10 Ways a Thermwood Cut Center Will Save You Time and Money in 2018

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Jan 16, 2018

Tags: Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Save Money, Why Purchase a Thermwood, 2018, Save Time

No fear with a Thermwood Cut Center- We've got this!

The Thermwood Cut Center is all about saving you time and money, using an easy to operate and sophisticated combination of software and machinery that you can feel confident in.  

We've taken the fear out of automation by combining our easy to use interface and years of experience in the industry to create a powerful tool that will allow you to focus more on your products, business, making money, and worry less about being intimidated by the technical details. Your time is money, and the Cut Center helps you save more of both.

Below, find out just what makes the Thermwood Cut Center so special and profitable:

1. Huge Product Line From Day One

The product offering on the Thermwood Cut Center is extensive, and constantly growing.  It includes cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers, moldings and much more, and the sizes can easily be changed with no programming.

The Thermwood Cut Center Has a Huge Offering of Products with No Programming!

With a Cut Center, you can:

  • Make your products with little effort
  • Make your competitors products with little effort
  • Expand your current offering to other profitable products with little effort
  • Profit from an ever-expanding product line with no programming

We can also help you develop custom libraries for your specific product(s) in the size range and material you want and install them in your machine.   

2. Virtually Instant Start Up

It is likely you will be in full production with a Thermwood Cut Center in about a half a day.

A typical CNC router can take as much as six months to program and get to that point. A half a day or a half a year? There is serious cost associated with that half a year. 

Virtually Instant Start Up with a Thermwood Cut Center

With the Cut Center, it is all figured out for you, and from Day One you get:

  • No programming
  • No extensive training required
  • No tooling to figure out and buy
  • No cutting parameters to figure out 

3. Feel Confident That the Details are Taken Care Of

The Thermwood Cut Center is engineered and programmed by experts who have taken all of the worry and headaches out of the equation.  This gives you the confidence and peace of mind to focus on what is important - making money!   You can concentrate on your product (its configuration, material and dimensions), as well as marketing and growing your business. 

Feel confident that the details are taken care of with a Thermwood Cut Center

All the technical knowledge needed to make the machine work is already in place and invisible to the user - no new technical skills are necessary. You simply select what you want to make, right at the machine, and it makes it.

Running a Cut Center is much easier than a typical CNC router:

  • It manages tools for you
    • Figures out which tools to use for each job
    • Figures out proper cutting speeds
    • Tracks tool life
  • It recovers from problems easily and smoothly
    • Easily remake damaged parts by simply scanning a label
    • Recover from broken tool(s) without scrapping parts
    • Easily recut a defective sheet
  • It manages maintenance
    • It tells you when to clean filters
    • It tells you when to lubricate
    • It easily connects you to a service tech if you ever need more help 

4. Constant Updates and Additions

We are constantly adding new libraries, features and capabilities to the Award-Winning Cut Ready Cut Center.  

Now resize width and depth of corner cabinets in the Cut Center
For instance, our latest update ads:
  • Edge Banding Adjustment Ability
  • Additional Shapes and Frames
  • Dozens of new moldings and profiles
  • A Cut/Line Editor to quickly and easily create lines and arcs
  • A complete line of Vertical (Murphy) Wall Beds

5.  Also Operate As a CNC Router

 

Thermwood Cut Center Nesting Drawer Boxes

 

You can also operate the Cut Center system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. 

It is simple 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. 

6. With Other CNC Routers - Programming Required?

Other CNC Routers are not so cheap after all compared to the Thermwood Cut CenterEvery CNC router, regardless of price, has one thing in common..it must be programmed. You will need a CNC programmer.  You will also need an operator with knowledge of tooling, feed speeds and holddown.  

This programming and operating knowledge takes a lot of time and experience to master. That can be time away from running your machine and making money.   

7. Other CNC Routers - Not So Cheap After All

A typical CNC programmer will cost you more each month than the payment on a Thermwood Cut Center, which does not need CNC programs or CNC programmers.

