Thermwood Model 77 for Large Format Composite, Aerospace, Pattern/Mold Machining

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, 5 Axis, Announcements, CNC Router, Model 77, manufacturing

The Thermwood Multi-Purpose Five Axis Series combines all the elements needed for trimming of large aerospace and composite materials as well as machining large format patterns and molds/plugs for the aviation and defense industries.

Here we look at the Thermwood Model 77.  This heavy-duty, high-speed, moving gantry machine is ideal for machining large applications utilizing heavy fixtures.

Lenny and Mike with their newly installed Thermwood Model 77 5'x10' 5 Axis CNC Router

Lenny and Mike with their newly installed Model 77 5’x10’ 5 Axis CNC router featuring an enclosed overhead cap cover, 10 position rotary automatic tool changer, 36" Z Axis, gantry lighting system, access doors, Nemi pod table and rear dust extraction booth.

Thermwood Model 77 5x10 CNC Router


Features:

  • 12HP HSD Tool Change Spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM Spindle) (other spindles available)
  • Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head 
  • 36" Z (other sizes available)
  • 10 Position Rotary Tool Change System
  • Full 5 Axis Simultaneous Motion
  • Fixed Drill and Tapped Aluminum Table
  • Conventional Style Vacuum Plumbing
  • Heavy Duty Access Doors
  • Gantry Lighting
  • Overhead Cover Cap
  • Rear Dust Extraction Booth
  • Tool Center Point Programming (TCP)
  • Rapid Speed: 3500 inches per minute
  • Moving Gantry
  • Thermwood Q Core SuperControl
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • Volumetric 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
  • Chip Collection
  • Multi-Function Nemi Pod Table
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support 
Model 77 Options

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Thermwood Announces 3D Additive Manufacturing Program

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Jul 30, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Announcements, CNC Router, manufacturing, 3Dprinting, 3D printing, Additive

Thermwood’s 3D Additive Manufacturing System (initial development machine) can make parts up to 10’x10’x5’

Thermwood Corporation, a leading U.S. based manufacturer of CNC routers, has announced a program to develop a 3D Additive Manufacturing System, capable of making large carbon graphite reinforced composite thermoplastic components.

Near Net Shape Approach

Thermwood’s systems utilizes a “near net shape” approach where a relatively large extruder, mounted to the machine, is used to heat, melt and deposit, or “print”, carbon graphite filled thermoplastic material to quickly create a structure which is almost, but not quite the exact final shape. That structure, when it cools and hardens is then five axis machined to the final net shape. 

Up to Sixty Feet Long

These new systems will be based on Thermwood’s Model 77, semi-enclosed, high wall gantry machine structures, which are currently offered in sizes up to sixty feet long. American Kuhne LogoFor the plastic extruder, Thermwood turned to American Kuhne, the preferred provider of engineered solutions for plastic, rubber & silicone extrusion, who developed a custom system, which integrates tightly, both mechanically and electronically, with Thermwood’s CNC machine. This allows not only the machine but also the plastic extruder to be controlled and managed by a central CNC control, insuring smooth integration and increasing both capability and flexibility. 

Optional Additive and Subtractive on the Same Machine

With the addition of a second gantry, both the “Additive” and “Subtractive” processes can be performed on the same machine. The second “Subtractive” gantry will be offered as an option. Companies that already have five axis machining capacity and want to work with Additive Manufacturing may only require “Additive” machine capability as they can use existing equipment for the “Subtractive” part of the process. 

Full Six Axis Articulated Additive Deposition Head

The system’s custom 1.75 inch vertical extruder by American Kuhne is fully integrated to provide precise material distribution

Thermwood’s systems will feature full six axis articulated additive deposition head, allowing it to build layered structures on both a horizontal plane as well as planes canted in any direction up to ninety degrees from horizontal. Management believes this capability will be important as technology advances and more complex structures are required. 

Further Details

Thermwood’s initial development machine, which is nearing completion, can make parts up to ten foot by ten foot by five foot high, is equipped with a 20HP, 1 ¾ inch diameter, 24-1 L/D extruder and support equipment capable of processing over 100 pounds of material per hour. Despite the relatively heavy weight of the extrusion system and head, which are both mounted on and move with the machine, the machine generates impressive performance with high acceleration rates and high feed rate capability. 

