July '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 1 7 door to bring it in. Most shops will have a rollup door, but shops with typical 6' double doors may struggle to bring in big- ger equipment. Routers are heavy as well so the shop owner will need to contract with a rigging company to help them or rent a forklift to bring the machine into the shop, which is an additional cost. Purchasing the right software to run a CNC router is an important step. Most shops already use Adobe, CorelDR AW, or Flexi. All of those will interface with CAMaster's CNC router, lightening the learning curve for new shops, Smith says. "CNCs are all capable of the same things. Every CNC router can cut the same materials and do the same things. e quality with which they do it and the speed is what separates different machines in the industry," he says. "I tell everybody, look for a product made in America so you can call a person on the phone to source components." After that, he says, shops should look at what is realistic. Many shops have an idea of what they want to spend, but sometimes what they want to spend and their real- ity aren't the same thing. Just don't waste money on a machine that is too small or can't handle the work you've already got. HIGH DEMAND & SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS As a manufacturer of CNC routers, C A Master has been surprised by the increase in demand for its products since COVID hit. "Demand has been crazy, and it has been for 2.5 years. Before COVID started, we were pretty busy with lead times of seven to 10 weeks," Smith says. Recently, lead times have gotten longer, between 16 and 20 weeks because it has been "hard to keep up and source the components we need. It is an industry-wide challenge. ose chips go in a lot of things." He added that CAMaster's sourcing team spends most of its time sourcing alternative vendors to complete its products. CAMaster builds everything in Cartersville, Georgia, except for variable frequency drives — the things that regulate power in your machine, and there has been a shortage of those, mak- ing it a challenge. "Now we have to find alternates, but then we have to make sure the alternates work to the same ability as the originals did, more testing and more time. It is a whole different animal," Smith says. GP Paula Aven Gladych is a writer based in Denver, Colorado, who has been covering the graphics industry since 2014. She can be reached at Looking for specialty items you can make with your CNC router? Visit and explore your creative side!

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