High-Z / T-series
High-Z / T-series
CNC Router – advantages, opportunities, applications
In as many sectors as of the mostly metal- or wood-processing industry, the so-called CNC-Router is very popular. But what is it and what materials can be processed with these types of machines? And above all: How does such a machine work ? In the following all these questions are answered.
To understand what exactly a CNC Router is, it is important to know what the word CNC means. CNC is an abbreviation of the English description “computerized numerical control“, and refers to an electronic method for controlling machine tools. Consequently, a CNC Router Machine is nothing more than a machine tool, which is numerically driven with computer assistance to process a variety of materials, such as Metals, wood, granite and much more.
A CNC router can mill complex shapes and fine contours in different materials by moving a high-quality tool through the clamped workpiece on a least three axis. The bridge itself is the X-axis and its back- and forward-movement symbolises the Y-axis. The up- and down-movement of the milling tool stands for the Z-axis. The bridge looks like a portal, and this is why a CNC router is also well-known as a portal milling machine.
As already mentioned, CNC routers are operated by a computer. The required controlling commands, the so-called G-code, are successively listed in a CNC program. Each G-code-command starts with the letter „G“ followed by an instruction of numbers an types telling the machine in which direction it is supposed to move the milling cutter through the material. The computer transfers the G-code-commands to the control unit which implements them into machine movements.
Formerly the operator had to write the G-code by hand which required programming skills and was very time-consuming. Today there is no need to do this anymore. There are many CAD-CAM software solutions which turn the drawing directly into G-Code.
As the rotating milling tool penetrates the clamped workpiece, it executes a cutting movement. It depends on the tool cutting geometry on how the material is chipped. The moving direction itself is determined by the G-Code-commands. Both the G-code-commands and the tool cutting geometry ensure the desired shape.
A milling machine can process many different materials.
Listed here are just a few materials that can be machined 2D or 3D:
Is important to note that some materials like Aluminum, require cooling during the actual milling operation. The heat generation means that chips can clog or glue the flutes of the milling machine and the milling tool breaks. Suitable coolants and lubricants can be found in the range of most CNC milling machine manufacturers.
If you have decided to buy a CNC Mill to facilitate some work or to make special work possible, immediately one question comes to mind: “What do I have to consider when buying a CNC Router?”
With these four questions I quickly find out which CNC Router is suitable for my needs: