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cnc vs anything else

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by Drip Dry, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Long island NY
    Not saying that I can afford one, but a salesman came in selling a cnc router.
    It got me to thinking... is a CNC any different than a router that carves signs for the sign industry. i thought CNC was for making metal gears and such.
    Would a CNC be a practical choice to use for carving ?
  2. briankb

    briankb Active Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    When was the last time you went to a sign show?

    If you are serious about getting a CNC machine wait for a major sign show and go see the different options. If it's just carving then maybe find a contractor or cabinet making show/expo.
  3. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    CNC = Computer Numerical Control

    So a router used in the sign industry is a CNC router, a cutter is a CNC plotter etcetera.
  4. anotherdog

    anotherdog Very Active Member

    Sep 6, 2008
    Unless you are prepared for a steep learning curve and many months of learning, or to hire someone with the knowledge, you should do more research.
    It would be like buying a new solvent printer with no idea how to run one or where to sell the product.
  5. VolunteerSign

    VolunteerSign Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    CNC=Plotter On Steriods
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Premium Subscriber

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    CNC machines come in various styles with varying capabilities. I am looking at getting a small CNC for the shop. It would be a gantry style. Only suitable for soft materials and things like DiBond.
    The other end of the spectrum are the VMC's or vertical machining centers that make parts out of aluminum, steel, etc... They are built from huge castings to maintain the necessary rigidity to machine metals accurately and efficiently.

    Both require you to at least know AutoCad or Solidworks or similar programs. Then be able to do the necessary toolpathing. Setting toolpaths is critical to getting the surface finish and high production rates you want without breaking cutting tools or ruining parts.
  7. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Long island NY
    Just asking the question, is there a difference. As I said in my post.. can't afford one anyway... just curious, that's all

    NOPE... too old and tired to learn something new. I had trouble learning how to tie my new sneakers this morning
  8. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Houston TX
    i've posted this type of comment before. you can make money for sign making with the worst imaginable cnc. there really isn't a "tolerance" issue with cutting out a giant letter "W". i have an ancient (25 year old) wooden frame shopbot that refuses to die. and until it does die, i can't rationalize getting something else other than i'd like to have a prettier version of the same. if you want to get into cnc, go onto http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/ and look for one of these old kits. i bought mine for $4k 16 years ago, it sits outside in the rain on some days (accidentally). it's probably worth $1000. these are very simple machines. unless you want to engrave lightly into aluminum or do some very touchy stuff, don't bother. getting a router bit to cut a path is simple and should be extremely cheap.

    this isn't my cnc but it's basically the same (mine has dual z's)

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