Understanding Vacuum Hold-Down For CNC Cutting

CNC Cutting

Whether you’re investing in a brand-new CNC router, or simply looking to get the most out of one you already own, it’s the perfect time to look into vacuum hold-down. Aided by an industrial vacuum motor, many manufacturers today are achieving a touch-free, powerful clamp on the products they craft. If you hope to play on a level field, vacuum hold-down is something that merits strong consideration.

Why Vacuum Hold-Down?

All manufacturers need some method of securing their substrate material firmly in place. The traditional choice is the manual one – namely, clampsand screws – but this can be frustratingly difficult to set up (not to mention the potential these metal bits have to scuff or otherwise damage your product). Furthermore, using clamps means designating sections of material to be used as contact tabs, which must later be cut and/or sanded away – this means wasted time and materials. Vacuum systems are the answer, providing a potent holding force with the simple flick of a switch.

Types of Hold-Down Systems

There are two primary methods of vacuum hold-down:

Conventional systems form seals around only the relevant regions of the material. This method is an energy-saver when compared to full-surface vacuum seals, but does require the creation of a product-specific template. As such, conventional systems are best used when cutting smaller, repetitive parts (for which a template will see enough use to justify its creation).

Universal systems, by contrast, are typically full-table setups that apply a full seal to the entire substrate. Simply place your material down – no templates required. This does require additional airflow in comparison to conventional systems, but if your cutting needs are expected to shift continually, this may be worth the savings on template creation.

CAMaster is a leading supplier of CNC routers for the fabrication of everything from wood, plastic, and foam to glass, acrylic, and aluminum. Contact us today for more information.