Ongoing Development

This is an ongoing research and development program and Thermwood Management cannot say when commercial systems might be available to the market, but they believe this technology represents a major opportunity and that “Additive Manufacturing” will become a significant factor in the future of manufacturing. Thermwood believes it is in a unique position to pursue this emerging technology since, at one time, it was a plastic processing company that operated large plastic extruders in a production environment. Thermwood is already a major manufacturer of the “Subtractive” machinery part of the equation and this same technology is the basis of the “Additive” equipment.

Thermwood also designs, builds and programs its own sophisticated CNC controls which it can tailor to any new requirements and also has experience developing sophisticated design and CAD/CAM software packages which are also an important part of this new technology.

 

Thermwood smart-router technology is...

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, smart-router, Cut Ready, Cut Center, smart-router series


Just like a smart phone does more than make phone calls, a “smart-router” does much more than route parts. The “more” in a smart-router saves material and labor and makes it really easy to use. A smart-router does cost more but is substantially more profitable, making it a much better overall investment.


Thermwood smart-routers process part programs two ways:

  1. The traditional way by using CNC program output from virtually any design software. Thermwood smart-routers can even run existing programs written for other brand machines (even if those programs contain codes specific to that machine). This means, with a Thermwood smart-router, you can use software configured for almost any machine and you can run programs you already have without reprogramming. Thermwood smart-routers are pretty much compatible with anything.
  1. Instead of using traditional CNC programs developed with software and a PC, Thermwood smart-routers can also use part information directly, and create the actual cutting programs within the machine itself. Major software vendors offer database output to Thermwood smart-routers, and any software that can output DXF files will work with Thermwood smart-routers. You send the design to a Thermwood smart-router and it, rather than you, worries about how to make the parts. This offers significant advantages.

Thermwood smart-routers technology is...


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Thermwood Adds "CNC Access" to its Award Winning Cut Centers!

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 17, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, CNC Router, Cut Ready, Cut Center, CNC Mobile App

Operate the Cut Center as a CNC Router or a Cut Center!

Now Operate the Cut Center as a CNC router with "CNC Access"

Since the introduction of Thermwood's innovative and award-winning Cut Ready Cut Center, we've received requests to allow access to CNC functions of the Cut Center while also preserving the basic Cut Center functionality and simplicity of operation.

To address these requests, Thermwood is proud to announce we have added “CNC Access” to our Cut Center machine. This gives you the following expanded flexibility: 

  • You can operate the system solely as a Cut Center with no CNC Programming required.
  • You can also operate the system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software.
  • Plus, using eCabinet Systems software and following specific design protocols, you can custom design products and add them to the Cut Center libraries and then those items can be machined by the Cut Center with no further programming (Note:  In addition to doing it yourself, Thermwood offers this type of product development as an optional service).

Best of Both Worlds:  Switch Between a CNC router and a Cut Center

Thermwood has created a simple way to switch between operating as a CNC router and operating as a Cut Center to assure that all machine parameters are properly reset and that the standard Cut Center tooling is properly installed, checked and ready to run.

Operate as a Cut Center or as a CNC Router - the best of both worlds!

We believe this approach dramatically expands the capability and flexibility of the Thermwood Cut Center, without losing its ease of use, yet still providing technical users new options to benefit from this new technology. 

The Bottom Line...

Thermwood Corporation’s Cut Ready Cut Center with new "CNC Access", for the first time, allows people without extensive programming or CNC training to quickly and easily make a wide variety of products including cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and more. Don't have extensive programming experience?  Have programming experience and want both the flexibility of a CNC router and the ease of use of a Cut Center?  Looking for a machine that will grow with your business?  Then Thermwood's Cut Ready Cut Center with new "CNC Access" is the machine for you!  

Please call us today at 1-800-533-6901 or click below for more information.


Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center  

Thermwood Total Solution

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jun 05, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, CNC Mobile App, Total Solution, Assistance

What Do You Get With a Thermwood Machine?

