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We are thinking of getting a CNC Router, but This was interesting

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by Banners Signs Etc., Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    We are needing more finishing options outside of a panel saw. We are torn between a Router and I don't even know what you'd call this...flatbed cutter? Personally I'd think the router would be more useful day to day, but I don't know anything about flatbed cutters. We mostly do coro acm pvc the usual stuff but want to increase our productivity and make more shaped signs versus square with the current panel saw setup (and jigsaw)

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    Id only get the flatbed cutter if you only do soft stuff like xboad, foamboard, corrugated plastic and so on.
    If there's acrylics, and more rigid stuff. cnc router. make sure the cnc router has the knife attachement also.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    I love my Summa F Series! The only thing I wish it could do would be 2.5D routing (ex. made a piece of plastic look like wood grain). Otherwise it has done everything I could need it to do. I'd buy another one without question.
     
  4. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    But as Pauly says its only for knife cutting?
     
  5. flyplainsdrifta

    flyplainsdrifta Member

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    zund makes combo router/cutter fb cutter. great machine, and great support. check em out.
     
  6. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Thanks will do...I need to research all this more, but am leaning router, I'm sure their sales team can tell me what I "need"
     
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    I can't say enough good things about MultiCam CNC routers. our 3000 series has been a workhorse for the past 15+ years, with minimal service thanks to weekly maintenance.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    It has a router attachment (two different versions actually), which will do whatever I need it to. I have used it to route many different materials. Another shop I know of just routed out a bunch of 20mm thick acrylic letters. It is very capable.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    No one has done more research than me, trust me.

    What are you looking to do? What are you finishing?

    If you're looking at a CNC - MULTICAM APEX 1R. It actually has Knife/CAmera/CNC. 60-80k

    If you want a digital finisher with ROUTER capabilities, and GOOD software. - ZUND/ESKO. 150-250k
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    I would go with a combo unit not just a dedicated router or cutter. Get one to do both. We have a Zund and its amazing. I have routed 1" Acrylic no problem. We knife cut all sorts of substrates. There are cheaper options like Colex but you get what you pay for. Esko and Zund are the two best out there. I looked at both and felt the Zund was a better machine overall and easier to operate with less learnign curve.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    I would recommend the exact opposite. Separating your clean and dirty workflow is not only smart but it's more efficient. You can also spend less and get 2 machines great at their intended design not something with sacrifices to be good at all.
     
  12. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    I would go with a combo unit not just a dedicated router or cutter. Get one to do both. We have a Zund and its amazing. I have routed 1" Acrylic no problem. We knife cut all sorts of substrates. There are cheaper options like Colex but you get what you pay for. Esko and Zund are the two best out there. I looked at both and felt the Zund was a better machine overall and easier to operate with less learnign curve.
    Not everyone has unlimited floor space to have both units. Yes you have to clean up your area after routing but you should be doing that anyway. I will put my Zund up against any other routing and/or cutter and get at minimum the same results if not better. I looked at all options and went to shops running various equipment. I was not impressed with a lot of the stand alone units. The Zund had the best options from my viewpoint.
     
  13. DetailsGS

    DetailsGS Member

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    Suggest you research the pro kits at CNC router parts. Because they come as a kit you will be your own mechanic and trouble shooter. They do both with the optional blade kit. And are affordable. They are also modular and expandable. Very capable machines for the buck by all accounts. I ordered one a week ago.
     
  14. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    You guys don't have a lot of demand for routing I'm assuming. You may be able to cut 1" acrylic "no problem" but a dedicated router can cut that 1" Acrylic faster and cleaner than the 3hp of the Zund. As for the separating processes, it's not about cleaning up (we all should keep clean environments) it's about the fact that no matter how much you clean cuttings and shaving get under the belt and clog the vacuum holes.

    If everything you are doing is soft or thin a combo unit works (we have one) but if you are like us, your clients will want harder, thicker and more exotic which taxes a multifunction.
     
  15. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Oh yeah you can see how a Zund struggles to cut acrylic lol

     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  16. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    With a 12hp router you can cut that in 1 pass and 300+ipm.
     
  17. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    This right here can be the downside to using kits. I do like kits (my 3D printer was from a kit) as since they are modular and in sometimes more open/hackable for those that are inclined, but if you are down, it's up to you to get things put to rights.

    I wouldn't discount doing a kit, but factor the above in and make sure to "you" it's worth the cost offset. It just all depends.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I'd love to be tinkering with my CNC all the time. This is not a sarcastic statement. But I'll be damned if I don't have to go toe to toe with the frankenstein (cybermation, multicam retrofitted, then I retrofit myself) every time I am supposed to be on vacation, or out of town, or printing, or whatever else. As soon as I find an affordable 8x12 to replace mine, I'll keep her going.
     
  19. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    • Like Like x 2
  20. zspace

    zspace Member

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    Most flat bed cutting tables have a light router head option that will work on ACM, PVC, gator board, thin acrylics, etc. The other usual printed sign stuff, foamboard, Coroplast, cardboard, cut best with a reciprocating knife tool. Very thin stocks like styrene work well with fixed knife tools. Most of these tables include print to cut registration like a vinyl cutter.

    If you intend to cut heavier acrylics, aluminum and wood, a router table will give you better results, but you will need attachments to cut the soft substrates that won’t router cut.

    No matter which path you pick, the operator makes the difference in the end results.
     
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