Purdue Student Wins First Place in Furniture Design Contest at AWFS

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jul 24, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, 3 Axis, Trade Shows, AWFS, Prize, Winner, Student, Purdue, Furniture

Purdue University has two Thermwood routers, and recently had a student win first place in furniture design at AWFS: 

Leah Kenttamaa Squires, a student at Purdue University, West Lafayette, recently received a First Place Award for her entry SAKURA HANA in Fresh Wood, a national competition for woodworking projects sponsored by the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS). Judges Dan Hershberger, AWFS Board Member, left) and Randy Johnson, editor, American Woodworker (right) presented Kentamaa-Squires with her award at AWFS Fair 2009, in Las Vegas, NV.

Leah Kenttamaa-Squires created this award-winning piece in a class Furniture Design for CNC Manufacturing in Fall of 2008, under the leadership of professors R. Gazo, E. Haviarova, R. Paul and Wood Research Laboratory technician D. Warner. The course is a joint effort between the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.

The 50 finalists were chosen from 169 entries from 49 different schools in North America. Hongtao Zhou a former Purdue student who graduated in 2008 from the same program and now teaches design at University of Wisconsin in Madison received an Honorable Mention at the same competition.

Purdue University has two Thermwood routers, and recently had a student win first place in furniture design at AWFS:

 

Purdue Student Wins First Place in Furniture Design Contest

Thermwood CNC Routers optimize cooling tower builds

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Jul 20, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Productivity, CNC, Composites, 3 Axis, Technology, CNC Routers, manufacturing, Customer

Here is a reprint from an informative article published in Composites Technology about Bedford Reinforced Plastics and their application of Thermwood CNC Routers in cooling tower fabrication:Thermwood CNC Routers used in the fabrication of cooling towers 

Operators of chemical refineries, mining operations and power plants use cooling towers to reduce the temperature of process water that often contains corrosive chemicals. These large square or rectangular structures house equipment in which heated water trickles downward through filtration media while large fans draw air up through the wet media to transfer the heat to the atmosphere. Although cooling towers traditionally have been made with wood and concrete, composite materials are gaining acceptance due to their corrosion and rot resistance, light weight and ease of installation. "Redwood was used in the past because of its innate ability to resist rot. But, as good redwood became scarce, treated Douglas fir was substituted, and in addition to the negatives associated with the chemicals used to treat the wood, fir just couldn't hold up in the cooling tower environment," says Eric Kidd, cooling tower market manager at Bedford Reinforced Plastics (Bedford, Pa.).

Bedford has pultruded square tubes, angles, channels and deck board for cooling tower alternatives since the mid-1990s, says Kidd, including one of the world's largest - a 46-ft tall, 54-ft wide, 1,080-ft long (14.2m by 16.6m by 332m) structure at Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. in Carlin, Nev. Bedford supplied more than 600,000 lb (272 metric tonnes) of pultruded components made with Owens Corning Material Solutions' (Toledo, Ohio) continuous filament mat and E-glass roving, Ashland Inc.'s (Columbus, Ohio) fire retardant polyester and vinyl ester resins and polyester surfacing veil. Drilling the thousands of fastener holes and cutouts that enable assembly and fastening of the tower's skeletal structure is a huge challenge. For that task, Bedford employs five 3-axis, CNC-controlled routers from Thermwood Corp. (Dale, Ind.). Configured with overhead moving gantries, the machines have bed sizes that range from 5 ft by 10 ft (1.5m by 3m) to 5 ft by 40 ft (1.5m by 12.2m). According to VP of marketing Jason Susnjara, Thermwood is the only CNC router manufacturer that supplies its own controller programs with the machines, enabling customers to seamlessly integrate CAD/CAM designs with the controller and postprocessor.

Thermwood CNC Routers used in the fabrication of cooling towers

Bedford considers automated drilling and cutting to be essential to optimizing finished-part production rates, hole consistency and location accuracy. The former, says Bedford, reduces product lead time, permitting the company to meet tight customer deadlines. The latter ensures that tower structures assemble correctly on site, without delays for part rework. 