So, even if a machine was FREE, it would still cost you more than a Thermwood Cut Center, and in a few years the Cut Center payments go away while your programmer costs most likely will go up. 

When you consider everything, a cheap router isn’t so cheap after all. In fact, some CNC router manufacturers will charge 3-5 times more for spare parts and service.

In these cases, the manufacturers plan is to double or triple their profit over 5 years through spare parts and service.  This is why the initial cost of the CNC router is cheaper.

You are going to spend the money anyway...what will you have to show for it?
  • With another direction you will need extensive training
  • With any other direction, you will spend a lot of time programming a highly limited product offering
  • With any other direction, someone will need to develop programs virtually every day (either you or someone you hire)
  • With any other direction, you will produce less each day, because it is more complicated
  • With any other direction, you will spend more and get less.

8. Buying a Cut Center vs. Buying a Typical CNC router

With a Cut Center, you don't need any extensive training, specialized knowledge or expensive employees to get started.  Everything is already set up for you to succeed.

Items you will need to learn (or hire someone who knows) to operate a typical CNC router:

  • G & M Code Programming
  • Tooling
  • Maintenance
  • Fixturing
  • Scrap Recovery
  • File Handling
  • Software(s)

9. Absolute Commitment to Your Success

Thermwood is committed to your success with the best service and support in the business!Thermwood is committed to you and your success.  We want you to love your new Cut Center, and for it to help move your business to the next level.  

We have the best service and support in the business, and help is available with a push of a button on your Cut Center.  We also have free phone, email and forum support.   In addition, we are available to help you create custom libraries for your projects to quickly get you going.   

10. Powerful Testimonials From Some Of Our Customers...

Tim Richardson of Timberwood Properties on their new Thermwood Cut Center

Tim Richardson of Timberwood Properties Quote

Timberwood Properties with their Thermwood Cut Center


Aaron Barlow of Original Woodworking on his Thermwood Cut CenterAaron Barlow - Thermwood Cut Center Quote 
Original Woodworking with their Thermwood Cut Center

Donovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking on their new Cut Ready Cut CenterDonovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking on their new Cut Ready Cut Center
Donovan Mumma From Byrne Custom Woodoworking in Lenexa, KS with Jody Wilmes from Thermwood and Byrne's New Cut Center
Michael Bednark - President of Bednark Inc. in Brooklyn, NY on his new Cut CenterMichael Bednark on the Thermwood Cut Center
Jody Wilmes of Thermwood and the guys from Bednark Inc. in Brooklyn, NY and their new Cut Center
John Allan - Thermwood Cut Center OwnerJohn Allan of Arkansas Wood Doors on his new Cut Ready Cut Center
The crew from Arkansas Wood Doors and their new Thermwood Cut Center


The Bottom Line...

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 might just be the machine for you.

The Powerful Thermwood Cut Center - Find out More Today!

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

10 Reasons Why a Thermwood Cut Center Will Save You Time and $$$

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, May 16, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Save Money, Why Purchase a Thermwood

No fear with a Thermwood Cut Center- We've got this!

The Thermwood Cut Center is all about saving you time and money, using an easy to operate and sophisticated combination of software and machinery that you can feel confident in.  

We've taken the fear out of automation by combining our easy to use interface and years of experience in the industry to create a powerful tool that will allow you to focus more on your products, business, making money, and worry less about being intimidated by the technical details.  Your time is money, and the Cut Center helps you save more of both.

Below, find out just what makes the Thermwood Cut Center so special and profitable:

1. Huge Product Line From Day One

The product offering on the Thermwood Cut Center is extensive, and constantly growing.  It includes cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers, moldings and much more, and the sizes can easily be changed with no programming.The Thermwood Cut Center Has a Huge Offering of Products with No Programming!

With a Cut Center, you can:

  • Make your products with little effort
  • Make your competitors products with little effort
  • Expand your current offering to other profitable products with little effort
  • Profit from an ever-expanding product line with no programming

We can also help you develop custom libraries for your specific product(s) in the size range and material you want and install them in your machine.   

2. Virtually Instant Start Up

It is likely you will be in full production with a Thermwood Cut Center in about a half a day.

A typical CNC router can take as much as six months to program and get to that point. A half a day or a half a year? There is serious cost associated with that half a year. 

Virtually Instant Start Up with a Thermwood Cut Center

With the Cut Center, it is all figured out for you, and from Day One you get:

  • No programming
  • No extensive training required
  • No tooling to figure out and buy
  • No cutting parameters to figure out 

3. Feel Confident That the Details are Taken Care Of

The Thermwood Cut Center is engineered and programmed by experts who have taken all of the worry and headaches out of the equation.  This gives you the confidence and peace of mind to focus on what is important - making money!   You can concentrate on your product (its configuration, material and dimensions), as well as marketing and growing your business. 

Feel confident that the details are taken care of with a Thermwood Cut Center

All the technical knowledge needed to make the machine work is already in place and invisible to the user - no new technical skills are necessary. You simply select what you want to make, right at the machine, and it makes it.

Running a Cut Center is much easier than a typical CNC router:

  • It manages tools for you
    • Figures out which tools to use for each job
    • Figures out proper cutting speeds
    • Tracks tool life
  • It recovers from problems easily and smoothly
    • Easily remake damaged parts by simply scanning a label
    • Recover from broken tool(s) without scrapping parts
    • Easily recut a defective sheet
  • It manages maintenance
    • It tells you when to clean filters
    • It tells you when to lubricate
    • It easily connects you to a service tech if you ever need more help 

4. Constant Updates and Additions

We are constantly adding new libraries, features and capabilities to the Award-Winning Cut Ready Cut Center.  

Now resize width and depth of corner cabinets in the Cut Center
For instance, our latest update ads:
  • Resize width/depth on corner cabinets
  • Turn air assist on or off
  • More efficient run screen interface
  • Ability to save Shapes jobs
  • Ability to manually check for updates
  • Variety of boxes added to Cut Center library

5.  Also Operate As a CNC Router

Thermwood Cut Center Nesting Drawer Boxes

You can also operate the Cut Center system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. 

It is simple 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. 

6. With Other CNC Routers - Programming Required?

Other CNC Routers are not so cheap after all compared to the Thermwood Cut CenterEvery CNC router, regardless of price, has one thing in common..it must be programmed. You will need a CNC programmer.  You will also need an operator with knowledge of tooling, feed speeds and holddown.  

This programming and operating knowledge takes a lot of time and experience to master. That can be time away from running your machine and making money.   

7. Other CNC Routers - Not So Cheap After All

A typical CNC programmer will cost you more each month than the payment on a Thermwood Cut Center, which does not need CNC programs or CNC programmers.

So, even if a machine was FREE, it would still cost you more than a Thermwood Cut Center, and in a few years the Cut Center payments go away while your programmer costs most likely will go up. 

When you consider everything, a cheap router isn’t so cheap after all. In fact, some CNC router manufacturers will charge 3-5 times more for spare parts and service.

In these cases, the manufacturers plan is to double or triple their profit over 5 years through spare parts and service.  This is why the initial cost of the CNC router is cheaper.

You are going to spend the money anyway...what will you have to show for it?
  • With another direction you will need extensive training
  • With any other direction, you will spend a lot of time programming a highly limited product offering
  • With any other direction, someone will need to develop programs virtually every day (either you or someone you hire)
  • With any other direction, you will produce less each day, because it is more complicated
  • With any other direction, you will spend more and get less.

8. Buying a Cut Center vs. Buying a Typical CNC router

With a Cut Center, you don't need any extensive training, specialized knowledge or expensive employees to get started.  Everything is already set up for you to succeed.

Items you will need to learn (or hire someone who knows) to operate a typical CNC router:

  • G & M Code Programming
  • Tooling
  • Maintenance
  • Fixturing
  • Scrap Recovery
  • File Handling
  • Software(s)

9. Absolute Commitment to Your Success

Thermwood is committed to your success with the best service and support in the business!Thermwood is committed to you and your success.  We want you to love your new Cut Center, and for it to help move your business to the next level.  

We have the best service and support in the business, and help is available with a push of a button on your Cut Center.  We also have free phone, email and forum support.   In addition, we are available to help you create custom libraries for your projects to quickly get you going.   

10. Powerful Testimonials From Our Customers...

Aaron Barlow - Thermwood Cut Center Quote

Original Woodworking with their Thermwood Cut Center

Donovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking on their new Cut Ready Cut Center
Donovan Mumma From Byrne Custom Woodoworking in Lenexa, KS with Jody Wilmes from Thermwood and Byrne's New Cut Center
Michael Bednark on the Thermwood Cut Center
Jody Wilmes of Thermwood and the guys from Bednark Inc. in Brooklyn, NY and their new Cut Center
John Allan of Arkansas Wood Doors on his new Cut Ready Cut Center
The crew from Arkansas Wood Doors and their new Thermwood Cut Center

The Bottom Line...

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 might just be the machine for you.

The Powerful Thermwood Cut Center - Find out More Today!

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

CNC router or Cut Center...Which is Better for Me?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Feb 08, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Affordable, Purchase, Why Purchase a Thermwood, CNC Router

CNC router or Cut Center...Which is Better for Me?

Can I Afford a Thermwood Cut Center?

Nested based manufacturing and CNC routers are well known to most cabinetmakers. Thermwood Cut Centers, less so, but there is a big difference between the two, even though they produce essentially the same products. This difference means that cabinetmakers wanting to automate must make a decision. Which direction is better for them? 

The major difference between a CNC router and a Thermwood Cut Center is in who addresses the details of each cabinet design and how involved the user must be in the underlying technology.

CNC router - the Basics

A CNC router system consists of three fundamental elements:

  • A PC computer able to run sophisticated software
  • A cabinet design software package that can produce the required CNC programs
  • A machine to execute the CNC programs.

With a traditional CNC router system, the user designs the cabinets and addresses all of the design details. They must also become intimately involved with the underlying technology. They are responsible for selecting, installing, learning and running the software.

They must also understand the intricacies of the machine control and operation so that their programs run properly. They must adjust and maintain machine parameters, select and set up tooling and deal with vacuum hold down and the spoilboard.

Thermwood Cut Center - What you need to know

The Thermwood Cut Center is Different in a Good Way

A Thermwood Cut Center consists of a single element - the machine. It already knows how to make cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and much more just about any way you want.  

It doesn’t require you to learn complex programming to operate, and is so user-friendly that it walks you through every step of the process.  You simply tell the machine what you want to make via an easy to use touch screen interface, and it does it.  No programming is required

Other Thermwood Cut Center Features

  • Thermwood Cut Center Product SelectionWith a Thermwood Cut Center, details of the cabinet design have already been addressed by experienced and seasoned programmers, working with professional cabinetmakers and have been built into the machine. You need have no more involvement with the underlying technology of a Thermwood Cut Center than you do with the underlying technology of your car.
  • The system has been automated and refined to handle areas such as tooling and tool life, vacuum hold down and spoilboard maintenance, error handling and routing maintenance without the user becoming directly involved. The machine guides you, step by step, can show a quick instructional video of every step and can connect with a real live person on the screen should you ever need help.
  • Also, you can operate the Cut Center system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. 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. 

The Main Differences

  • A CNC router is completely flexible, totally controlled by the user who must become directly involved with both the software and hardware.
  • A Thermwood Cut Center makes cabinets, etc that you select and define, and can be run by just about anyone.  Two different approaches, so which is best for you?

