Jason Susnjara

Recent Posts

Adirondack Studios completes project using Artcam, Thermwood

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Aug 28, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, software, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, manufacturing, Skills, artcam

Delcam's ArtCAM software enabled Adirondack Studios to complete successfully a project to produce five giant chandeliers for the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs, Pennsylvania.

 

For over 30 years, Adirondack Studios, based in Argyle, New York, has helped to design and build themed environments for theatres, arenas, exhibit halls, ballrooms, parks, restaurants, casinos, amusement parks, supermarkets, museums, stadia and marinas. About a year ago, the company began using the ArtCAM artistic CADCAM software to program the CNC routers used to manufacture the majority of the company's products.
"The software that we used in the past for CNC programming worked fine for routine jobs but many of the projects that we get involved in are far out of the ordinary," said Bob Gregory, Senior Router Operator. "We spent too much time watching the clock while we were machining and ran into quite a few bugs. Also, the software developer was not as responsive as we wished when we called in for support."
"We had heard that a number of our competitors were using ArtCAM with very good results so we decided to give it a try," Mr. Gregory continued. "From the very beginning we felt that ArtCAM was a more finished product, more robust, with much higher performance. The tutorials make it very easy to take advantage of the many advanced features of the software. The support provided by Delcam has been superlative and they do listen to, and implement, user suggestions for improving the software."
Adirondack Studios' designers began the construction of the chandeliers by building a 3D model in AutoCAD. The file was imported into ArtCAM to generate the CNC program to machine a positive shape in low-density foam. This was used by a subcontractor to vacuum-form the plastic bowl segments. These were then painted to look like alabaster.
In a similar way, the casting department used ArtCAM to make a mould to cast the grouse models that would be used to decorate the chandeliers. A black-tinted silicone rubber was used to give the grouse the appearance of wrought iron.

The next step was to create a bird's nest pattern and weave it around the circumference of the bowl. ArtCAM allowed the ways in which the strands crossed each other to be varied for a more natural appearance. "Birds do not use a CNC machine to build their nests so it took considerable effort to get the correct look," Mr. Gregory said.  Mr. Gregory generated a CNC program to cut the bird's nest negative shape into MDF. It took only fifteen minutes to create the program compared with at least four hours that would have been needed with the previous software. The mould was used to cast the bird's nests from the same silicon rubber used for the grouse. Finally, the birds and the nests were glued to the bowl of each chandelier.
The finished chandeliers were then installed in the casino. They formed part of a $208-million renovation of the site, aimed at transforming it into the area's leading entertainment complex.

 

 

Attendance at AWFS Reported Strong, Despite Recession

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, Aug 11, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, AWFS, Vortex

AWFS®Fair 2009 announced that the most recent show, "proved to be the place for the entire woodworking community to come together, show support and strengthen the industry.  Exhibitors reported strong buyer interest, especially from international delegations." 
 
"The show exceeded my expectations by far; our sales have been great," Gaspar Tellez from Laguna Tools, Irvine, Calif. wrote in a post-show survey.
 
AWFS said that it added value to the show with new features on the show floor like the Green Desk, smartSHOP and shredding program and had a strong line up of educational seminars. The new features were a huge success and will be expanded and enhanced in the years to come. AWFS, along with exhibitors WEIMA America and Delmac, also showed local support with donations of products made at the Fair to several Las Vegas charities, including The Animal Foundation, The Springs Preserve, Greener Vegas and Habitat for Humanity.
 
"The show was much better than we expected.  We came in hopes of gaining market share so that when things turn around we'll be a few steps ahead of our competition," said Mike Serwa from Vortex Tool Company, Schofield, Wis.
 
Guatemala and Mexico proved to be the two most active international delegations, in terms of purchase orders, according to Ana Druk, who heads AWFS' International Buyer Program.  Buyers from the two countries were on the show floor each day, making purchases of both equipment and supplies.  
 
"The show was excellent for us," Brent East from Thermwood Corporation, Dale, Ind. agreed. "Both the number and quality of buyers were much better than I anticipated."  
 
Two new countries sent delegations of buyers - Iraq and Mongolia.
 
"New buyers seem to be most interested in distributorship opportunities, purchasing small tools and education materials.  The leaders of the two new delegations both stated that they will be back in 2011!" said Druk.
 
