June '19

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Page 41 of 84

A&E JUNE 2019 • 39 What are the basic tools and equipment that a shop needs to complete routing jobs? Which are necessary, and which can be added later? Steve Alvarez, Laguna Tools • There are a few critical items that need to be considered with your pur- chase. CAD/CAM software is needed to create your designs and convert your artwork to G-code (CAM). G-code is the numerical language that drives your CNC machine. • Tooling (bits) are also needed. There are numerous types of tooling designed to perform specific cutting or engraving operations on most types of material found in sign shops. • Most shops that are new to CNC routing are unaware that these machines make dust. You need to purchase a dust collector to collect and store the dust and keep it out of the shop. While we are on the topic of dust collection, make sure your machine is kept in a separate room from sensitive equipment like printers of other office type machinery. Chuck Donaldson, Antares Inc. • A vacuum pump attached to the table can be extremely helpful to hold material in place, but this can be added later. • Unless the shop has a known need for a larger machine (or knows it will need one down the road), it is wise to start with a smaller machine. Lower cost, smaller footprint, etc., may be a good start for the awards shop to get into routing. It also allows for a com- pany to be more flexible as they grow; two small machines may benefit the shop more than one large one. Initial usage helps shops determine this for themselves. IMAGE COURTESY VISION ENGRAVING & ROUTING SYSTEMS

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