Smart-routers guide you step by step

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jun 21, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, CNC Router, smart-router, guide, on-screen

The basis of a smart-router is that, instead of a machine that just executes a program, smart-routers automatically perform numerous functions that otherwise must be done by skilled, and expensive people. Smart-routers aren’t just controls that move a machine. They actually know the job they are doing, so they can make judgment calls to make operation much more efficient.

A smart-router allows a less-skilled operator to easily run programs.  One way it does this is through the use of on-screen instructions during the program operation.

Smart-routers guide you step by step through the program

smart-routers guide you step by stepDuring program operation, smart-routers tell you what they are doing and offer instructions every step of the way. They tell you how many steps are in the program,what step they are on and what step is coming up next. 

If you can read you can run a smart-router.


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.

Smart-routers allow the machine operator to safely do other jobs

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 19, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, 3 Axis, Technology, smart-router, Personal Pause Button, safety

Smart-routers support pause technology. The operator is no longer forced to remain at the machine to stop it in an emergency. A pause button clipped to his belt can stop the machine, so the operator is free to perform other tasks away from the control. A progress bar, visible from a distance, shows the operator how long before he needs to service the machine. It’s like getting an extra worker for free.

Pause button allows machine operator to safely do other jobs

Personal pause allows machine operator to safely do other jobsWith standard routers, the operator must remain close to the control so he can stop the machine if something goes wrong. The only job he can really do is watch the machine. With a smart-router, a pause button clips to his belt. Pressing it anywhere in the production cell stops the machine. It works like an emergency stop, but is not a “wrench in the gearbox” emergency stop. It immediately stops the machine, but offers options:

Thermwood Personal Pause Button Control ScreenIf you break a tool, the smart-router drops off the tool holder and tells you to replace the tool. It then picks up the new tool, automatically measures it, adjusts the program for the new tool length and diameter, recuts the path of the broken tool and continues with the job. You can also abandon and recut the sheet you are working on. Perhaps the sheet is warped or you found an internal defect when you started cutting. The machine gives you step by step instructions to replace and recut the sheet, right in the middle of the job. 

Perhaps some parts are moving because you didn’t fly-cut the spoilboard soon enough. You can instruct the machine to go ahead and finish this sheet, but leave a skin on all remaining parts so they won’t move and be scrapped. You can easily trim the skin afterwards and save the parts. By the way, smart-routers can fly cut a spoilboard in the middle of a job, then adjust the program for the new spoilboard thickness and finish the job. If these types of problems are encountered on an ordinary router, addressing them is much more involved. 

If you think about it, just the labor saving of being able to use the machine operator to do other tasks in the production cell is enough to pay for the upgrade to a smart-router. The savings in scrap, labor and programing when you encounter a problem makes it that much better.

By the way, not fly cutting the spoilboard soon enough to keep parts from moving is probably the single most common reason for scrapping parts in nested based machining. Smart-routers try to help by keeping track of where you have cut into the spoilboard as you machine parts. Before instructing you to load another sheet, it looks at the parts on the next sheet and at the cuts already in the spoilboard and makes sure every part has sufficient hold down area so it won’t move. If any part falls below a minimum, it gives the operator a choice, either fly cut the top before continuing or it will leave a skin on the problem part so it remains connected to other parts around it and doesn’t move. Over time this saves a ton of scrap, a lot of time and a lot of money.

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.

Thermwood incorporates smart-router technology into its nested based systems

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, control nesting, CNC Routers, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Announcements, Model 43, CNC Router, smart-router, Cabinet, Model 45, cabinets, nested based, MTR, Easy, SuperControl, Profile Modeler

Smart-routers may very well be the next wave in CNC routers. Just like smart phones have replaced regular phones, smart-routers may replace regular routers. Why? Because they are a lot easier to use and they make a lot more money from nested based jobs.

The big difference with smart-routers is not only do they know how to move, they also know the job they are doing. They can help in ways no simple machine can.

