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

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, 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 or contact the author,
Alain Albert directly at 604-222-5613.



Thermwood's new "CNC Routers by Application" section

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Mar 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, plastics, aluminum, Nested Base, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, aerospace, edgebander, trimming, solid surface, wood carving, molds

Thermwood has added a "CNC Routers by Application" section on their home page.  By selecting the different applications, you can view examples, videos and the machines related to each application.  We will continue to add more pictures and videos to each application.

New Fravol Edgebander Video

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Mar 16, 2009

Tags: edgebanding, smart, edgebander, veneer, pvc, melamine, trimming, italy, corner rounding

This video demonstrates the Fravol edgebander. The model # is a Smart SX8. The SX8 can process up to 3mm coil banding using veneer, melamine paper, PVC/ABS and strips up to 12mm (.472") thick.  The machine is equipped with a quick release glue pot, end trimmers, top/bottom trimmers, Patented Syncro Corner Rounding Unit, and more.  Thermwood imports the Fravol line of edgebanders from Italy. The corner rounding unit is a patented item that requires no separate set-up or adjustments to finish different profiles on panels. 

Our New Composites Advertisement

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 06, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, Composites, Advertisement, 5 Axis, Model 90

Featuring the Model 90 - Thermwood machines aren't just for woodworking.  They are also used in a variety of composite, aerospace, trimming, patterns and mold making applications as well as others.  We will be attending the JEC Composites Trade Show on March 24th-26th in Paris, France, and created the following advertisement for that industry:

Check it out:

CNC Composite Machining featuring the Model 90 

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Using FARO Laser Tracker to Perform Alignments and Volumetric Compensation

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 06, 2009

Tags: CNC, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Technology, Service, FARO

We have two FARO Laser Tracker units that are in use every day at Thermwood, performing both alignment and volumetric compensation on our new CNC Router builds.  We also offer this as a service to existing customers. 

FARO Laser in use at Thermwood

Since we've implemented this technology, the amount of time required for machine alignments has been cut to less than half. What once took up to eight hours to complete can now be accomplished in approximately three.

FARO has a nice write up about the entire process here, and you can download a printable version here

If you would like more information on how this technology benefits both existing machines and new builds, please contact us.

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Straight Talk about Nested Based Systems by Ken Susnjara

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Mar 04, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Nested Base, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Model 90, Model 67, Model 45, Cost, Service, Model 41, Ken Susnjara, Straight Talk

I am the founder and CEO of Thermwood. If you check our web site you will find a new area where we offer a comparison chart of the nested based systems available today and some "straight talk" about the systems and industry.

I'm the one that put this together because of several things that have been happening and I thought I might use our new blog area to tell you about it.

We are trying to sell nested based systems to cabinet shops and in today's world, these sales are really important. In analyzing what's going on, two things stood out. First, customers that bought our product continually tell us they are pleasantly surprised at all the things it does for them. This is good because happy customers are always good. It's bad however, because the fact that they were surprised means we did a lousy job of telling them the advantages of our offering or what they should expect before they bought.

The second thing had to do with our Model 41 and Model 67 machines. In the wood industry our dealers have been telling us we needed a lower cost machine so we developed the Model 41. In order to build a machine at a lower cost you have to take something away so we used a single side drive for the gantry and purchased, rather than built, the Z axis assembly. This meant two things as far as the customer is concerned.

First, table size was restricted to 4'x8'. This meant that when combined with our three-dimensional compensation we could get good performance and good accuracy which is difficult to do with a single gantry drive. A larger table with this arrangement wouldn't work very well. Also, the shorter stroke of the purchased Z axis meant that the rotary playback for making carved posts and legs couldn't be used with this machine. We didn't consider this a major drawback since not too many shops ordered the optional playback system anyway.

The Model 90 was a little different. We had a solid and good selling product in our five axis Model 67. It did a great job in trimming and model and mold making and was probably the market leader in those applications. Our engineers designed up a higher performance version of the Model 67 and we called it the Model 90. It was quite a bit more expensive but the extra money made it perform substantially faster and better. Our sales folks told us they didn't think it would sell because you could do the same jobs with the lower cost Model 67.

In actuality however, the Model 41 attracted a lot of customers but virtually all of them moved up to the Model 45 because of better performance and more capability. The same thing happened to the Model 90. Over half of the customers switched to the higher cost-higher performance Model 90.

These things were bothering me because of a lot of talk in the forums and blogs about the price of nested based systems. The talk and blogs and forums all acted like all these systems are the same. Just like our customers didn't know what we were offering, the industry doesn't seem to know or appreciate the difference between low cost systems and higher cost systems, both ours and some of our competitors. They don't seem to have a clue about what you get for what you pay.

This caused me to try to lay out the whole thing in a clear, accurate and honest way. Based on the two observations, perhaps if potential customers really understand everything our systems offer, they would be willing to step up to the higher price just like they did with the Model 41 and Model 90. If not, at least they would both understand and accept what they are buying for what they are spending.

I tried to be as accurate as possible with this comparison. If you find any area where the comparison is wrong, please let me know and I will change it. Also, if there is an area where you think we should add additional items for comparison also let me know. My email is

For comparison purposes, I do not want to include items open for interpretation. For example, I believe our service is second to none, but the quality of service is value judgment rather than a provable fact so I have left those things out. You should check out service pretty carefully before buying, however. It is very important.

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