The CNC machine is among the most innovative inventions of the 21st century. It’s precise, safer, and saves you time and money by cutting labor costs and allowing you to replicate designs countless times. It’s also exceptionally versatile and can make parts from virtually any material you may have in mind.
But to enjoy saving money using a CNC router, you need first to get a quality one. Understanding the different parts and what they do makes it easier to buy a CNC router machine.
The Key Parts of a CNC Router
Check out these components and what they do before you buy a CNC router.
The controller is the brain of any CNC router. It facilitates motion by sending signals to a router’s motor through special software. Some CNC router software runs on a standard industry G-code, while others are designed to operate specific CNC machine models. The software is easy to use, even for the complete novice. While reviewing your options, buy a CNC router with a robust user-friendly controller, especially if this is your first machine.
Powered by electricity, the motor of a CNC router drives the spindle. Our CNC router machines typically ship with either servo or stepper motors and come in either NEMA 34 or for the Stinger I in NEMA 23. Consider each type of motor’s pros and cons and the size you need to buy the best one.
Commonly referred to as the heart of a CNC router, the spindle is the part that does all the cutting. To buy a CNC router machine with a high-performance spindle, consider the torque, horsepower, and even the bearing system.
The table of a CNC router determines what size material you can cut with a CNC router. Before you buy a CNC router machine, consider table size, as there are several options. For instance, our Cobra Elite router comes in five table sizes and can be customized to fit your production needs, while our panther router series comes in four sizes. Note that tabletop size and material affect what size materials you can work on and inherently what type of work you can take on so choose wisely.
This part keeps spindle movements stable, consequently minimizing vibrations for a seamless production process. A CNC machine’s gantry can be manufactured from various materials, but steel and high-grade aluminum tubing are the best and most durable.
The motor torque is rated in ounce-inches, like foot-pounds on car engines, only smaller units for smaller motors. The higher the “oz in,” the more power the motor has. Rack and pinion, ballscrew, gearbox, belt drive all convert rotary motion into linear motion.
This provides the motion control. There are “branded” proprietary versions that are made to operate specific makes of machine. Other software solutions can operate multiple brands. Some require a hardware purchase, while others do not. Some run industry-standard G-code. Some software is easier to use than others. A good software solution is stable and does not create problems for users, whether you are a CNC router novice or a veteran.
Saving Money on CNC Routers
Besides buying a quality CNC router, here are more ways to maximize your savings:
Re-evaluate Your Finishes
Specialized coats, heat treatments, and other surface finishing treatments improve the outcome but can be pretty costly. Cuts that require multiple finishing processes are also expensive. Re-evaluate your project finishes to determine the best but most affordable.
Look Out for Cheaper Material Alternatives
Raw materials make up most of the manufacturing costs. You don’t always have to use the most expensive materials, because that doesn’t mean they’re better. If it doesn’t compromise quality, always opt for cheaper raw materials to cut production and save even more on CNC machining.
If You Can, Avoid Thin Walls
Workpieces with excessively thin walls often cause distortion, slowing down the machine and conversely leading to lower output rates and a slow and inefficient production process.
As you look at online brochures or talk to a company’s salesperson, it’s important to pay attention to catchphrases and buzzwords. Anytime a successful marketing campaign from one manufacturer uses a buzzword, their competitors will try to find a way to include that word or phrase in their respective advertising.
Pay attention to what salespeople don’t say. Some sellers use outright sleight of hand by moving you in one direction so that you won’t look in another.>
Finally, read the fine print and determine exactly what you’ll be paying for. Watch out for specs that are published for one model and not another. Find out what is not included with a product and what it will cost to add it.
Get It From the Best
Although a CNC router is already time and money-saving, buying a quality model and using the tips above helps you save even more.
CAMaster stocks a wide selection of industry-coveted CNC routers guaranteed to cut production costs and improve your output capacity, consequently enhancing your company’s overall performance.
Give us a call to discuss your options before you buy a CNC router machine.