This year's fair hosted 9,000 registered attendees and close to 600 exhibiting companies.  Woodworking industry professionals, drawn from 52 countries from around the world met, networked, attended some of the more than 50 education sessions and conducted business over the course of four whirlwind days. 
 
Overall, the show proved to be a success, according to Archie Thompson, AWFS Tradeshow Chair, National Sales Manager of Spectrum Adhesive.
 
"The signs of life turning up in the housing market suggest that our industry really has passed the worst of this economic downturn. Two years from now, we will look back at these tough times and remember how we were able to pull together as an industry and survive," said Thompson. "When we return in 2011, we'll be celebrating the 100th year anniversary of AWFS and the resurgence of our industry."
 
More than 165 students entered into the Fresh Wood national woodworking student design contest, and 46 were able to make the trip to Las Vegas with their teachers. For the first time ever, two high school students were awarded the Best of Show and People's Choice awards.  Several TV crews taped live interviews with the students.
 
The woodworking media came out in full force. Many reporters were live blogging and podcasting from the show floor.  Chris Grundy, host of the show "Cool Tools" on the DIY network filmed on the floor for two days," covering new products and doing exhibitor interviews.
 
In 2011, AWFS®Fair will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center, July 20-23. Please check http://www.awfsfair.org/ for updates.
 
About the AWFS®Fair: The full-scale AWFS®Fair has become a critical hub for international commerce in the woodworking industry. The AWFS®Fair brings together the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, lumber, construction materials and other suppliers to the furniture, cabinet manufacturers and custom woodworkers. 
 
For more information, visit www.awfs.org/.

New Compact Series Edgebander from Fravol

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Aug 07, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, edgebanding, Technology, Product Information, edgebander, pvc

   

Thermwood Corporation is proud to announce a new compact series of automatic edgebanders from Fravol.  The B Series from Fravol is constructed using a steel frame and designed to be compact but versatile and easy to use.  The BEE can process banding up to 3mm thick PVC and comes equipped with a 1kg (2.2 lbs.) Teflon lined glue pot, 3 pressure rollers, end-trimming unit, top/bottom trimming unit and a glue scraper.  Fravol has been in business since 1963 producing heavy-duty, versatile, and easy to use edge processing machines for the woodworking industry. 

For additional information, please contact Thermwood Corporation

Phone: (800) 533-6901  E-mail: sales@thermwood.com  Web: www.thermwood.com

Panel Saw & CNC Router for High Volume Cabinet Production

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, May 19, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, CNC, software, control nesting, CNC Routers, Nested Base, Technology, Cabinet, manufacturing, panel saws

 

A CNC panel saw coupled with a machining center is the most common production arrangement for higher volume cabinet production. Nested based machining is more productive in lower volume shops but hasn't offered enough throughput for larger shops. Now there is a way to combine the best of both approaches to achieve even higher throughput and higher productivity.

The idea is simple but the technology to achieve it has been elusive until now. The basic approach is to use the panel saw to cut rectangular parts that do not require additional machining and use a CNC router to cut parts that require machining using a nested based approach. As simple as the idea sounds, it offers some significant benefits.

  1. You only need to cut parts on the panel saw that don't require additional machining. Less panel saw labor.
  2. You don't need to sort parts at the panel saw that need additional machining since they are not cut there. Even less labor.
  3. You don't need to transfer parts from the panel saw to the machining center.
  4. At the CNC router, you load full sheets of material instead of identifying, selecting programs, handling and setting up each part, one at a time. Much faster.
  5. During the machining cycle the operator has time to do other operations such as edge banding which is not possible if you are handling one part at a time.

The technology to do this now exists and in a very refined form. For example the system can easily do the following:

  1. Automatically separate rectangular parts and send them to the optimizer and send all machined parts to the CNC router.
  2. Automatically nest the job at the machine control accommodating whatever material is available.
  3. Print nest diagrams and part labels at the machine control.
  4. Trim and bar code scrap for later use.
  5. Easily re-cut a damaged part or add it to the next job right at the machine.

This approach offers more throughput, smoother operation with less labor and less chance for operator error and implementing it is rather easy. You will keep your panel saw, since our software will work with virtually any panel saw optimizer. Replace your machining center with a CNC router. We will program your product line into our manufacturing software which will work directly with your existing cabinet sales software. That's it, you are ready to run.

This approach is especially attractive if you need to replace your existing machining center. Our large table, nested based CNC systems are about the same price as traditional machining centers but, are a lot more productive and offer better throughput.

DXF Buddy is Now Available from CNC Automation

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Apr 27, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, software, control nesting, CNC Routers, Gen2, CNC Automation, Special, Cad, Layered DXF, super controller, DXF Buddy

 

 Are you working with Layered DXF files and Control Nesting? Do you run into issues with any of the following?

  • OUTLINE layer depths not matching material thicknesses at the machine...
  • Parts to be machined in "grained" material being drawn in the wrong orientation...
  • You need a left-hand AND right-hand gable but only have the left-hand DXF...
  • The DADO layer is not being recognized because if was incorrectly labeled "DAOD"...
  • You need to flip the back operations to the front and then front operations to the back...
  • No CAD system or CAD operator out at the machine...


DXF Buddy

is here! This small and easy utility will run at the machine and help you rectify all of the issues listed above and then some.

DXF Buddy
is available in two versions - Standard and Pro. The Standard version incorporates a DXF Part Viewer and the ability to manipulate many aspects of the Layered DXF file without the need of accessing a CAD system. The Pro version has all the capabilities of the Standard module and also provide a DXF List Management module that allows you to create a list of DXF parts, set quantities, easily assign materials, mirror/rotate or "pair" individual parts and annotate each entry with a JOB/ASSEMBLY and CAB/SUB-ASSEMBLY designation. The lists DXF Buddy Pro "builds" can then be loaded into Control Nesting in one easy step.

Both versions of DXF Buddy 1.0 have an introductory price of less than $100 CAD!

NOTES:

  • Each license can be installed and run on only one (1) computer. (Software registers to the computer.)
  • All support is done via a email (dxf.buddy@cncautomation.com) or on the special forum on the
B2B-Online-Community. No phone support is provided.


Visit the SOFTWARE section of the CNC Automation web store - http://store.cncautomation.com/



NEW Thermwood Online Store

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Apr 13, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, plastics, aluminum, CNC Routers, tooling, vacuum, online store, wood

The NEW Thermwood Online Store now sells collets/covernuts, grease, filters and other accessories for CNC Routers and vacuum pumps.  The Thermwood Store also carries a wide variety of tooling for different industries such as wood, fiberglass, plastics, and composites from different vendors like Vortex, Southeast Tool, CMT and more.  Please visit the Thermwood Online Store to purchase your CNC Router accessories and tooling needs. 

 

Thermwood Links eCabinet Systems to ShopBot

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Apr 08, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, software, New, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, Cabinet, Shopbot, cooperative, optimize

Dale, IN April 7, 2009: -- Thermwood Corporation, a leading supplier of CNC routers and founder of eCabinet Systems, the world's largest cooperative of custom cabinet shops, announced the availability of a ShopBot Link that will allow CNC output from its eCabinet Systems software to operate ShopBot CNC routers. The ShopBot Link software program, available from Thermwood, accepts a .twd output file from eCabinet Systems, nests the parts and creates properly formatted files for the ShopBot control.

The new program is the result of a joint effort between Thermwood and ShopBot to expand the use of CNC in the cabinet and custom furniture business. The availability of highly capable but free design software that can output to entry level CNC routers should speed the acceptance of this technology in the marketplace and should ultimately expand the market for everyone.

Thermwood has recently restructured the eCabinet Systems program and added free access to a large collection of cabinet, furniture, closet and carving libraries. These designs, including the carvings, can now be machined on ShopBot CNC routers. For additional information see http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/.

Thermwood Restructures eCabinet Systems Program

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Apr 08, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, software, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, Shopbot, cabinets, cooperative, panel saws, tigerstop

Dale, IN April 7, 2009: -- Thermwood Corporation, a leading supplier of CNC routers and founder of eCabinet Systems, the world's largest cooperative of custom cabinet shops, announced that it has restructured the eCabinet Systems program to broaden its appeal and make the software easier to learn.

In addition to continuing to offer the design software free to manufacturers and professional cabinet builders, a major new feature of the restructuring is free access to a collection of cabinet, furniture, closet and carving libraries. " These libraries mean that most users can just download and build without having to first learn the software and create their own libraries", says Thermwood's Vice President of Marketing Jason Susnjara. "We also offer a program to modify these libraries or create all new libraries for individual customers if they want".