When you purchase a CNC router from Thermwood, you get a superior machine, a superior control, superior performance and the best service and support in the business.  Our CNC Experts work with you during every step of the process to insure that you receive the optimum machine configuration for your specific application, and that you gain the knowledge and assistance you need to get into production as quickly as possible.  

You are never on your own with a Thermwood machine, and help is always free for the life of the machine!  Below, we'll go into more detail on each step of the Thermwood Total Solution process:

Thermwood 5 Axis Model 90 5'x12' CNC Router

Thermwood Model 90 5 Axis 5'x12' Dual Table CNC router


Customize Your Solution

custom-cnc_programming_smThermwood's Total Solution means that we can customize your machine operation to suit your specific needs.  Our experienced program techs can create new programs or modify your existing programs, work with you on fixturing and tooling, create custom interfaces for your control and much more.  

Because we are a single-source manufacturer, we can easily modify and hone any part of the machine or control to fit your exact need.  Our ultimate goal is to provide the best solution possible with the lowest learning curve for you. We'll stay by your side during each step of the way. We also provide phone, email and forum support, always free of charge.

jumping_customers

Thermwood Customers IDL Worldwide with their new Model 45 CNC router


Support When You Need It

Our Total Solution also means that support doesn't stop with the sale.  We are by your side during your five-day training course at our state-of-the-art factory as well as during installation at your facility. During installation, you are paired with a dedicated CNC Expert to work with you one-on-one at your facility to answer any programming and operation questions you may have.  Their goal is to make sure your Thermwood CNC machine gets into production as quickly as possible and running at its optimum performance. 

Thermwood Training Class

Thermwood Training Class in Dale, IN

Thermwood Customers learning programming skills during our five-day training class


The Thermwood Total Solution:

Training and Production Support

  • In-Depth Machine Training at our state-of-the-art facility
  • Production Start-Up Assistance at your facility with a dedicated CNC Expert
  • Help from our CNC Experts when you need it via phone/email/forum 

Customizing Your Solution

  • Customizable Control Interface (we can create a custom control interface just for you)
  • Customizeable Machine Operation (modify/create new programs and/or machine hardware)
  • Fixturing and Tooling Assistance 

Better Machines

  • High-Performance, Highly Reliable Siemens Drives Throughout
  • Full Function, High Performance CNC Control (future-proofed with an upgrade path)
  • Designed using State of the Art CAD/CAM
  • Weldments Fully Stress-Relieved
  • Three-Dimensional Laser Compensated

More Features

  • Mobile App - track the operation of your Thermwood CNC router(s) and the programs that run on them from anywhere by using your cell phone, PC or other mobile device
  • Extensive Software Capability (control accepts output and can even combine files from a wide variety of design software)
  • Automatic Tool Management (manages tooling and tool life - not easy without this feature)
  • Maintenance Tracking (manages lubrication and routine maintenance based on actual machine use)
  • Error Reporting (graphically displays location of error and suggests remedy)
  • Maintenance Videos (on-screen videos guide you through adjustment and repair)
  • Dynamic CAD Drawings (view and explode every machine assembly on the control screen)
  • Dynamic On-Screen Manuals (view and search the machine manual from the control screen)

Better Service and Support

  • Free Phone/Forum/Email Support
  • Virtual Service (instantly address virtually anything a service visit can - fast)
  • Free Ongoing Control Updates (not available from others - you're stuck with what you have)
  • Quick Tech Service Visits Directly from the Factory When Needed (single source responsibility)
  • Extensive Spare Parts Inventory with Overnight Shipping

The Bottom Line:

Our systems install fast, start up quick, are easier to use and maintain, produce more and last longer.  The Thermwood Total Solution means that we work with you before you buy, after you buy and into the future to make sure you get the best performance and financial benefit from your Thermwood machine.

Request More Information from Thermwood

 

Is a Cut Center Right For Me?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, May 15, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, Cut Ready, Cut Center

Thermwood's IWF Challenger's Award Winning “Cut Ready – Cut Center” is an alternative to CNC routers for making custom cabinets and furniture.  

Here we want to help you answer the question:  Is a Cut Center the right machine for me?  

We provide insight into this incredible machine and reasons as to why you would choose a Thermwood Cut Center over a traditional nested based CNC router.  

