March '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M M A R C H 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 9 Boudria, Multicam. Shops wanting to get into this side of the business should look at the types of substrates they want to cut before making their decision. If the shop wants to cut sheet material or dense, hard, or raw mate- rials, they will want to purchase a CNC router machine. If the bulk of the shop's intended applications involve knife cut- ting materials, especially roll-to-roll, textiles, vinyl, and banner material, they should purchase a digital finishing machine, Boudria advises. Chuck Donaldson, Antares Inc., agrees, saying that it is "the materials driving the industry more than the equipment." Antares manufactures cutting tools that are used for engraving and sign and mold making on both CNC machines and engravers. e biggest difference between engraving tools and tools for a CNC is their length. "C NC s have better spind les t ha n engraving machines, a tighter hold, and they turn faster," says Donaldson. "CNCs have become higher in precision, in speed, and volume and output than engraving machines — that is why people are spend- ing three times more for a CNC than an engraver." e material on the machine or what the customer wants the end product to look like dictate what tool is used. "If a customer wants bigger products, larger format, or multiple copies …. a CNC is certainly going to make life easier," Donaldson says. From three-dimensional signage and point-of-purchase displays to custom items for the home, companies are finding that the number of specialty items they can create with a CNC machine is only limited by their imagination. (Image courtesy Multicam) CNC routers have been around forever, but these days graphics shops are getting more creative in how they use them. (Image courtesy AXYZ International) (Image courtesy Multicam)

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