5 Axis CNC Router at John Cox's Creature Workshop

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 10, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Model 67, 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, 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/



Thermwood Customer Family Video Updated

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Apr 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, 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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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.

 

 

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.