The Three Types of Cabinetmakers

Those who like and embrace computers, software and technology.   
They will only be happy if they have the total flexibility, capability and control of a CNC router and a powerful design software. Using the car analogy, this would be someone that builds custom or race cars. They also likely have the technical skill and experience needed to take full advantage of the possibilities of the underlying technology with little technical risk.

Those who really dislike technology.  
They just don’t like it, and really can’t or won’t work with computers, parameters or software. They just want to make cabinets, etc. They are strictly woodworkers. Clearly the Thermwood Cut Center works better for them. It allows them to enjoy the financial benefits of automating without totally disrupting what they are used to. It could very well help them stay in business in an ever more competitive market.

Everybody else.
These shops are in business to make money by making cabinets. They neither love nor hate technology. It is simply something you learn in order to automate and make more money. The decision here is not as easy.

The Fine Details of Each Approach

If you compare the initial investment cost of the two approaches, they are about the same even though the Cut Center looks more expensive at first. In the end, you will spend about the same amount of money for either, although you will spend it in different places.

Get into production quickly with the Thermwood Cut Center

A Cut Center is tooled and ready to make cabinets on day one. For a fair comparison, with a CNC router investment, you must add the cost of a vacuum system, a design computer, design software, technical training for the software, technical training for the machine, programming time to create the cabinet programs and tooling. When you consider everything, your money investment will likely not be much different between the two systems, although you will likely have invested more time in getting the CNC router into production. 

With a Thermwood Cut Center - there is No Programming!There is also a cost difference in operating the two systems that can tip the scales one way or another. A CNC router needs a CNC program for every job. This means it needs a programmer to create those programs. A CNC programmer will cost more each month than the total lease cost of a Cut Center. Also, after five years, the lease cost of a Cut Center becomes zero. Most likely the cost of a programmer will go up over the same period. 

There is also the matter of technical risk. With a Cut Center technical risk is low. Everything has been developed, tested, refined and it is ready to make your products.

With a CNC router, everything needed to make it work from creating the CNC programs to selecting tooling is your responsibility. Clearly there is more technical risk with a CNC router.

Another Factor

The Thermwood Cut Center comes standard with a huge library of products to make.
The Cut Center is set up to make a lot more than just basic kitchen cabinets. There are closet, bath and utility cabinets as well as furniture such as shelves and shelf walls, entertainment centers and entertainment walls. There are also drawers, slab and MDF doors and drawer fronts and custom sized moldings, both straight and arch. The selection is quite large and making any of these is quite easy.

If you don’t need these things, this may not be important, but with a Cut Center you can make a wide variety things with little effort. They are already in there. These things can also be made with a CNC router but only with significant additional investment in time and effort. Thermwood has invested thousands of hours in developing and testing these items. To duplicate them will require thousands of hours on your part.

From an operating standpoint, you do not need a computer, software or a software programmer for a Cut Center. Also, the machine operator does not need the same level of technical skill and training that is required to operate a CNC router.

The Bottom Line 

In the end, the decision is likely a philosophical and emotional decision since both systems offer the huge benefits of automating cabinet production.  It is the learning curve that separates them.

The Thermwood Cut Center might be the machine for you if you don't have extensive programming experience or have experience and want both the flexibility of a CNC router and the ease of use of a Cut Center.  

A CNC router might be for you if you have extensive programming experience and want the total flexibility, capability and control of a CNC router and a powerful design software. 


What our Cut Center Customers Think...

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Original Woodworking with their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the Donovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Arkansas Wood Doors and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Bednark Studio and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

 

Can I Afford a Thermwood Cut Center?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Nov 22, 2016

Tags: Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, 2016, Affordable, Purchase, Why Purchase a Thermwood

Can I Afford a Thermwood Cut Center?

Can I Afford a Thermwood Cut Center?

“I’ll buy a CNC router as soon as I can afford it”.  Is this something you’ve said to yourself time and time again over the years?  Surveys indicate that 50% to 70% of cabinet shops say this, depending on which survey you read. A CNC router is automation, it is productivity and it is on every cabinetmakers short list of things they would really, really like to have. So exactly when can you afford a CNC router?