Smart routers easily use scrap materialFor example, when a smart-router finishes a job, it already knows how to make every part in that job, so if you need to cut a replacement part, the smart-router can do it without creating a new CNC program. In fact, they remember parts from all previous jobs. Just scan the label and it will cut it from the material left on the table. And, mentioning material left from a job, smart-routers use that material first when cutting a new job. You no longer have to throw it away or create specialized CNC programs to deal with it. It’s quick, easy and virtually automatic. It’s simple and saves the average shop thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in material each year that would otherwise be scrapped, and we’ve just scratched the surface.

Just like a smart phone handles dozens of daily tasks through special apps, smart-routers handle dozens of aspects of running nested based products. The list is impressive and each feature saves labor, saves material, avoids scrap and makes the whole thing so much easier.

Please click here for a detailed list of some of these smart-router features.

Request a Consultation

If you would like to see just how much a smart-router can save you compared to an ordinary router, please give us a call at 1-800-533-6901 and we will sit down and go over it in detail.

2013 Thermwood Dealer Conference

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Apr 25, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Model 77, Dealer Conference, Auto Labeling, Auto Unload, 2013

We recently held our 2013 Dealer Conference at our headquarters in Dale, IN. The purpose of this annual event is to get all of our domestic and international dealers together in round-table informative sessions to discuss sales strategies and also to present the exciting changes and new products we plan to release in the next year.

Of course, the conference isn't all work and no play!  It also gives everyone a chance to socialize and catch up on news, as well as the opportunity to award our top sellers special prizes at the awards dinner. 

This year, our top dealership was CNC Automation out of Canada.  Second and third places went to Automation Associates, Inc and Tech Con.  The award for the dealership with the Most Improved Sales for 2012 went to CNC Solutions.  The award for top International Sales went to Tervelli out of Turkey.  Congratulations, guys!

1st Place CNC Automation

Pictured above (l-r) are: Andrew Legault (CNC Automation), Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood) and Bob Law (CNC Automation).

2nd Place - Automation Associates, Inc

Pictured above are: (l-r) Mark Drone (Automation Associates, Inc), Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).

3rd Place - Tech Con

Pictured above are: (l-r) Robert Vollmer (Tech Con), Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood) and Glenn Suss (Tech Con).

Most Improved Sales 2012

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Phil Marker (CNC Solutions) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).

Top International Sales

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Cumhur Arslanoğlu (Tervelli) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).

Thermwood CEO Ken Susnjara explains a new concept

Thermwood CEO Ken Susnjara gives a demonstration during the 2013 Dealer Conference.

Scott Vaal demonstrates 5 Axis Alignment Verification

Scott Vaal demonstrates the 5 Axis Alignment Verification Routine during the 2013 Dealer Conference.

Thermwood dealers and employees socialize during the 2013 Dealer Conference

Thermwood personnel, domestic and international dealers socialize after hours during the 2013 Dealer Conference.


Thermwood at the 2013 AWFS Show in Las Vegas!

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Announcements, Trade Shows, edgebanding, Model 43, AWFS, CNC Router, Cabinet, Model 45, Las Vegas, cabinets, nested based, 43, Low Cost, edgebander, Auto Unload, Continuous C-Axis Rotation, solid wood processing, Demonstrations, Auto Load

Thermwood to Demonstrate New Auto-Labeling and Unload System on Model 43 and Solid Wood Machining on Model 45

Thermwood CabinetShop 43 with Auto Label and Unload Options

The 2013 AWFS Show (July 24th-27th) promises to be an exciting opportunity to visit Las Vegas and see the very latest in CNC Router technology from Thermwood! 

For AWFS 2013, Thermwood is proud to demonstrate our affordable CabinetShop 43 CNC Router equipped with the new optional Auto Labeling and Unload Rake System for nested based production.  This new system will be in action at AWFS 2013 in Booth #8400.


Featuring the CabinetShop 43 with New Automatic Labeling and Unload System:


Speed up Production Time

This new option helps save time by automating the process of placing labels and off-loading finished material.  The automated system quickly places the labels and then machines the parts.  It next unloads the finished material to a sorting table.  This automatic and economical addition can greatly speed up production time, and is available both on new machines and as a retrofit.

Also at AWFS we will be demonstrating a Fravol edgebander.  Fravol, known for high quality edgebanders, is exclusively represented and serviced in the US by Thermwood.


