CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, and CNC machines utilize computer systems to automate the complex steps and processes of machinery through a variety of industries and needs. Taking it one step further, a CNC cutting machine, utilizes their intricate software systems and components to efficiently, accurately and smoothly handle cutting processes.
Getting a machine that will serve you now and will allow you room to grow should be your number one goal.
Before you look, you should know precisely what you need your CNC machine to do, what you want to make with it, and how you’re going to do that. Some areas of consideration that you might look at, depending on your needs, include:
- Material to be machined
- The level of precision you need
- How productive you want to be
- How long you’ll need the CNC machine to live before replacing it
- And of course, the price you can afford
The price question generally gets answered on its own after you analyse all the other considerations
This is one of the biggest questions you will ask yourself while looking at purchasing a CNC router. You want all you can get without breaking the bank and without having to remove a wall. What kind of work do you want to do now? How about 3 years from now? If you are in a small shop and you only want to make small parts, a small machine will likely do you just fine. But if you want to cut full sheets you will do well to look at a 4'x8' or larger machine. You will be hurting yourself if you plan on getting by with a smaller machine and just pull your material through. It may be fine in the beginning but when you get a few jobs, pulling sheets of material through a CNC will be extremely time consuming and as a result expensive. Buy your second machine first. This is a statement you may have heard or read when it comes to CNC machines. This is not a marketing ploy. It is a very important piece of advice to those new to CNC that may not see the big picture yet. Buying a basic CNC is great for hobby use. But when it comes to a shop that wants to use a machine in production, even light production, this can be a huge set back.
The basic difference between a stepper and a servo-based system is the type of motor and how it is controlled. In a servo-based system, there is constant signal feedback from the encoder (or motor) to the servo drive. This feedback tells the servo drive exactly where it is within its move. Thus, the servo drive can adjust its power output, as needed, to complete the move. The servo is much more powerful, has quicker acceleration time and quicker positioning speed. A stepper based system runs on an open loop meaning it sends out the number of pulses to the proper axis to get to the programmed location. Because of their simplicity, steppers are less expensive than servos and are the most affordable solution to producing CNC motion. They have the limitation that, if overpowered, they can lose synchronization with the computer controlling their motion. But when configured correctly, they will produce great cuts on a consistent basis.
The type and thickness of your material, the type of tooling you’re using and the nature of your parts will determine what type of spindle you need. CNC-service experts are more than happy to assist you in determining the ideal spindle for your needs.
CNC-Service is offering full service starting from consulting and creating necessary specifications of the machine, delivering high quality equipment, installing it and training personnel, as well as maintaining it in excellent condition for all its lifetime.
We are offering training free of charge, when we install the equipment and it can also be organised in cooperation with our manufactures in their training facilities.
- Spindle Speed – rotational speed of the cutting tool in revolutions per min
- Feed Rate – Surface speed at the center of the rotating tool
- Step down – the distance in the z direction per pass that a cutting tool is plunged into the material
- Step over – the maximum distance in the x/y direction that a cutting tool will engage with uncut material