The Return on Investment for CNC Routers

Companies weigh many factors when calculating the return on investment (ROI) for CNC router purchases. The ROI needs to incorporate a thorough understanding of the product and an equally comprehensive scrutiny of the vendor as a business partner, including the role the vendor plays in ROI calculations. Many routers have a 20-year lifespan, which means

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Political Climate Change

A dramatic result of political climate change hit our country like a storm last November with the election of Donald Trump as President. The winds of change have been building over the past several years as discontent with the previous administration grew. To progressive leaders, the loss was a major setback in their mission. Modern

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Best Practices for CNC Router Maintenance

With practically unlimited capabilities and options, CNC routers are essential for companies that want to increase and improve their production offerings. To protect the investment in this technology, it’s important to establish a thorough maintenance program to ensure the life of the equipment and minimize costly downtimes. Yet despite the risk, maintenance is often an

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CNC Router Training Requires More Commitment Beyond “Lip Service”

For companies that invest in CNC router equipment to manufacture cabinets, furniture components, countertops and other wood, metal and plastic products, initial and ongoing training is essential. To be effective, training begins at a basic level with how to setup the router table correctly. Determining how to program a router path to cut the materials

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Crumbling Foundations

About a year ago, I took a teaching position in a technical school, teaching woodworking to adults.  Interestingly, the courses that I now teach are basically the same courses that I myself took 40 years ago at the same school. The purpose of the courses is to teach the basics of woodworking to adults who

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5-Axis CNC Routers

This year I went to IWF Atlanta with the same objective as I did two years ago. That is, to research the 5-axis routers offered for sale. While I think all of us have some familiarity with CNC routers, I’d like to briefly describe the operation of these remarkable machines. I’d also like to describe

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From Design to Fabrication—Crossing the Chasm

In custom manufacturing, there has been an enormous disconnect in getting design information into the fabrication process. Most industries have been working hard on closing this chasm in the past several decades and the computer has helped tremendously. The custom woodworking industry has lagged behind in some ways but we have the potential to remedy

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Reaping the Benefits of Your 3-D Model—Part 3

This will be my final article on the benefits building a simple cabinet using Rhino. Hopefully, some of you have made the effort to follow along with the previous series and actually build it. If so, you’ve seen that it’s really no more difficult than 2-D drafting. In fact, as you become more familiar with

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Reaping the Benefits of Your 3-D Model—Part 2

In my last article, I showed how we can dimension a model directly in “model space.” This gave us a clear, 3-dimensional picture of our product along with overall dimensions. This can be used to verify that what we’ve created is what it should be. We could even have a client sign off on it

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3D Modeling—A New Way of Looking at Things

I want to illustrate how 3D modeling will allow you to build and visualize your projects electronically before you cut any wood. I’ve described the process in previous articles but now I want to bring the point home by actually showing pictures of how this works. As a reminder, the benefits of 3D modeling include:

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