The simple answer is that you can afford it when it will make you more than it costs.  Taking a look at the Thermwood Cut Center, for instance, the Cut Center may have a slightly higher than average purchase price, but the immediate benefits and ability to get into production quickly can outweigh any initial costs.

The Cut Center is Different in a Good Way


The Thermwood Cut Center is Different in a Good WayThe Cut Center is not like any regular CNC router you may be familiar with.  It doesn’t require you to learn complex programming to operate, and is so user-friendly that it walks you through every step of the process when making cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and much more.  You simply tell the machine what you want to make via an easy to use touch screen interface, and it does it.  No programming is required.

 

"No Programming" is a Huge Factor

Thermwood Cut Center - No Programming!

That little bit about “no programming” is huge factor – no matter how great of a deal you get on the purchase of a CNC router, it will still need to be programmed.  This means that you either need to learn to program yourself or you’ll need to hire a CNC programmer. 

A typical CNC programmer will cost you more each month than the payment on a Thermwood Cut Center.  And every few years, that programmer will most likely cost more money, while the payments on a Cut Center will go away once the machine is paid off.

 

How About Programming it Myself?

No programming necessary with the Thermwood Cut Center

Programming it yourself is possible, but it isn’t simple.  CNC routers require a constant stream of programs to run. Solving problems (like damaged or scrapped parts or defects in material) means even more CNC programs. Programming custom cabinets on a CNC router is a full time job….good thing you have nothing else to do! 

No Software Required

And don’t forget about the software to run the CNC router. Cheap cabinet software is limited and difficult. It will most likely take more time to learn and operate, which means more money. Really good software can cost as much, or more than a cheap CNC router, and then you still need to learn to use it.

Save By Using Scrap Material

Save money by using your scrap material with the Thermwood Cut CenterAnother consideration is scrap material. You will most likely have one or more partial sheets left from each job. Regardless of what they tell you, it is so difficult, complex and expensive to add this to new jobs that virtually everyone just throws it away. With the Cut Center, you just scan the label on any extra material lying around and it is added to the job, automatically. This can mean a lot of money saved at the end of the year. 

Get Into Production Quickly

Get into production quickly with the Thermwood Cut Center

With the typical Thermwood Cut Center installation, you can be in full production is a little as about half a day.  A regular CNC router can take as much as six months to get to that point.  A half a day or half a year?  In business, time is money, and there is serious cost associated with that half a year.

Enhancing Employee Productivity

Enhance employee productivity with the Thermwood Cut Center

A new CNC router can sometimes be seen by employees as intimidating or threatening when it is installed into a shop.  Your workers may either be worried that their jobs could be affected by this dazzling new piece of equipment, or that they will be required to learn an entirely new programming language or operating procedure.  With the Thermwood Cut Center, there is no programming knowledge necessary.  Basically anyone can walk up to the machine, pick out part(s), select their desired quantities/sizes and make it.  The Cut Center is designed to be as simple as possible to operate, and to help shops and employees be more productive and efficient.

Another Way to Make Money with a Thermwood Cut Center

List your business for free on the Thermwood Production Sharing MapFinally, there is Production Sharing. This is a program where you sell production time on your machine by making parts for other shops that don’t have a Cut Center or CNC router. Thermwood provides an area on our web site where you can advertise your services (there is no cost for this), and you work directly with the other shops to set up your jobs.  Thermwood receives no money for these transactions.

 


More about the Thermwood Cut Center:

Operate as a Cut Center with No Programming

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

Thermwood Cut Center Product SelectionWith the award-winning Thermwood Cut Center, there are no computers or design software. Everything is already in the machine. There is no programming. The cut center doesn’t need a computer to tell it how to move because it already knows how to make cabinets. Just tell it what you want to make, and it does it - it is that simple!  

Operate as a CNC Router

Also, you can operate the system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. 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!

What our Cut Center Customers Think...

