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RobL
06-10-2014, 02:05 PM
Hi All.

I'm Rob, I work for a set building company near Oxford and I'm responsible for the "art department" meaning all the graphics, visual design, painting and finishing on the jobs we do.

The reason I have signed up here is to look more into creating/obtaining a very basic wood routing CNC set-up for the business. Currently we do make use of CNC routing - mostly 18mm ply as it goes - which is outsourced and comes with all the drawbacks and advantages that entails.

One of the first things I did here was to buy a vinyl cutter machine so that I had the flexibility to experiment and do small bits of work on demand as opposed to sending to to somebody else and waiting for it to come back.

I'm thinking about doing something similar for a flat-bed CNC router, which ideally would accommodate up to 10x5 ply sheets, so I'm here to glean some info, and see whether it's something we could do on a (very) small budget.

Currently I design using SketchUp and Adobe Illustrator so I'm familiar with the principles of vector design. I'm hoping this is useful and transferable to the world of CNC.

Cheers!

EddyCurrent
06-10-2014, 05:46 PM
I'm thinking about doing something similar for a flat-bed CNC router, which ideally would accommodate up to 10x5 ply sheets, so I'm here to glean some info, and see whether it's something we could do on a (very) small budget.

I may be wrong, but a 10x5 router and (very) small budget do not sit well in the same sentence.

mekanik
06-10-2014, 07:20 PM
Have to agree with eddy there, your on a hiding to nothing trying to build something that large on a wee budget.

RobL
07-10-2014, 09:57 AM
Haha! Thanks for the input! Yeah, I agree - I'm thinking along the lines that perhaps a second-hand machine for that size might be a longer term aim, whilst a smaller machine for making details etc might be more realistic as an entry point.

We end up with a lot of small/medium ply offcuts from our main work, so my thinking is leaning towards a smaller machine which I can use for details/letters/shapes in-house with minimum fuss, using what would be waste wood. If it proves to be useful, then an 8x4 or 10x5 machine as a longer term investment might make sense.

We make a lot of our work by hand, and CNC stuff ends up being no cheaper a lot of the time, so it has to reach a point where a big job would justify the cost. But because our work is all large scale, the quality/detail level isn't as tight as maybe it would be for furniture etc. For that reason I was also wondering if there might be a route to go down with an old/basic machine perhaps?

Hopefully I'll get my head a bit more into it all by hanging out here anyway!

EddyCurrent
07-10-2014, 08:14 PM
Not recommending, just looking for relatively low budget machine design that gets near your spec.

self build
http://frankieflood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/cncrp-router.html

ready built
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Machine-AR3000-CNC-Router-/271555658179?pt=UK_BOI_Building_Materials_Supplies _Carpentry_Woodwork_ET&var=&hash=item3f39fa81c3
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Router-/271609520235?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3f3d30606b

JAZZCNC
07-10-2014, 11:53 PM
First What do you call a small budget.?. . . . Small down south can be large up north.?

RobL
08-10-2014, 09:50 AM
It's hard to pin down an exact figure. My budgets are usually specified as "as little as possible", so it's a moving target for me really.

I'd say at this stage, a machine that could handle perhaps 4x4' for under 2K would maybe be something to maybe consider. Those ebay links above for large beds at around 7.5k are really interesting thoguh.

I think if we were going to do a job which involved that level of CNC cutting cost then there would maybe be a case for going for it at that point, but again, I think having experience and proven benefit from a smaller/cheaper in-house machine would be good ahead of that.

The other thing is we all design on Macs here. I currently run the vinyl cutting direct from Adobe Illustrator with a plug-in, but from the limited searching I've done so far it looks like it's PC based all the way for CNC operation?

Anyway, all the input here has been really good so far - it's exactly stuff like those ebay links that help to see what's possible for the money, so thanks for that!