CNC ROUTER — AN ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR SIGN MAKERS
Ask professional sign makers which brings the greatest value to their projects, and they’d likely tell you it’s the CNC Router. And for good reason! CNC Routers give sign designers the ability to create compelling signs that would be impossible to achieve using traditional techniques. The CNC Router is a computer-controlled machine, and is mounted on a large router table. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It can move in three dimensions and automatically cuts out the parts needed for a sign. Router Bed size comes in 5feet x 10feet which allows to cut the sheets easily
You may have used a router before, either in woodworking class or in your own shop. A router has a cutting or shaping bit attached to a spindle. A motor drives the router at over 10,000 RPM. The operator manually guides the router to shape the edge of the material, or to cut a hole or slot. Traditional working routers are either handheld or mounted to a router table. With their powerful motors, high rotational speeds, and sharp tools, routers are indispensable tools for woodworkers — and for sign makers too. But for professional sign companies, traditional router techniques just aren’t fast and accurate enough. That’s why the CNC Router was developed
EXAMPLES OF SIGNS MADE WITH A CNC ROUTER
Let’s take a look at how the CNC Router was used to create a Push Thru sign. The Station Cafe sign features acrylic 3D letters that were pushed through matching holes on a backing panel. Our fabricators used the CNC Router to create the letters and the panel. Creating a Push Thru sign requires very tight tolerances, which is only possible using the CNC Router.
The letters were made just slightly smaller so they could be pushed through the holes in the panel. The final step was to assemble the sign, secure the letters, and add LED lighting behind each letter. This allows light from the LEDs to project through the acrylic letters, which creates a beautiful effect.
The CNC Router is precisely controlled by a computer program, under the watchful eye of a skilled CNC Operator. It gives sign makers the ability to create extremely accurate designs and letters in a variety of materials. It has led to entirely new styles of signs that just weren’t possible prior to its development!
A sign designer creates a new project on a computer workstation using specialized software. The design is then sent to the CNC Router operator, who uses the machine to create the different elements used in the sign’s design. For example, the design may require 3D letters to be cut from a sheet of clear acrylic, Wood, Marble, and so on.
Like any computer, the CNC Router only does what it is programmed for. It takes careful planning to efficiently create the parts for a sign project. Experienced CNC Operators avoid wasted time and materials by approaching the job with the right bits and cutting speeds.
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