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Understanding the Benefits and Drawbacks of CNC Routers

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A CNC router is one of the machines used in large-scale manufacturing and processes. Essentially, the term CNC router refers to a computer-controlled machine used for cutting a host of materials in manufacturing. The machine is used to produce various things like musical instruments, wood panels, decoration for home exteriors and interiors, furniture and mouldings. So why should you find a fabricator who uses CNC routers over the traditional handheld router? What benefits and drawbacks does the machine have, and how do they affect you as a user? These questions are outlined in the benefits and drawbacks of CNC discussed below: 

Benefits of CNC Routers

Improved Accuracy Accuracy is one of the key elements of a CNC router. Handheld routers used for cutting solids manually are prone to errors in measurements and execution of the cut. Errors such as parallax and improper balance of the cutting effort exerted by the artisan lead to variation in the items being cut or modelled. Thankfully, a computer-controlled router relies on software that can generate the same repetitive movement throughout. This ensures that pieces can be cut in the same manner. It is the go-to machine when you need to reproduce exact copies in manufacturing.

Reduced Waste A CNC controlled router reduces waste in terms of labour hours and the material you are cutting. Before the fabricators begins the cutting process, all the cutting requirements are set using a computer and the process initiated. This is better than a case where you rely on an artisan to measure then make a cut one by one. It reduces the need for mechanical skill and the high level of accuracy ensures that the CNC router preserves as much material as possible.

Software Integration CNC routers support computer aided manufacturing unlike mills controlled manually by artisans. This promotes creative designs even in 3D.

The Drawbacks of CNC Routers

Expensive even though CNC routers are quite inexpensive to run, they are costly to buy and install. The purchase price, setting up and integration of the computer-aided manufacturing software is more expensive compared to buying a hand-driven router. This translates to higher designing and production costs.

DIY Unfriendly a CNC router is not something you can install and use in your home to cut materials. It requires technical expertise and use of router guards to ensure safety when cutting the materials. It's not the type of work that you can log on to you fabricator's website, follow some easy steps and get it done. A professional must do the work, regardless of how small it is.  

If you'd like more information about CNC routers and laser cutting, talk to contractors like Australian General Engineering.