CNC Router Machines buying guide
Why invest in a CNC Router?
A CNC Router is a computer-controlled router that allows you to machine a wide variety of materials depending on specification.
Using a CNC router is an economical solution to saving space and labour in a workshop it can do many of the jobs traditional woodworking machines such as: shaping, cutting, profiling, carving, sawing drilling. designs be created simply with cad software then sent machine for manufacture whether you are making working wood, mdf, chipboard, plastics, non-ferrous metals, composites or foam.
Consider the size and axis movements of the CNC Router
Simple CNC machines have 3 axes controlled and can have up to 6 axis movement controlled by the machine. Depending on specification router spindles can vary their operating speeds to up to 30,000 rpm allowing you to match tooling with application to optimise the finish.
The spindle will hold a variety of routers cutters, most common being up cut and down cut carbide spiral bits for cutting out shapes and profiles. Ball end cutters are used for carving and 3d profiling. Drill bits, profile cutters, spoilboard cutters and custom made tools can all be used.
CNC Routers come in all kinds of sizes
Desktop CNC Routers
3 Axis CNC Routers
Our Powerful UK supplied CNC Routers are usually 3 axis XYZ, meaning they travel on the X and Y linear, while the Z axis denotes the vertical movement of the Spindle.
4 Axis CNC Routers
If the CNC Router is 4 axis, it infers the machine has an additional movement outside of the 3 axes. A 4 axis CNC Router maybe a 360 degree rotational head on the spindle, which would enable a collection of an aggregate, to transverse the vertical RPM to horizontal RPM. This horizontal power could be used to mortise a lock, power a saw blade, or drill into the side of a panel.
Or a 4 axis CNC Router could be a lathe attached to the CNC Routers bed, enabling asymmetric lathe work, or a 4 axis CNC Router could be a fixed horizontal router head. So it’s important to understand exactly what capabilities a 4 axis CNC Router gives you in addition to 3 axes CNC Routers.
5 Axis CNC Routers
On a 5 axis CNC Router, the cutting tool moves across the X, Y and Z linear axes as well as rotates on the A and B axes to approach the workpiece from any direction. Powerful 5 axis CNC Routers are used to carve intricate 3D models.
A lot of 5 axes CNC Routers capability can now be completed on 3 axis CNC Routers using Carving software such as Vectric Vcarve Pro and flipping the workpiece to machine each side.
Consider investing in automatic tool (ATC) changers
CNC Routers are sold with or without automatic tool changers. An automatic tool changer, allows you to produce more complex work with less intervention but there’s a higher upfront cost, as ATC machine tends to be more powerful and complex than a non-auto tool changer CNC Router.
The CNC Router tool holder collection device requires a pneumatic system to collect the Tool Holder. The CNC Router controller needs to be more sophisticated to collect the Toolholder. The higher upfront cost of an Automatic toolholder CNC Router will generally pay itself back with efficiencies in a short period of time. This is because the CNC Routing work is automated and has a high repeatability from the start to the end of the process eliminating human error.
So for example nesting a 10ft by 5ft 18mm Panel of MDF on a CNC Router with an automatic tool changer, enables you to : cut the shapes out the MDF Panel with a Spiral cutter, profile the edges perhaps with a Chamfer cutter, drill a series of holes using Drill bits, any human intervention.
Vectric V Carve Pro
All of Scott and Sargeants Powerful CNC Routers with optimisation are supplied with Vectric V carve pro as the standard. Vectric calculates the most efficient way to run toolpaths plan vectors and optimising the number of shapes you can cut from a panel to minimise panel wastage.
This software can also easily be adapted to vacuum pod-based Routing. There are benefits to both nesting or pod-based work, depending on the work that needs to be done. Generally though: a flat table CNC router is used for nesting, which means that the machine runs vacuum pumps under the bed to secure the workpiece down such as usually 10x5ft sheets of MDF.
