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Tips on what to look for when buying your first CNC router

Updated: Aug 31

Tips on what to look for when buying your first CNC router

Tips on buying first CNC
Buying your first CNC

More and more CNC in the market. Being available in many different sizes and models, How to choose the most appropriate for your business? For example, 1m wheel on the toy car, the wheel won’t work, and the toy car will be damaged. So today we talk about how to choose CNC for your business.

1. We should know "What is a CNC Router?"

CNC machines can aid in the cutting of steel, wood, aluminum, composites, plastic, and foam.

A CNC router is similar to a CNC mill. It comes with the ability to use computer numerical control to route tool paths that enable the machine to function. CNC routers reduce waste and increase productivity by producing various items in a much shorter amount of time than other machines.

Most routers can operate on a particular material in all three dimensions and are great for smaller projects and the creation of prototype models and complex designs. You can also find three-axis, four-axis, five-axis, and six-axis routers.

2. There are some important things you should know

2.1 CNC Router Machine Table

2.11 CNC Router Machine Table Size: you need to choose a bigger size than your materials. while considering expansion room or processed material size. Maximum Board Width is limited to the inner width of the gantry. In production, safe distance should be preserved on each side. With the flat-table design, the length of the board is unlimited but supporting structures like Feed Rollers are required.

2.12 CNC Router Table Type: T-Slot Clamping Table, Vacuum Table and water table. Our 80% machine is Vacuum Table with a T-slot table. if you choose the T-slot table, you can update it into the Vacuum table in the future. we can help you do that, or do it by yourself. That’S very easy. We will make a video-how to make a vacuum table later.

2.2 Spindle is a very important part of CNC. As same as the engine of your car - it decides how fast it can go and how heavy it can be loaded. spindle RPM, torque, power requirements, load ratings, collet type and size, spindle motor type, etc. Are a very important parameter to effect cutting. S series Phantom CNC systems spindle is 6hp 32collet. This spindle provides enough torque for all purposes but may have to slow down and do multiple passes. If your budget allows, choose as big a spindle as possible. But you can update and change the spindle in the future.

2.3 ATC Automatic Tool Changing Spindle, If your application requires using more tool, then an ATC System would help to change tools efficiently, reduce operator error and decrease job times.

Tips: Generally Spindle has Water-Cooled Spindle and Air-Cooled Spindle.

Water-Cooled spindles produce higher RPM with lower noise levels. Water chiller cooling system and temperature monitoring, the spindle is always running in a dust-free, cool, and highly efficient state.

Air-Cooled Spindle is very easy. It doesn’t need to connect water pump or water chiller.

The momentum of the tool change is provided by compressed air, which we utilize to provide air shields for the spindle as well. Dust-free airflow is provided for the spindle's cooling.

2.4 CNC Router Driving Motors

There are three different motors: Stepper Motor, Hybrid Servo, and Servo.

Servo is a high speed, high torque. But the price is expensive. One CNC needs 4 sets of the motor. Servo price is about $2000-$4000; Stepper is less expensive. Hybrid servo is a good solution way. $800-$1500

2.5 Transmission Way;

Real Original Ball screw is very expensive. The price is 2-3 times than rack linear guide transmission. But For most work. That’s enough. It can ensure a constant transmission ratio, higher reliability, smooth operation, better durability, and greater transmission power. Compared with the ball screw, It is widely used in laser cutting machines, glass/steel plate CNC cutting machines, large engraving machines, and CNC machining centers, etc.

Anyway, Ball Screw precision is better. Rack linear guide load is better. So Z-axis. We still keep the Ball screw structure.

2.6 Dust Collection: Now our all machine with duct collector structure, it’s an extra part. You can add it later. CNC Routers can generate a lot of sawdust. Vacuum Systems can clean up the atmosphere and the overall area of operation. Now dust collector is not very expensive. You can choose one.

2.7 Software: Powerfully and stable software is very important. it is the brain of the CNC. if it doesn't work. CNC is meaningless.

There is PC Control, Handle control, and industrial control. First, choose your favorite way. Then Later we will expand the discussion in the next article.

2.8 Design & Toolpath Software

Tips on what to look for when buying your first CNC router

Before you can cut anything with a CNC, you need to first create the design layout that the machine is going to follow to cut the parts. The software you choose will play a significant role in successfully creating projects.

Simply put, the design and machining (toolpath) software will allow you to transform your ideas into a set of instructions used to run the machine. When done correctly, the end result will be a physical product that has value and purpose and a great sense of achievement.

For CNC workers, they called it CAD software and CAM software. To make a toolpath, we need to use CAM software, such as ArtCAM, Type3, Powermill, Ucancam, Aspire, MasterCAM, etc.

2.9 Router bits: First, Choose the right Tool.

Then, We suggest Purchase quality router bits with a long life.

When it comes to obtaining the best possible results, another essential set of factors are the material you are working with and the tool you are using to cut it. Material choice will affect every stage of the project – from initial concept through final finishing.

The most common materials people using CNC Routers work with include; wood, plastics, dense foam board, and softer (non-ferrous) metals (brass, aluminum, etc.). If you are not already familiar with the type of material you want to use, there are many sources of information that can help you.

To efficiently and safely cut different types of material you will need to choose an appropriate tool (bit), know how fast you can move that tool through that material (Feed Rate and Plunge Rate), how much material you can remove at one time (Pass Depth and Cut Depth) and how fast the bit should be rotating (Spindle or Router speed). Typically suppliers of tooling offer technical information on the correct settings for cutting different material types with the router bits they sell.

2.10 Machine Structure.

Machine bed materials, thick, processing way they can affect machine precision.

2.11 Costs/Budget: The cost of a CNC Router depends on the brand, model, features, options, size, construction, and more. From entry-level to high-end Routers, they can cost approximately $5k to over $100k.

2.12 Delivery, Install, Training, warranties, and consumables. We want to Quote economic-Opportunity cost

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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