CNC routers are machines that cut various materials including steel, glass, wood, plastics, foam, stone to name a few. In addition to cutting, they can perform punching, grooving, milling, engraving many other functions. They are computer controlled and very similar to milling machines. The tool paths that cut into the material are controlled by a program that the machine uses. The most common programming language used is called G-code. CNC routers can use Heidenhain and Mazak programming languages as well.
Routers have a rotating tool/cutter that is controlled by a motorized spindle. These machines make it much easier to cut patterns and complex designs. Instead of having to draw the shape you need, you can upload the design or use a CAD program to draw it yourself. Much like other CNC machines, routers increase productivity in the workshop and reduce waste.
There are a lot of different sizes and configurations of routers. There are large industrial routers and then there are small desktop routers that people use in their homes.
Are CNC Routers the same as CNC engravers?
No! Although they do have similarities, they are indeed, different machines. CNC engravers usually are composed of a smoldering bed, a driving motor, guide rail, and mesa structure made of alloy and PVC. These machines are slower and less accurate than CNC routers. They are mainly used for exactly what their name reveals, engraving!
A CNC router is usually composed of a double-deck five-sided milling machine bed with a 25-30 square rail slider, and a drive motor that can perform as high speeds and excellent precision. CNC routers are mainly used for cutting material used to produce other products. (i.e furniture) Some examples of what they can produce include door carvings, decorations, wood panels, musical instruments, moldings, signs and much more.
What should I look for when purchasing a CNC router?
There are lots of different factors to consider when purchasing a router. You want to look at power, durability, value, and capacity. All of these factors depend on the type of job your company must perform. A CNC router that must cut into stone will use a different insert to cut that type of material. For example, a router cutting stone uses “bits” or inserts made out of a metal bar with a sintered layer of roughly shaped particles. A router that cuts woods would use a “bit” with sharp cutting edges. In addition to the inserts being different, the guide rails will have to be able to accommodate that type of material as well. A router that can handle stone needs better protection for its guide rails due to the excessive abrasive stone dust that can accumulate. The guide rails for stone cutting routers are fully protected and covered. Some even have a water recirculation system that helps capture the stone dust.
Revelation Machinery can always help you find what you need! If you have any questions about CNC routers or need to find a specific brand/type, please feel free to contact us! If you need to sell your used CNC routers, do so here.