July '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 8 1 board — if you are doing all that — the majority of your business should be digital finishing," says Packman. "The speed of knife cutting is faster on a digital finishing system." To cut through wood, non-fer- rous metals, thicker aluminum, and com- posite materials, shops should look at a CNC with a larger spindle on it, he adds. "The beauty of the grand format and CNC marketplace has to do with in- vention — daily invention of new sub- strates," continues Packman. "That allows you to be much more creative with what you can manufacture. There is daily new product development for our industry. It is fantastic." Technological advances in the grand- format printing industry have put some pressure on shops' ability to keep up when it comes to cutting. Instead of the print side of the shop being the bottleneck, now it is the cutting side. That's why Multicam believes it's seeing more customers pur- chasing more than one cutting system. Many are buying CNC routers and digi- tal finishing systems or more than one of each type of machine to keep up with the speed of the printers. "There are so many markets out there, it is amazing to see what our custom- ers bring to us to help them with," says Boudria. "We've seen everything from making train batteries to ship building, (and) cabinet shops to channel letters. It is amazing the products we're involved with and get to help make." CAMaster's industrial CNC router can also act as a digital finisher, says Cody Smith of CAMaster. "We provide versatil- ity for the customer. They can do alumi- num dimensional letters but then on the same machine could direct print vinyl and cut out decals with the oscillating knife." Cesare Magnani, Biesse, adds that most CNC routers can cut a variety of differ- ent materials from typical plastics like acrylic, polypropylene, and polyethylene to more dense materials like foam, alu- minum, non-ferrous metals like bronze, wood, and composites. That means that shops can use their routers to cut out small components, machinery parts, covers or tops, and structural elements. CNC machines have drag knives and oscillating knives as well as routing bits for carving. "We can not only work with a 3-axis machine carving vertically, but we

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