Suzhou Rico CNC Machinery
 search
Company News

    CNC Router Veteran Shares Practical Knowledge Part 1


    cnc router practical technology

    CNC Router Veteran Shares Practical Knowledge Part 1

    Higgins came to the sign world in 1993 from the CNC manufacturing industry. With more than 20 years of CNC machining to his credit, he is uniquely positioned with a broad understanding of CNC tools, hardware and software. Higgins is currently the general manager of Capital Letters in Brooklen Center, Minn. and a respected CNC routing consultant.
    SignIndustry asked Jay some questions that will help you reach new heights in CNC routing.

    Q: In your mind, what are the biggest advantages for sign makers using routers?
    A:
    The biggest advantages of CNCs in the sign industry are speed, accuracy and repeatability. CNC's also allow you to custom rout metal forms to help aid your fabricators in the creation of custom shaped aluminum constructed signs. This is a great advantage for modern sign companies. What was a tedious and manual chore of laying out patterns on aluminum and then jig saw cutting to get your custom shape, is now simply a matter of sending them to the CNC router to be cut.

    Q: What are the most common mistakes sign makers are struggling with today?
    A:
    The most common mistake is a lack of knowledge of basic machine principals. Also, the lack of knowledge of how to properly fixture your material to the table, as well as the availability of tools you can use to get the job done.

    Q: Would you recommend that sign makers who have never used a router seek more formal training and education beyond what the manufacturer offers?
    A:
    All people interested in utilizing CNC routing in sign manufacturing should take some sort of course at a nearby community college to better familiarize themselves with some basic machining skills. Unfortunately, very few schools offer this kind of training. I have worked with the Minnesota Sign Association in regard to this matter to bring it to the attention of local technical schools so that hopefully it can be a course that is offered to people in the graphics industry.

    Q: How about sharing some practical tips for preparation? For example, which router bits works best with which materials?
    A:
    Tools and materials are very important things to experiment with. A good rule of thumb: always use the largest diameter tool to rout the job that is allowable, and, always use the shortest flute length for maximum rigidity.

    Q: What about router speeds? What speeds work best with various materials, like aluminum, high-density urethane, sign foam, etc.?
    A:
    Speeds and feeds are directly related to the horsepower motor that you are using, as well as the type coolant system, and the coolant that is being used. A common mistake of most people is to slow down the feed rate and speed up the RPM. Big mistake. Generally, it will create too much heat and thus melt/weld the material.

    Q: Which materials respond best to routing?
    A:
    Some materials are more forgiving than others are when routing. Each material has its own set up procedure and feeds and speeds as well as the proper tool to be used.

    Q: Are there certain types of materials that sign makers should avoid when using the router?
    A:
    Materials to avoid include those that have a great deal of glue in them, certain irons, as well as stainless steel, as there are electrical discharge concerns there.

    Q: What do you see in terms of upcoming trends in materials? Are there new materials being designed with CNC routing in mind?
    A:
    I make it a point to continuously contact my suppliers and the manufactures of sign making materials to see what's being developed that can possibly be used to rout on the CNC router. I have also been selected to rout such test materials to give my evaluation of them. I don't know of too many new materials out there right now that are being developed specifically for the CNC router.

    If anything we can help with CNC Routers and CNC spare parts, welcome to contact us, we will do our best to support.