Is a Cut Center Right For Me?

First, a Cut Center is clearly not a CNC router. It may look a little like a CNC router, but it doesn’t work at all like a CNC router. 

A nested based CNC router has three basic elements:

  • A control capable of running sophisticated software
  • Cabinet design software capable of creating the required CNC programs
  • A machine capable of running those programs.
It requires a significant effort to engineer, select, buy, install, learn, tool, program and operate a CNC router system. While many shops embrace this challenge, many others do not. 

Cut Ready Cut Center Selection ScreenA cut center consists of a single element, the machine. Everything is inside the machine, pre-selected, pre-installed and ready to run. There is no programming with a cut center. That’s right, no programmingnone. A cut center actually knows how to make cabinets, allowing the user to make cabinets in about any way they want by simply selecting the desired product. You simply tell the machine what kind of cabinet you want (face frame/frameless, single/double side material, toe kick/detached toe, etc.), then select the specific cabinet from all the cabinets made that way and adjust the size.

Installing a Cut Center

Thermwood Cut CenterInstallation of a cut center couldn't be easier.  the process simply consists of connecting power, air and dust collection and you are ready to run production right away.  A new Cut Center comes with the program definitions and tooling preloaded.

 

 

Cut Center Has an Impressive Selection 

You can also make drawers and drawer fronts in the Cut Center

The number of products you can make with a cut center is impressive. In addition to kitchen cabinets, there are closet, bath and utility cabinets and furniture (including book shelves, entertainment walls and table tops). You can also make drawers; side mount, undermount or slot slide, quarter inch or full thickness bottom, blind dado or dovetail construction. Simply tell the cut center to make drawers for the cabinets you cut and it does it - just that easy.  

 

A variety of door options are available in the Cut CenterIt also makes doors and drawer fronts. There are over 450 designs for MDF doors and drawer fronts including square, arch, cathedral, slab and sophisticated applied molding designs with both raised and recessed panels.

You can also make grain matched slab doors. Just like with drawers, simply tell the machine to make doors for the cabinets you just cut and it does it. It even makes moldings, both straight and arched. Select from hundreds of profiles, resize the profile in width and depth and it makes it. It uses a reverse 3d printing technique for MDF doors and moldings where, instead of adding a small amount of material each pass, it removes a small amount. This means that everything in the system is made with a set of standard tools.

Add Your Own Unique Products to the Cut Center

You may be impressed with the huge selection of products already in the Cut Center, but are thinking "But what about my custom stuff?  How can I have that added to the Cut Center as well?" With our new “Special Products” program the answer is simple, we add them for you! 

With this new program, definitions for your unique products are custom developed and installed in your Cut Center. These are not just CNC programs. Definitions teach your machine to make your products in all their variations, all their sizes, from all the materials you use. The machine does it all! 

How Does This Work?

  • The process begins by developing a formal, written description of the products you want to make. This description details all aspects of the product and becomes the guiding document for the development team 
  • Once product definitions (based on your description), are complete, sample products are run to make certain that they function properly and that you are happy with the result.
  • We then install the new definitions in your Cut Center. If you are installing several items, a Thermwood technician may visit your shop to help get you going. Otherwise, we can connect online, directly to your Cut Center, and make additions or changes as needed, without the need for a technical visit 

Add more than just Cabinets and Furniture

The Special Products Section allows you to make you own custom products easily with the Thermwood Cut CenterThis service is not restricted to cabinets or furniture items but will work for about anything that can be run on a CNC router. Some products may require special fixtures to hold the part and/or special tooling. In those cases the required fixtures and tools will be detailed in the written description and will be developed, tested and supplied as part of the “Special Products" package. All you do is select and run them 

The Special Products Section allows you to make you own custom products easily with the Thermwood Cut Center

Add More Products at any Time

You can add additional products at any time and have existing product definitions modified if necessary. We stand ready to manage your product offering so you don’t have to 

With the “Special Products” addition you still have all the features and product capabilities of the Cut Center, with your unique products as an added benefit 

Operating the Cut Center 

Operate the Cut Center through a large touch screen and remote clicker.Running the cut center is also different. Everything is handled through an adjustable touch screen and a remote “clicker” you wear. Pretty much everything is handled automatically, tooling management and tool life, vacuum hold down and spoilboard management. All the operator does is follow step by step instructions. If needed, there are “Show Me” videos for each step.  You can even call a real live person on the screen if you need more help. 

