If you are running a small workshop and planning to open your business to larger projects, you will most probably need more hardware. Tools like saws, sanders, and other machines will definitely come in handy, but for more streamlined work, you may want to get a CNC router that will do most of the work for you. A CNC router is a computer-controlled device that will help you make intricate designs while maintaining an extremely high level of accuracy and high efficiency with minimal work input. But what is it exactly that you can use a CNC router for? Well, there are quite a few things such a machine can improve or simplify for you. Designing furniture, carving signs and banners, milling machine parts, and even creating 3D prototypes are only some of the more popular applications for a CNC router. The article below explores some of the top applications in more detail to give you a better idea of how this machine can help your business. Read on to learn more.
Milling Machine Parts
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about CNC routers, but it may very well be one of the most useful applications for this type of machine. Think about a specific part that you need for your project, like a brace or a connector. You could probably make do without a 6x12’ CNC router, but with its help, you can create a part that – as long as you have the right material for it – will fit perfectly and work just as intended. This is extremely important when working with delicate materials or on elements that will be exposed to a lot of stress.
Designing Furniture and Cabinets
This is one of the most popular applications for CNC routers, and it's not hard to see why. A machine like this can help you produce furniture elements such as table legs, chair arms, or cabinet doors on a larger scale. Furniture items created that way will fit perfectly every time and will require very little sanding or other forms of correction. You can also use your router to create decorative bits
. Although some people seem to value hand-crafted furniture more, there is no shame in using a machine to speed up the process and create perfect, intricate designs. And you can always work further on such furniture pieces by hand, to give it a more personal look.
Carving Signs and Banners
This is another common application for CNC routers, especially for those who own a small business or a workshop that specializes in custom-made designs. Many businesses create their logos in formats that can be converted to a format that can be used by your router. Thanks to that, you can create custom products with that logo, such as signs, banners, or even stamps and keychains. It is, again, something that could be done by hand. However, working in wood or composites by hand can be very time-consuming and may not always result in the level of accuracy that you need. Luckily, when working with a CNC machine, all you need is a 3D project designed on your computer, and you can get a perfect result every time you use it!
Creating 3D Prototypes
Creating prototypes and dummies is a much less common but nonetheless useful application for CNC routers. If you work in product development, you probably already use models to showcase your ideas to clients or investors. But sometimes, you need more than just one model. With a CNC router, you can quickly drop a digital model into the machine and have it create an accurate physical prototype for you. After milling, you may only need to do some light sanding
, and your product will be ready to show. What is more, you can create different versions of the same product to test which one works best – something that would be much more time-consuming to do by hand.
One of the most delicate but nonetheless beautiful applications for CNC routers. If you have ever seen an engraved piece of furniture or a sign, you know how impressive it can look. Creating such designs by hand is possible, but it requires lots of skill and patience. With a CNC router, you can get the same level of detail and accuracy, but the process will be much faster – even to the extent that you can do a whole batch of engraved items in the same amount of time it would take you to do just one by hand.
Creating Forms and Molds
In case you need to cast something for your next project, you can still make use of a CNC router. A form created in such a way will have all the benefits of items made with a CNC. This means that the end product will have cleaner lines and a better overall finish, ensuring hassle-free assembly and a great look. Also, if you need to modify the design, it will be much easier to adjust the input file and create a new form than to carve out a whole new one by hand.
Cutting Composite Materials
Working with some composite materials can be a real pain in the neck. They are often very hard and brittle, making them difficult to work with without the right tools. And even if you do have the right tools, there is the risk of damaging the material, which is something you obviously want to avoid. While using a CNC router, you can precisely adjust the pressure and speed at which the cutting bit moves. This way, you can minimize the risk of damaging the material and still get clean, precisely cut edges. As a result, you will spend less time on preparing the materials for your project, and the finished product will look much better.
Having a CNC router in your workshop will definitely make your work easier and more efficient. But what is even more important is that it will allow you to take on projects that would otherwise be too time-consuming or difficult to do by hand. The applications for this type of machine are numerous, and the ones listed above are only some of the more popular ones. If you are thinking about getting a CNC router for your workshop, make sure to consider all the ways in which it can be useful for you. Next, take your time, do your research, and find the machine that will perfectly fit your needs. It might take some time, but it is definitely worth the hassle!