Thermwood at the AWFS Show in Las Vegas

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jul 15, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, 3 Axis, Trade Shows, CNC Routers, AWFS, Las Vegas

A couple of photos of our booth on the first day of the AWFS show in Las Vegas.  We are Booth #5200 - Great turn out so far!

 Thermwood Booth #5200 at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

Thermwood Booth #5200 at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

**Update**

More Pics!

Demonstrating our CNC Routers, I-Cut, Links from eCabinets to ShopBot & from 20-20 to a Thermwood

Demonstrating our CNC Routers, I-Cut, Links from eCabinets to ShopBot & from 20-20 to a Thermwood

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Nice sample of graphic produced with i-cut software on a Thermwood Model 45 CNC Router at AWFS Show in Las Vegas  

Nice sample of graphic produced with i-cut software on a Thermwood Model 45 CNC Router at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

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Our "Wall of Applications" possible on a Thermwood CNC Router

Thermwood's

Why should you purchase a Thermwood CNC Router?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 24, 2009

Tags: Product Information, CNC, Straight Talk, Cost, CNC Routers, Customer, super controller, Purchase

Why Purchase a Thermwood? 

Recently we asked ourselves a simple question - Why should someone purchase a Thermwood CNC Router over any of the other options on the market?  To us, this seemed like a no-brainer.  Of course they should purchase one of our machines, because they are superior to all the others, right?  Well, we think so, but that answer to such a simple question doesn't really explain anything about our advantages or help a potential customer understand the entire support system and huge range of unique tools and time-saving capabilities built into our control and machine.  We just take these powerful advantages for granted, and assume everyone knows about them....but how can they if we don't let them know?

Our next task was to come up with a concise listing of these features/advantages that could be easily understood without needing to go into complex detail just to explain everything to someone.  That proved to be easier said than done.  We stood back and started listing everything we have that gives our machines, control system, training and service and support programs a huge advantage over anything offered by our competition - it was a very long list! 

We spent the better part of a week refining this list into three main points (each also being broken down into further information).  The concise reasons we came up with are that someone should purchase a Thermwood CNC Router because we offer Better Machines with More Features and Better Support.  Anyone can say this, right?  But we can also prove it with facts.  To do this, we created a new area on our site that goes into further detail on this subject.  It breaks all of these areas down and explains everything in further detail. 

This exercise was a positive experience for us in helping to focus our message into a simple statement that includes everything a Thermwood customer receives as part of their machine purchase.  without sounding too "sales-like":

The bottom line is that Thermwood systems install fast, start up quick, are easier to use and maintain, produce more and last longer. 

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5 Axis CNC Router at John Cox's Creature Workshop

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 10, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, 5 Axis, Model 67, CNC Routers, Customer, Video

The following two videos are provided by a customer of ours (John Cox's Creature Workshop - http://www.johncox.net/) in Queensland, Australia.  They show the creation of a character (Big Girl) on a Thermwood Model 67 CNC Router.  This character was used in a commercial for an Australian confectionary company.  The first video shows the making of the character and behind the scenes of the commercial shoot, and the second shows the final commercial.

 

 

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Panel Saw & CNC Router for High Volume Cabinet Production

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, May 19, 2009

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

 

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.

Thermwood Customer Family Video Updated

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Apr 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, New, CNC, CNC Routers, Customer, Video, Family

When a customer purchases a Thermwood CNC Router, they become part of our large Thermwood Customer Family. We created this Thermwood Customer Family video to show our appreciation. This video has been updated to show our newest Thermwood Customer Family members with their Thermwood CNC machines in their facilities.

 

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

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Mar 20, 2009

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

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

 

 

 

Our New Composites Advertisement

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 06, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, New, Advertisement, CNC, 5 Axis, Composites, 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, 5 Axis, 3 Axis, Service, FARO, Technology

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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