Easy to Run by Almost Anyone

A cut center can be operated by just about anybody, allowing you to produce a lot of different products with no programming and almost no effort. Thermwood has invested thousands of hours developing, testing and refining these programs. To duplicate this for a CNC router would also require thousands of hours. 

There is a smooth integration between cabinets, drawers, doors and drawer fronts. For example, once you cut the cabinets, you can make everything else by just telling the machine to make the rest of the components for those cabinets.  

Easy Assembly

Details in these cabinet designs (some patented), make assembly easier. Assembly marks machined into the joints show you which parts fit together and in which orientation and alignment pin holes make installing drawers really easy.

The machine will also print detailed step-by-step assembly instructions for more complex items like closet cabinets. It also prints a label for each part showing you which job and cabinet the part is for, which edges get edge banded and a bar code in case you need to re-make the part. 

Flipping the Sheet

The flipper on the Cut Center makes flipping sheets a snapThere is a major difference in the way the cut center handles parts that need to be machined on both sides (more complex pieces like closets or cabinets made from single sided material often require machining on both sides). 

CNC routers generally cut the front side, cut the parts out and then machine the back side one part at a time. Not only is this difficult, but it can be confusing and is prone to error.   

The cut center starts by loading the sheet, back side up and doing the back side machining first, on the whole sheet. It then flips the sheet over and machines the front side. When the parts are cut out, they are complete, front and back. A really unique feature of the cut center is that it has a “flipper” on the front of the machine that flips the sheet over, so this process is really easy. Just slide the sheet into a clamp located just off the front of the table and the clamp grips the sheet and rotates it 180 degrees, all within the confines of the table. When you first load your sheet, if the backside is not up, you can use the flipper to fix that too. 

Free Ongoing Updates

Easily select your product and change size and features right at the Cut CenterThermwood is continuously expanding the products our cut centers can produce, driven by feedback from users, and these new designs are available to all cut centers as a free download. System software updates are also available as a free download as they are released. The “Virtual Service” feature mentioned above is also available to cut center users for free. 

Less Cost Over Time

Cut centers represent a departure in thinking from how things are done today and this new approach seems to make a lot of sense for a lot of cabinet shops. With lease payments around the cost of a single employee, cut centers make sense for nyone who just wants to make cabinets and not spend a lot of time learning to program computers.

Thermwood Cut Center Video

 


Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

 

Thermwood CNC Mobile App now supports automatic text and email alerts

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Apr 13, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, smart-router, QCore, CNC Mobile App, Monitoring, Advanced Support

The free Thermwood CNC Mobile app is intended to allow Thermwood Machine users to track the operation of their Thermwood CNC router(s) and the programs that run on them from anywhere by using their cell phone, PC or other mobile device.

The new Automatic Alert addition allows the user to instruct the machine to automatically email or text them when certain events occur.

To accomplish this, the user simply enters their email address or phone number, chooses the machine(s) to monitor and select the events they want to automatically receive alerts about. The alerts are easily customizable and adjustable, making it simple to set up and receive more or less information automatically.

Thermwood CNC Mobile App Automatic Alerts


Thermwood CNC Mobile App - Machine Listing DisplayThe Thermwood CNC Mobile app allows users to monitor many aspects of their Thermwood smart-router(s) and QCore Super Controller including programs, events, cycle times, scheduled maintenance and much more from just about anywhere. This app permits the user to obtain the following information on a smart-phone, tablet or PC:

  • A listing of every machine they own (includes an optional user customizable nickname)

  • The current state (ready, running or in e-stop)

  • The current Feed Override setting

  • The current program loaded and or running

  • A listing of all current and past part programs loaded/ran in chronological order with extensions

  • A listing of machine events during each part program in chronological order

  • A listing of the cycle time of every part program ran in chronological order

  • A listing of completion or interrupt times in each part program ran in chronological order

  • All machine events in chronological order with filtering

  • Monitor scheduled maintenance with a cycle time countdown as well as a graphical countdown progress bar

  • A time stamp listing of all previous maintenance performed

  • The ability to request a service phone call from a Thermwood Support Technician right from your device.

