Friday, March 24, 2023
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Tech Review: CNC Routers

For sign makers, a CNC router is a useful piece of equipment that can cut out sign blanks, create relief-carved signs, and perform other tasks. In choosing a CNC router, match the table size and hold-down system to the size and type of materials you work with. If you have a busy production schedule, it makes sense to pay more for higher speed and for automatic tool changing. For those on a tight budget, a handheld router is worth consideration. Finally, shops that use an in-house UV printer may want to seek out a router with digital finishing options.

Key Takeaways:

  • A CNC router can perform numerous other tasks without the need for highly skilled craftspeople. The questions then become, what is your budget, and what features do you absolutely need?
  • In most cases, a 4 x 8-ft. capacity table is a perfect choice. Most raw materials such as sign foam and MDF come in 4 x 8-ft. sheets.
  • Production schedule is another factor in deciding on a router. If you are only using the machine a few times a day, then speed may not be an issue.

“Lower-cost routers use clamps instead of vacuum zones. If you are working with heavier materials, this will work fine. But when you work with thinner materials and finer parts, the clamps will not hold them in place after the through-cut is finished. A vacuum table will make sure nothing moves until the job is completed.”

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