The Powerful Vacuum pump holds the workpiece through a porous sacrificial board of 12mm MDF laid out on the bakelight machine bed, to both protect the CNC Routers Bed, and to eliminate material breakout. On top of the sacrificial sheet, you lay your workpiece.
Vacuum Pod and Rail CNC Router
A vacuum pod and rail CNC router is used for general joinery. Often involving species wood as opposed to panels. This is so that the Router Head-which may have a fourth axis, can get lower down beside the workpieces to lock mortise or drill into the edge of the workpiece.
On a flatbed CNC Router such as the Tigertec TR510ADXL with an extra high Zaxis capacity you can mount vacuum pods directly onto the flatbed vacuum zone valve and use the machine as a vacuum pod machine. Effectively giving you an ‘all-in-one’ CNC Router capable of both Nesting panels, and processing Joinery.
Consider which materials you need to work with
CNC Routers can process a diverse range of materials. Aside from Routing Wood, you can also use our powerful CNC Routers to route or mill solid Aluminium; faster-using add-on automatic oil spray lubrication. Composites materials such as ACM, HPL or SGL, Plastics or other non-ferrous metals.
Focus on value for money not price
CNC Routers used to be considered expensive but recently the cost has reduced significantly. Cheap CNC routers are a ‘dime a dozen’ however if your business relies on a CNC Router it’s best to think of the components that the CNC Router is made from and the aftersales you’d expect from a reputable supplier.
Find an experienced professional
Through 20 years of experience rebuilding used CNC routers, the distinction we make at Scott and Sargeant is value CNC Routers, not cheap CNC Routers. Cheap CNC Routers are often made using imitation components and because of the highly accurate, hard-wearing nature CNC Routers are used in, Scott and Sargeant only sell CNC Routers with quality components and a 2year warranty.
Do your research on the leading brand names
Our high-powered CNC Routers by Tigertec are supplied with components such as; HSD an Italian leader in Electro spindles these are normally supplied as 6Kw or 9Kw. Becker who is a renowned supplier of Vacuum Pumps made in Germany. Contactors and electricals supplied by Siemens. Inverter power from Delta a leading Taiwanese electronics company. Servo linear motors and Machine drives by Yaskawa the leading name in Japanese Robotics and automation. And add-on features supplied as standard such as Central Lubrication the machine effectively services itself.
Through years of experience and refurbishment of Used CNC Routers we know what fails and how important the sum of the parts is built on a quality heavy-duty engineering. TigerTec machines are built on a heavy 8mm thick steel base that is rectified, stress relieved,then machined and ground as one piece giving unprecedented repeatability and accuracy. The steel gantry is reinforced throughout, it is heat-treated and annealed which results in class leading accuracy. High-quality components, heavy duty refined platform, class leading software by Vectric and after-sales by Scott+Sargeant.
Buy from a woodworking expert and review the machine's warranty period
With a huge amount of variety available, your investment in a CNC Router must be the correct one. By dealing with an established company such as Scott and Sargeant who’ve operated in sales of CNC Routers and Woodworking Machines for 30 years, you can rest assured that your machine supplier will be here for you tomorrow. With fully informed pre sales, sales and aftersales experts.
Scott and Sargeant offer obligation-free demos on our Poweful CNC Routers, the customer can bring material samples to guage the finish, in full confidence the CNC Router they’re considering is right for the process. Once a CNC Router sale is agreed upon, we offer free training at our site prior to delivery. Delivery can be by way of Tail-lift, for compact CNC Routers up to 60x90cm. For larger Machines curtain sider vehicle will either be used, if offloading is available on site, or if not, we offer Hiab offloading, skating and positioning by our Machine moving experts.
Commissioning and training is offered as standard across the entire range of CNC Routers we supply and are focused on both the CNC Machines but also the Vectric V carve pro Software. Unlike other suppliers of CNC Routers our whole range is supplied with 2yr Warranty’s this covers parts and labour. So you can rest assured not only are you getting a quality high value CNC Router but also the level of after sales support you’d expect.