  • The ability to download the data from any of your Thermwood CNC Routers in either Excel (XLS) or XML format.

Note: While this app is free to install, only machines enrolled in Thermwood’s Advanced Support program or subscribed to Virtual Service will deliver the monitoring service. The machine also requires QCore control software version 8.5.5 or newer. A demo portion of the app is available to observe the features.


Download Your Thermwood CNC Mobile App Machine Data

Now you can download the data from any of your Thermwood CNC Routers in either Excel (XLS) or XML format. You can also choose the date range you wish to download.

Note: You must be a current Advanced Support or Virtual Service Customer to access your data.

Download Your Thermwood CNC Mobile App Data

 


Available on the App Store

Available on Google Play

Also available on any browser here: https://server.thermwood.com/thmmobileapp


About the Thermwod CNC Mobile App



Thermwood CNC Mobile App - Maintenance Display

Thermwood CNC Mobile App - Machine Display

Thermwood CNC Mobile App - Program View

Thermwood CNC Mobile App - Main Screen


Request a Consultation

Please click the "Request a Consultation" link above or give us a call at 1-800-533-6901 and we will sit down and show you how all this happens, in detail.

FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC Router Video with Roller Hold Down, Auto Load/Unload

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 27, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, 3 Axis, CNC Router, Video, Auto Unload, Auto Load, FrameBuilder 53, Dual Spindle, Roller Hold Down

Below is a new video showing the redesigned Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC router in action. 

The machine in the video features the following options:

  • Automatic load/unload system with 6,000 lb lift table and unload sorting table
  • Dual 18HP (3,000-18,000 RPM) HSD spindles with programmable head spacing
  • Two optional electric drills

Video


About the FrameBuilder 53

 

Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 Roller Hold Down CNC Router

The Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 series is a heavy duty, high-performance three-axis CNC machining center.  It is specifically developed for the machining of upholstery frames and other sheet goods that require rollers on each side of the spindle to hold various materials typically not held by vacuum while machining.

The redesigned FB53 is now equipped with rack and pinion for both the X and Y Axes, bigger drives, and a redesigned gantry that is stiffer while allowing more options.  These changes represent over 110% increase in speed from the original (various table sizes up to 20' are available).

FrameBuilder 53 5×10 Shown w/optional dual spindles
Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC Router with optional dual spindles and 6,000 lb load table
FrameBuilder 53 5×10 Shown w/optional dual spindles and 6,000 lb load table  

 

Features of the FrameBuilder 53:

 

  • 5'x10' Machining Table (available table sizes up to 20 Feet in Length)
  • Optional Automatic Load/Unload System (6000 lb automatic lift table for loading)
  • Optional Dual 18HP (3,000-18,000 RPM) HSD Spindles
  • Optional Programmable Head Spacing
  • Fixed Solid Aluminum Table
  • Moving Gantry
  • Rapid Speed:  3160 Inches per minute
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives
  • 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Automatic Lubrication
  • Optional At the Head Automatic Tool Changer
  • Optional Electric Drills
  • QCore SuperControl
  • Optional Unload/Sorting Table
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support

Dimensional Drawings (featuring optional dual spindle and load/unload):

Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC Router Dimensional Drawing Top View

Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC Router Dimensional Drawing Front View

Thermwood FrameBuilder 53 5'x10' CNC Router Dimensional Drawing Side View


Click to Calculate the Value of a CNC Investment

As Good as Wood! Make your MDF Cabinet Doors look like Solid Wood

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Feb 25, 2015

Tags: CNC, CNC Router, MDF doors, Diamond Tooling,, Solid Wood, Insert Tooling,, Cabinet Doors,

Written by Scott Burton - Sales Manager at Royce//Ayr

The latest kitchen design trends are demanding that solid wood and MDF doors appear in the same space with multi-colored cabinet layouts. This reality has challenged door makers to produce MDF doors that resemble solid wood profiles.  Production limitations have traditionally made it impossible to make MDF doors on a CNC router that match solid wood doors made on traditional moulders and tennoners.   