For those that want an in-depth understanding of the software Thermwood has developed an extensive web based training program modeled after its successful week long software class. Access to the program is on a subscription basis and Thermwood plans a continuous program of additions and enhancements.

Another major departure from the past is the ability to output code to machines other than Thermwood. Two interface modules have been announced; one to ShopBot CNC routers and one that sends rectangular parts from a job to an optimized panel saw and sends cut-to-length parts to a TigerStop. Thermwood believes these two additions will expand the program by allowing smaller shops to begin using low cost CNC routers and supporting higher volume, panel saw production for larger shops. Thermwood has established an all new eCabinet Systems web site, http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/ to support the restructured program.

 

 

Adding Value by producing MDF doors instead of traditional five piece doors

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Mar 20, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Model 45, CNC Automation, MDF doors

This is an informational breakdown on the cost of a cnc router to produce mdf doors as opposed to traditional methods of producing traditional five piece doors.  This was put together by Bob Law, Regional Manager of CNC Automation (a Thermwood dealer).

Most people equate nested based manufacturing with cabinet box components and the labor savings, added precision and ease of assembly that goes along with automation of this process, but a big part of a quality system is the machining of peripheral items.  In my opinion and the opinion of large percentage of our users, the ability to produce "high end" paint grade MDF doors more than justifies their lease payment which in reality makes the cabinet advantages free. 

A large stigma attached to MDF doors is the customer's perception that MDF is cheap or a lesser quality in comparison to popular 5 piece doors (which if you think about it is clearly not the case). 

A large headache for a kitchen manufacturer is a call 6 months to a year after the install when the center panel has shrunk and the paint is cracked along the inside of their rails and styles, or the miters have opened leaving an unsightly gap in the corners of all of their doors. 

In most cases a customer will easily opt for a 1 piece MDF option if presented with the fact that their MDF door will stand the test of time and be guaranteed not to move and deteriorate the look of the dream kitchen that they have worked so hard for. 

Now all MDF door packages aren't created equally.  Most systems have the ability to do single pass doors that look like the prototypical MDF door with an outside profile as well as a simple inside profile.  Our software, which is called Panelmetrix, has the capability to create multipass 1 piece doors, as well as automatic mullion and glass cutout machining.  It can also create bead board machining, valance machining, 1 piece multipanel machining (which can be used for tall doors, wainscoting, range hoods etc...) and a number of other features that will turn door machining into an order entry system once a door style is developed.  Panelmetrix is available exclusively to Thermwood owners and is the ultimate companion to eCabinet Systems.

Sales techniques aside, the justification goes something like this:

MDF Doors

  • Average 5 piece paint grade door cost per kitchen = $3000.00
  • Material cost for MDF for the same = $300.00
  • Approximate machine time = 4 hours
  • Added Gross profit for one kitchen = $2700.00 which in most cases will cover a lease payment for a Thermwood nesting system.
  • Bead Board:
  • Sheet of Bead board = $80.00
  • Sheet of 1/4" MDF = $20.00
  • Approximate machining time = 7-8 minutes depending of the spacing
  • Savings per sheet of $60.00

In closing, the cheapest system on paper over a short period of time can be by far the most expensive.  MDF doors coupled with modeled curved moldings, preprogrammed carvings, dovetailed drawer box machining, can all be easily machined with our system and for small to midsized shops especially, can make the difference between profitability or the addition of just another one dimensional tool in your shop.

Please take the time to view a few typical examples of quality MDF door machining below.

MDF Door Video #1

MDF Door Video #2

 

 

 

New CNC technology handbook Understanding CNC Routers

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, Mar 17, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, software, CNC Routers, tooling, vacuum, manufacturing, Forintek, handbook

Find out how to increase your throughput and improve your bottom line using the latest tools in manufacturing automation.

A taste of CNC technology will change your manufacturing experience forever!

Forintek's new handbook Understanding CNC Routers provides you with an insight on the history of CNC technology as well as with all the information you need about tooling, software, vacuum pumps and the myriad of accessories available to the wood manufacturing industry.

You can order the easy to read 100-page handbook for $20 at publications@fpinnovations.ca or contact the author,
Alain Albert directly at 604-222-5613.