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Original Woodworking with their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the Donovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Arkansas Wood Doors and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Bednark Studio and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

 

Cut Center or CNC Router?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Jul 24, 2014

Tags: CNC Router, Why Purchase a Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, comparison

Thermwood CNC Router or Cut CenterWith the introduction of Thermwood’s “Cut Ready - Cut Center”, cabinet shops are faced with a fundamental decision about how to approach automating custom cabinet manufacturing. There are now two, distinctly different approaches, each with advantages and limitations:

cnc router

Most shops are aware of CNC routers and how they work. You begin with cabinet design software that is used to design products and create the CNC programs needed to make the parts. Each software provider and machine manufacturer uses a somewhat different approach, but in the end you create what you want to make with software, on a separate computer, and send the resulting programs to the machine where it is cut. With this approach, there are no limitations as to what you can make, other than limits of the software package, your design and programming skills and how much programming time you want to spend.

cut center

Cut centers take a different approach. With cut centers, everything is already in the machine. There is no separate design software or design computer. The machine itself knows how to make cabinets. Tell it how you want your cabinets made, frame or frameless, one or two sided material, assembly method…it offers you options and you select what you want. It then shows you all the cabinet configurations it knows how to make that way. Specify the size and it makes the parts for you. Because everything from product design to tooling and machine set-up is carefully controlled and coordinated, operation is a lot simpler, requiring virtually no technical training or skill. The touch screen control is intuitive so you focus on the product you are making rather than concentrating on making the product. The cut center is intended to make the bulk of products required by most cabinet shops with virtually no effort.

so which is best for your operation?

The answer probably depends on who you are and what you make. The “who you are” is defined by how enthusiastically you embrace computers, software and technology. A major advantage of cut centers is that there is no programming and it requires very little technical skill. If you embrace computers, software and don’t mind the programming time to get the complete flexibility and capability that you want, then a system that doesn’t need programming might not be for you.

-cut center advantage

If you are not very technical or don’t want to hire programmers, the cut center could offer a huge advantage. Even if you are technical, you may want to consider the amount of programming time and effort required to create programs for the products and jobs you plan to run. After all, even computer programmers buy software from others just so they don’t have to program everything themselves. Thermwood, working with professional cabinetmakers, has spent thousands and thousands of programming hours developing products the cut center can make. This is an ongoing effort, something you probably would not have time to do.

In general, if you don’t enthusiastically embrace technology, the cut center approach is probably better, but “what you make” is also important.

-cnc router advantage

If you seldom make the same thing twice and focus on truly custom products, your choice is probably design software and a CNC router, although, in these circumstances it may also be reasonable to continue making products using existing manual techniques. Sometimes programming and proofing something so it can run on a CNC router takes more time than just making it by hand, especially if you are only going to do it once. If most of what you do is a variant of a standard product line, custom cabinet boxes for example, the decision depends on whether the cabinets that the cut center makes will work for you.

cut center has a huge selection

The cabinets that the Thermwood Cut Ready - Cut Center know how to make are built around the most common ways cabinets are made and offer a lot of flexibility. They may not be exactly what you currently make in every detail but they do offer the major features. In fact, they may include features that you can’t do today that make the product easier and better. For example, Cut Ready cabinets include assembly marks on major components. These are a dot pattern machined into mating parts that show you which parts fit together and in what orientation. They are completely hidden after assembly but save a ton of time when assembling more complex pieces. They also include drawer alignment holes machined into the cabinet sides. Put alignment pins in these holes and use them to install drawer slides and drawers for quick installation and virtually perfectly alignment the first time.

While you can program exactly what you want with a CNC router, no cabinet shop could possibly invest the programming time and effort needed to duplicate even a small portion of the products a cut center can make. For example, considering all the variations, the initial Cut Ready – Cut Center can make something approaching 20,000 different cabinet configurations without counting size variations.