Advancements in MDF door tooling design and related software packages have made it possible to machine MDF doors on a CNC router that could pass as solid wood. A cohesive combination of smart tool design, flexible software, and proper material can produce an MDF product that is almost an exact match to solid wood once the door has been finished and installed. 

The application is possible, but does require some critical tools and design strategy to achieve a door with tight corners and good surface finish that can be primed with minimal sanding.  There are a couple of problems that must be overcome before achieving success.

MDF_SampleStock_26_E

Shows the current possibilities of MDF profiled doors on a CNC router.  Notice the detailed moldings and small radius on the corners of the inside profile that can be achieved.

Problem # 1 - Moulding details and tight inside corners

In previous years, a simple profile made from a single pass with a profile tool would create a rounded corner affect that made it obvious to the customer that the door was made from MDF and machined from above with a CNC router bit.  Detailed moldings and tight corners were impossible, if not very inefficient to produce.               

Solution # 1

The key to this issue is as much software related as it is tooling, and any solution must include effective communication between tool designers and software programmers.  The obvious solution to create a smaller radius in the corners is to use a smaller diameter tool.  However, this can lead to dramatically increased cycle time which can be prohibitive from a production stand point.  Primitive software made it necessary to have all tools do a complete pass around the door profile, but modern systems allow the smaller diameter tools to isolate all four corners after the larger profile tools have done their work.  The key is to start with a large profile tool to remove the majority of material and then break up the profile into small sections, and design the smallest diameter tool possible to clean the corners.  

It is important to understand the limitations of the smaller diameter tools, and adjust feed rates and RPM accordingly to avoid tool breakage. The smaller diameter tools will often be designed with single flutes, so a drop in feed rate will also ensure better cut quality.  Many small carving tools are better suited to solid carbide or carbide insert, rather than diamond due to design constraints.

Any tool inventory must include larger diameter tools for maximum material removal at higher feed rates, and matching tools with the smallest possible diameter to perform critical detailed carving applications in the corner of inside door profiles. 

Problems # 2 – Surface finish

MDF is generally very consistent and easy to finish on the outside of the panel, but profiling on the inside of the panel can create a surface that is very difficult to finish due to machining lines and “fiber tearout”.   MDF is obviously a porous material that tends to show loose fibers when machined in the core of the board. The density of MDF panel can have a dramatic impact on the resulting cut quality, but regardless of the quality of MDF it is impossible to achieve a surface finish in the core that is equivalent to the outside layer

Flat surfacing on the inside door panels is notoriously difficult as tools tend to leave machining lines on the overlapping tool path.  Depending on the fiber size in the core, tools can also pull fibers which creates a pitted affect that must be filled by primmer.  If fibers are not sheared off, they tend to raise up during priming, resulting in additional sanding or priming required.

Solution # 2

There are some machine parameter adjustments that can be made to improve surface finish.  Smaller chiploads will obviously provide less feathering of fibers, but excessively small chiploads will cause heat generation and reduced tool life, so feed rate reduction is not always ideal.  The solution lies in the tool design and cutting edge geometry.   

Pic4 Pic5

Shows an example of a diamond surfacing tool designed to provide premium surface finish on MDF door panels.  Notice the “Integrated” tool holder and tool body, which ensures optimal performance and allows tool to remove material at higher feed rates without sacrificing cut quality

The cutting edge geometry helps limit “overlap lines” between tool passes which reduces the amount of sanding required before priming.   Up shear geometry helps extract large chip loads at higher feed rates to reduce cycle time.  The diamond cutting edge is critical to providing prolonged tool life in difficult surfacing applications that produce excessive heat generation and cutting edge wear.  To achieve optimal results, it is best to run multiple tool passes and leave 3-4 mm for the final finishing pass.

Cabinet doors will always be the focal point of any kitchen, and generally require the most attention to detail.  Proper tooling design and application can help ensure the customer’s expectations are met, but also ensure that production cycle times and finishing costs are controlled.  Consult your tool designers to discover many creative ways to make your MDF doors look as good as wood.  

  

About Royce//Ayr    

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For over 4 decades Royce//Ayr has combined excellent customer service with state of the art cutting tool technology.

