March '23

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 68 of 103

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 6 3 Specialty items made with a CNC In looking at projects that are a bit out- side the box, many CNC machines can produce specialty items. For example, Biesse's 5-axis machines can make intri- cate components for aerospace and auto- motive applications, says Magnani. Many CNC machines come with a vision system that can detect reference points on a print so it knows exactly where to cut. ese systems work with just about any design software. "When we talk about quality of cut, quality of frame is important, tools are important, also the way the routing is executed is important," he adds. For cutting plastic materials and even wood, it is important that the bits don't get so hot that the material melts or burns. Routers can also be used to score alumi- num or plastic so that "we can bend it with precision," Magnani says. e 5-axis machine makes it possible to cut out something that is truly three-di- mensional. People have made 3D statues using a CNC router, depending on the size. Larger statues can be carved in pieces and then assembled. The COVID-19 pandemic opened up other possibilities for sign shops. Demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) was high in 2020 with hospitals, schools, shops, and retailers looking for ways to manufacture face shields, sneeze guards, and plastic barriers to help keep students, front line workers, and customers safe, says Smith. Many sign shops stepped in to fill that void, producing PPE from the sub- strates they had available in their inventory. Routers also can be used to make cus- tom wood signs and dimensional sign let- ters; to carve HDU sign foam into the 3D marquis signs that are popular in shop- ping complexes; or to brand products instead of laser engraving them, Smith continues. "Here's the magic secret: it is all in the finishing. Most good-quality CNC rout- ers will create a good product, high qual- ity, that looks good," Smith says. But it is really how a shop makes the end product look good that matters. at means hav- ing great additional skills, like painting and sandcarving. "at's what separates a good sign shop from an average sign shop. Anyone can print a decal and cut it out," he adds. Donaldson notes that one of his compa- ny's customers uses their CNC to cut out wooden snowboard cores. Another shop is cutting acrylic for backlit signage. Customers today expect to be able to go to one shop to get all of their sign and dig- ital graphic needs fulfilled. Having a dig- ital finishing system not only helps them build a revenue stream from cutting but also increases their revenue potential in the digital printing market, says Packman. GP Acme Industrial Thinking • Nameless, TN Tool: ShopBot PRSstandard 4' x 8' ShopBot CNC. Your path to profitability. S H O P B OT TO O L S A R E E N G I N E E R E D, M A N U FAC T U R E D, A N D S U P P O R T E D I N T H E U S A We make the tools for making the future. ShopBot manufactures CNC tools that inspire people to turn their ideas into something tangible. When we see our tools put to work in constructive and creative ways, it reaffirms our commitment to the mission of making digital fabrication technology readily accessible and usable for everyone.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - March '23