Reply by oldnovice

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Posted on What tools do CNC Routers "replace"?

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7199 posts in 3514 days

#1 posted 01-20-2014 09:53 PM

I have had my CNC since November and I have to disagree with JAAune on his comment about cutting a circle on a CNC versus a band saw. My CNC has programmed instructions for cutting simple object like circles where all I have to do is enter the diameter. Additionally, the CNC will give me a perfect circle where I can then cut out the center, to make a ring, without having to drill a hole and move to a scroll/jig saw. And, I can do that with the same degree of accuracy any number of times I want.

Programming a CNC is not as difficult as some may think. Partworks software, what I use, couldn’t be simpler to use and other software available allows 3D carving. With Partworks, using a 2D drawing, select the tool, select the path you want to cut, cutting offsets, cutting passes, and whether or not you want tabs and tab types and drop the file into your CNC and you are ready to cut.

I will not say that a CNC will replace any dedicated tool but it will certainly augment the tools you have at your disposal.

For example, with a CNC I can:
  • make identical parts over and over again without any special jigs/fixtures
  • carve intricate parts … over and over again
  • cut signs in wood or plastic without templates
  • with a drag knife make vinyl cutouts
  • with a diamond drag tool engrave metals, plastics, and glass

The accuracy of a CNC is unrivaled by any shop tool and that is why machine shops have used CNC machines for many years and why they have found their way into the home shop!

There are things I have done on my CNC I could not do otherwise!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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