So you have ready through the How CNC drive systems how it all comes together. And now have a basic understanding of how they work.
Large Scale Industrial CNC Routers
Industrial CNC Routers is a rather general term, they make up around 80% of the CNC’s known. Where I work on my day job Prater Ltd they use Elumatec CNC’s even previous companies I work for use a variety of CNC’s we used to machine Windows Doors and curtain wall systems.
Being that they are used in the industrial market they are generally large in size and a lot more expensive.
This is due to the fact that they are built to operate for long hours and harsher conditions. This makes them the ideal assistant for any company that wants to make a profit.
Industrial CNC comes with a lot of key features these are.
Faster Cutting Speeds
ATC Automatic tool changers
Vacuum beds or pneumatic clamps
Extractors or Oil Coolers
High Torque and Speed Spindles
one of the best companies supplying machines are Matsuura CNC’s they have no limitations they have from 3 to 6 axis if you are interested in buying a CNC check out the buyer’s guide.
Mid-Range CNC Routers
Below the industrial grade CNC machines we have the mid-range CNC machines, they are precise and accurate.
In Most ways these machines are very similar to the industrial only difference is they are generally a little bit smaller.
They run from desktop size to full size around 1.5m to 2.5m these machine sizes are more sort after by the hobbyist and smaller businesses.
These are the types of machine you would find in sign makers workshop. Price range is also around the small as most hobbyist CNC machines. They don’t generally come with vacuum tables or extraction system installed but you can normally source these as add-ons.
These machines are a lot harder to find probably due to the fact that there isn’t a large enough market for them.
Hobby CNC Routers
These normally are associated with the DIY Homebuilt CNC’s they are normally designed and built by the owner. If you search google for CNC Plans plenty will come up.
I feel that designing and building one or buy a kit is the best option as you get a better understanding of how the machine works.
When you see these machines on the internet they are normally designed around budget and what they can find the make them from.
If you know what you are doing you can easily build one that would take on a mid-range CNC maybe even an industrial one.
If you are interested in building one of these we have a few plans available here.
In the above 3 headers you will find the common CNC Routers but theirs more available.
Multi Axis CNC Routers
All of the above have 3 axis if the only have to they are just drawing machines, however, we can go in the opposite direction like 4, 5, 6 axis machines these are a lot less common but still available.
4 axis CNC this normally means that the spindle can rotate 180 degrees.7
5 axis CNC these the spindle head can rotate in 2 different directions
6 axis these are the rare ones they normally come in the for of a robotic arm with a rotating bed.
4 and 5 axis CNC machines are able to create true 3d parts, where 3 axis are limited.
6 axis is the only true 3d model cutter as they can come from every angle.
We now have linuxCNC covering 4th and 5th axis work you can now convert a 3 axis to 4 and 5 axis using an adapter.
Speciality CNC Routers
These are normally mistaken by new buyers that see these machines on eBay cheap so get one, they are good machines but they won’t cut wood they are more engravers.
So what is an engraver they do things like PCB boards, 3d engraving and so on?
CNC engraving is very popular this is probably due to the cheap entry costs the world of CNC’s
people do everything from trophies, tags, plaques, they have a working area of around 12 x 12 inches.
CNC PCB machines are also small normally smaller than engravers. And are great if you’re in to electronics you can design and machine your own circuit boards, no more etching.
As you can see there is a great variety out there and it all depends on what you are out to achieve.
Most machines are not limited to just wood but check with the Manuel otherwise you could burn a component out which will cost.
But remember you still have the option to design and build you’re own as you already got this far why not go further plus save some dollar doing so.
Now we can move on to the next area that is router prices and information.