Frequently Asked questions
What is a CNC machine?
CNC is the acronym for Computer Numerical Control. A CNC machine is a computer controlled high precision tool that is able to make intricate movements accurately and repeatedly. Our machines use common routers and spindles to mill, cut, engrave and shape materials in automated machining operations.
How do CNC machines work?
A CNC machine takes codes from a computer and converts the code using software into electrical signals. The signals from the computer are then used to control motors. Since the motors can turn very small amounts the machine is able to move in highly precise movements over and over again.
What can CNC machines do?
There is no limit to what a CNC can do. CNC machines are responsible for almost all modern day machining operations in manufacturing industries. Our machines can be used to engrave plaques, cut wood for kits, mill aluminum parts, and inject plastic components. All it requires is willing to learn and understand how to use the machines to accomplish what you want to do.
With all of the CNC routers available in the market today, what makes a CNC router different from another?
A: CNC routers for the most part are built with a lot of similarities when it comes to the mechanics. They all use motors to drive the different axes, steel/aluminum for the construction and have some sort of spindle/router to machine the parts. It is interesting to note that the substantial benefits of a smart router are not in actually cutting parts, but in all the details required to cut parts. Most companies considering a router for the first time do not realise that the vast majority of their cost will not be running the router, but instead, will be in a myriad of details required to run the router. Preparation, programming, hold down, procedures, sorting, scrap, assembly and error handling are the main cost areas. Ordinary routers do not focus on these areas. They rely on the user to take care of them and usually it’s not all that easy. The operator must be both skilled and well trained to work within the limits of these systems. Smart routers address these areas in a big way by utilising a high-end control. They address the areas where you spend the most money because that’s where you can make the most money.
What should I look for in a machine ?
First you need to thoroughly examine and prioritise your requirements in a machine. The questions you need to ask yourself are “how important to me is precision, finish, productivity, tool life & price?” Raising and addressing these questions will help narrow the field. The price question should be addressed last; it will pretty much
answer itself once the other questions are addressed. The day after the machine is put in operation the purchase price is all but forgotten; performance and productivity are the criteria by which this investment will be judged daily, for the rest of the machine’s life. Ultimately the question to answer is what is my cost per part? Have I lowered the cost by increasing quality, increasing tool life, increasing throughput, increasing productivity (reducing the time/labor required to produce each piece)?
Nested based or cell manufacturing?
How can I process a narrow rail?
The vacuum clamping system can be equipped with mechanical clamping devices in place for the vacuum cups on the machine. You can then process the part without any limitations.
A. The most common question we always heard was do I buy a pod and rail machining centre or a flat table router. Now we are most commonly asked: Do I buy a pod and rail CNC machine, a flat table router or a vertical machining center? The great news is that consumer choices have never been greater.
How difficult is a CNC machining centre to programme and operate?
Nowadays, thanks to modern programming systems it really is very easy to create complex programmes. It is all done with interactive 2D or 3D graphics with no manual coding required. The actual machine operation is also much easier than it used to be. For example, our controller has
a ‘Smart Console’ hand-held interface which uses a clever context sensitive menu system to guide the operator at all times. It even has a graphical display which provides useful program verification and editing before actual running.
What software should I buy for the machine?
When you look at a quality machines you will have enough software on board to allow you just about any design you can imagine. Don’t jump in with both feet and buy costly software packages without even being comfortable with the machine. Once you have run the machine you will understand and know more and then can make a more educated decision on the extra software you might need. Any good machine manufacturer would have contact with the different software companies and most of the time incorporating that software into the use of the machine is not a problem