Royce//Ayr started out in 1963 as “Royce Carbide Tools Ltd” a small local sharpening shop for woodworking tools. The company soon became involved in the design and manufacture of specialty saw blades and cutters. In the ‘80s and ‘90s Royce started to explore the many possibilities of Insert and PCD-Diamond tooling.

1997 saw the merge of Royce Carbide Tools Ltd. with Ayr Saw & Tool Inc., a manufacturer of HSS saw blades for metal. This merger added valuable experience to the new company Royce//Ayr Cutting Tools Inc. In 2003 the company moved to a new 40,000 sq.ft. facility at 405 Sheldon Drive in Cambridge, ON.

As the industry is constantly changing and looking for better and faster ways to produce their finished products Royce//Ayr is committed to continuously investing in state of the art equipment and highly skilled employees to satisfy the demands placed on them.

Browse through this web site and inform yourself of our capabilities to produce premium quality cutting tools to internationally accepted ISO standards. You can always reach our dedicated sales and engineering staff to help design and develop the best custom tools to meet your specific needs.

With such excellent customer service and quality tooling, it’s no wonder that today Royce//Ayr is a leading manufacturer of cutting tools for wood, plastics, rubber and metal today.

Mission Statement

Royce//Ayr is committed to supplying customers with superior quality tools, excellent customer service and on-time delivery by employing cutting edge technology, tooling and machinery, and experienced dedicated employees.

 

Thermwood Model 70 and 77 for Large Format Aerospace, Composite, Pattern and Mold Machining

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Feb 05, 2015

Tags: CNC, Composites, 5 Axis, CNC Router, aerospace, Model 70, Model 77, trimming, molds, patterns

The Thermwood Multi-Purpose Five Axis Series combines all the elements needed for the machining of large aerospace and composite materials as well as trimming and machining large format patterns and molds/plugs for the aviation and defense industries.

Here we look at the Thermwood Model 77 and Model 70.  These heavy-duty, high-speed, moving gantry machines are ideal for machining of large applications using large/heavy fixtures.


Multi-Purpose 77

The Multi-Purpose 77 is a heavy-duty, high-speed contained system for the machining of large aerospace and composite materials (various sizes available):

Features:

  • 12HP HSD Tool Change Spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM Spindle) (other spindles available)
  • Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head 
  • 36" Z (other sizes available)
  • 10 Position Rotary Tool Change System
  • Full 5 Axis Simultaneous Motion
  • Fixed Drill and Tapped Aluminum Table
  • Conventional Style Vacuum Plumbing
  • Heavy Duty Access Doors
  • Tool Center Point Programming (TCP)
  • Rapid Speed: 3500 inches per minute
  • Moving Gantry
  • Thermwood Q Core SuperControl
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • Volumetric 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
  • Chip Collection
  • Multi-Function Nemi Pod Table
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support 
Thermwood Model 77 5x10 CNC Router

Model 77 10x20 Fixed Table


Videos (please click images to view videos on our blog)

 

 

 

 


Multi-Purpose 70

The Multi-Purpose 70 is designed for aerospace and composite applications utilizing large/heavy fixtures (various sizes available):

Features:

  • 12HP HSD Tool Changer Spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM larger spindle sizes available)
  • Impact Resistant 5 Axis Head 
  • Fixed Aluminum Table
  • Moving Gantry
  • 24" Z Standard (available up to 60")
  • Full 5 Axis Simultaneous Motion
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • 3D Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Thermwood QCore SuperControl
  • Tool Center Point Programming (TCP)
  • Chip Collection System
  • Multi-Function Nemi Pod Table 
  • In the Leg Tool Changer 
  • Bar Style Tool Changer
  • Automatic Lubrication
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
Thermwood Model 70 10x20 CNC Router

Model 70 10x20 Fixed Table

Thermwood Model 70 10x10 CNC Router

Model 70 10x10 Fixed Table


Videos (please click images to view videos on our blog)

 

 


More Info

To find out more about either of these two machines, or any of our other 5 axis offerings, please give us a call at 1-800-533-6901 or click below to fill out an information request form.  We hope to hear from you soon!

Request More Information from Thermwood