July '22

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1 4 G R A P H I C S P R O J U L Y 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M types of projects and signage your shop wants to use a router for and then determine the best machine for the job. Lokpez bought a Laguna Tools router because of the price. Because his shop had lost a lot of business related to vehicle wraps during the pandemic, he couldn't afford to spend $70,000 for a top-of-the-line CNC. After consulting with other franchisees, he determined that Laguna Tools had a good reputation. He was able to get an SBA loan to buy the CNC. POWER NEEDS & COST TO SET UP e next step was to make changes to the shop to accommodate the new machine. Because Signarama is in a commercial area, it wasn't hooked up to 220 electrical so Lokpez had to change the electrical to accommodate it. "In addition, because I was in a small commercial space, the electrical fuse box was already maxed out," he says. "e dollar number was starting to add up. e landlord says, 'at is not my problem. If you want it, I'm not paying for a commercial setup.'" It cost $3,000 to update the electrical circuit and $2,800 to add 220-volt power to the bay area of his shop. e only CNC routers that don't take 220 single-phase electricity are smaller beginner desktop machines or hobby machines, Smith says. He points out that even if these smaller machines can run on 110 volts, they are "not something you want to rely on for a business." Some of the smaller routers require 20 amps of power, which is what everyone has in their house, but some larger machines require 60 amps and require the help of an electrician. Smith recommends that shops that are outsourcing a high volume of CNC work should consider a three-phase industrial machine that can go up to 70 amps. Smaller shops that are doing more custom work can get by with a single-phase machine. Many commercial sign and graphics shops are in light commercial areas, so they don't have access to those higher levels of power. "Most shops will have at least 100-amp or 200-amp service. e bigger single-phase machines will take 60 amps of that," he says. Another thing to consider when it comes to power is the addi- tion of an air compressor, which will require 10 to 20 amps, and a vacuum hold down, which holds medium to the table while it is being processed. at will take about 30 to 60 amps, "depend- ing on how crazy you want to get with the vacuum," Smith says. Another vacuum is necessary to extract chips and the material "When you get the actual measurements for the machine you are considering, plan for at least a two-foot perimeter around the machine," says Cody Smith of CAMaster. "We do totally understand that is not always possible. Sometimes you have to put one side of the machine against a wall but, ideally, a two-foot perimeter is minimum."

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