New CNC Router

The CNC router is now fully operational and has already been put through its paces. It has a bed size of 1500mm x 1200mm and can do both 2D profiling and 3D reliefs. Materials that can be cut on the router include;

  • Sheet timber (plywood, MDF, Chipboard, OSB) 1.2mm – 25mm
  • Soft and hard woods from a timber merchants
  • Polystyrene and other plastic foams
  • Foamex
  • Some Non-ferrous sheet metals
  • Most manifactured sheet materials

If you wish to use the CNC router you will first have to come see the technicians in the laser cutter suite, they will then talk through your cad drawing or 3d model and see what would give the best results and what is feasible to cut. The CNC uses drill bits to mill through materials, we currently have 7 drill bits in operation each with different uses, the constraints of these drill bits will dictate the best way to tackle the model. The current drill bits and their applications are as follows;

  1. 8mm slot drill with a cut length of 22mm – this drill bit will cut through all materials listed above, but will be mainly used for 2D cutting sheet materials like shown in the first image. As well as cutting this drill would be used for ‘area infill’ or removing an area of material to a certain depth. This drill may also be used for ‘roughing out’ a 3D relief
  2. 6mm ball nose drill with a cut legth of 38mm (50mm in foam) – this drill will be only used for 3D applications, when used in timbers the maximum cut depth will be 38 mm however in foam we would be able to cut 50 mm foam easily. The size of model however may be limited and discussions with the technicians will determine what is possible, as a rough guide a 300mm x 300mm x 50 mm foam model would take 3-5 hours, any larger we might have to explore other options.
  3. 4mm slot drill with a cut length of 25mm – similar applications to that of the 8mm drill however with a radius of 2mm the internal corners would be sharper, may also be used for 3d reliefs if appropriate.
  4. 3mm slot drill with a cut length of 12mm – Profiling only, with a 1.5mm radius.
  5. 3mm ball nose drill with a cut length of 50mm (foam only) – as with the 6mm ball nose drill this will only be used for 3D applications, however with a radius of 1.5mm the internal angles will be closer to that of the CAD model, this drill will take longer to finish than using a 6mm bit.
  6. 90 degree engraver – Used only for ‘engraving’ along a line, (to show paths, road names, text)
  7. 1mm slot drill – used only for profiling foamex up to 5mm

2D applications need to be in DXF format and will require being checked first. Cuts, infills, engravings etc will all need to be on different layers AS WELL as different colours.

3D applications need to be in STL format and will also require being checked prior to being sent.

Any questions just pop down and talk to one of the technicians who will be happy to help.

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