Also Demonstrating Solid Wood Machining on the Thermwood Model 45

CabinetShop 45


We will also be demonstrating solid wood machining utilizing the Nemi Pod Hi-Flow System on our Thermwood Model 45

The heavy-duty Model 45 is designed for a variety of functions including the machining of rotary operations when equipped with our optional C-Axis.  This expands the capability of this already useful machine to include volutes, carvings, chair parts, stair components and much more.

See at AWFS:

This new system will be in action at AWFS 2013 (July 24th-27th) in Booth #8400.

Thermwood Profile Modeler - from Sketch to Production

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Mar 13, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, CNC, software, control nesting, CNC Routers, wood, Woodworking, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Announcements, CabinetShop, Model 43, Technology, SR43, SignRouter 43, CNC Router, Model 45, smart, Free, save money on cnc router, cabinets, Video, QCore, nested based, Product Information, 43, US made, MTR, Easy, SuperControl, Profile Modeler, millwork, wood carving, introduction, carving, Demonstrations

Thermwood Profile ModelerThermwood's Profile Modeler allows you to quickly create a molding or custom shape from a sketch or drawing on a Thermwood CNC Router with no special shaped tooling required.  

This video demonstrates using Profile Modeler to create a custom curved cherry molding from Sketch - to Profile Modeler - to Machine - to Completed Shape.

Steps used in the video:

In eCabinet Systems:
  • Verify the measurements
  • Create the shape using Shape Manager in eCabinet Systems
  • Create Tool
  • Apply Tool to create Shape

On Thermwood QCore SuperControl:
  • File loaded into Profile Modeler on QCore SuperControl
  • Verify Tool Path
  • Run Program
  • Machining Part (Roughing/Finishing/Detail Passes)
  • No special shaped tooling required - Tools Used: 1/2 Straight, 1/2 Ballnose, 1/8 Ballnose, 1/8 Flat
  • Completed Shape

For more information on Profile Modeler or any of our other products, please click here or contact us at 1-800-533-6901.

Thermwood Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, software, software update, Composites, CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Announcements, CNC Router, Model 90, aerospace, Model 70, Model 77, Video, QCore, SuperControl, introduction

Thermwood Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine

Thermwood has developed our new Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine which is used to record and populate the alignment measurement values into the Thermwood QCore control system (after machine alignments are manually performed).  

This routine automatically checks alignment in multiple axes and allows alignment to be quickly verified between jobs.  The routine compares the measured values to the default values.

The Thermwood 5 Axis Alignment Verification Routine includes:

  • Renishaw high-tolerance tooling sensor
  • Precision ground pin
  • Dedicated tool holder
  • Collet and all mounting hardware.

For more information on the Five Axis Alignment Verification Routine, please contact us at 1-800-533-6901.



Thermwood Model 43 with Auto Labeling for Nested Based Production

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jan 16, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, Labels, Nested Base, Model 43, CNC Router, nested based, Auto Labeling

Here is our latest video featuring the Thermwood Model 43 CNC Router with the new Auto Labeling option for nested based production (auto labeling option available on the Model 43 and the MTR 21): 

Model 43 features:

  • 12 HP (3,000-24,000 RMP) Spindle
  • Universal Vacuum 1 or 2 Zones
  • 11 Position Automatic Tool Changer
  • Rapid Speed:  3500 inches per minute
  • QCore SuperControl
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives
  • Volumetric 3D Laser-Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Automatic Tool Length Sensor
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Lifetime Phone/Forum Support

Model 43 CNC Router

Thermwood Model 43 CNC Router

Happy Holidays from Thermwood

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Dec 21, 2012

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, CNC Router, Happy Holiday, Prosperous New Year

On behalf of the entire Thermwood family, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Have a safe and prosperous New Year!!


holiday wishes thm

Thermwood Christmas Party 2012

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Dec 14, 2012

Tags: Thermwood, Christmas Party, Thanks

Our annual Christmas party was held today, and it was a fun time for everyone to gather near the Model 77 and enjoy great food and fellowship:

Ready for the food!

Lots of food!

Lined up to eat!

As we head into the new year, we are grateful for all of the positive business that we've enjoyed in 2012, and encouraged that 2013 promises to be even better!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Thermwood!