Another consideration is that cut centers include things you may not make today, such as drawers, doors or moldings. It may be a lot less expensive to make these things yourself as long as they are already in the machine and you don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort learning and programming them. Most shops with a CNC router will not go through the trouble to figure all this out but, with a cut center, they are just sitting there and all you have to do is say “make it”.

 


financial comparisons

Now let’s look at finances. How does the cost of these two approaches compare?

The initial cost of a ready-to-run cut center is more than the cost of a conventional CNC router. Remember however, cut centers come complete with everything, including tooling. There are no options. CNC routers tend to have a lot of options and their selection depends on what you want to do with the machine. In addition, for a true comparison you must realize they are not exactly the same thing. For a true comparison, you must add to the CNC router and option cost, all the additional costs needed to get to the same point as a cut center, that is, a system ready to run production.

You need to consider the cost of a design software package and a computer system capable of running it plus the time and cost needed to learn and operate both of them. You must also consider the cost of travel and training for both the design software and machine, including the cost of the folks being trained and any resulting disruption this might cause. Cut centers do not require in-depth technical training, so the basics needed to run them can be taught rather quickly during installation. In fact, most folks can walk up to the machine and run it with no previous instruction.

When looking at a CNC router, you also need to consider the time required to develop and test all required product programs, including the time and material needed to proof the new designs. In most cases, although the initial cost seems to be higher, you will find that a cut center may actually be somewhat less expensive than a CNC router when both are programmed and ready for production. After all that, realize that a cut center can be leased for about the same cost per hour as a single employee.

Another way to look at it is that you can lease a cut center for less than the cost of a programmer for a CNC router and after five years, lease payments for the cut center go away while the cost for the programmer probably went up.

One other factor to consider is that with both systems ready to run, the CNC router will likely have been programmed for only the basic products you make while the cut center can make a variety of additional products such as closet cabinets, utility cabinets, bath cabinets, furniture, MDF doors, dovetail drawer boxes, profile and carved moldings. This is so easy that many shops will elect to include these additional products in their product offering so cut centers could generate more business and profit with little extra effort. With the cut center, its ability to make different productws will continue to grow as Thermwood continues to develop additions. You can download these for free. With a CNC router, you cannot program additional products for free.

the bottom line

So, there it is. Two approaches with the same goal. For truly custom products and the maximum flexibility in a technically savvy environment, the CNC router is probably better. For customized standard products in a less technical environment the cut center wins out. Which is better for you? Only you can decide.

more info

For more info on the Thermwood Cut Center, please visit cutready.com.  For more info on our line of 3 and 5 axis CNC routers, please visit us at thermwood.com.

 

 

Nested Based Production the Easy Way

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jul 09, 2014

Tags: Video, Announcements, Why Purchase a Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center

Quite a few custom cabinet shops haven’t automated because they just don’t like computers. They don’t want to get involved with design software, CNC programs or any other complex technology. They just want an easy method to make cabinets.  

Thermwood Cut Center is the easy way to make custom cabinets and furnitureNow, there is a way for them to automate without any of that. It’s a different kind of machine called a “Cut Center” and it is available from Thermwood. With Thermwood’s “Cut Ready - Cut Center” there is no programming, no design computer, no design software, no machine parameters or complex systems. You simply tell the machine what you want and it makes it for you.  

True, there is a huge amount of highly advanced technology in a cut center, but the user doesn’t need to know, understand or deal with it any more than you need to know and understand the technology that makes your car run. With a car, all you want to do is drive. With a cut center, all you want to do is make cabinets and a cut center knows how to make cabinets.

just tell it what you want to make

The cut center runs through a touch screen, sort of like an iPad, but a lot bigger. Tell it what you want … kitchen cabinets, closet cabinets, bath or utility cabinets, furniture, etc.  Next, (depending on what you select), tell it how you want it made…face frame or frameless, single or double sided material, toe kick or detached toe, etc. Now select a cabinet configuration from the list presented, adjust the size and make it. The machine guides you through the process, step by step.

This is pretty easy and when the cabinets are done, you can make drawers, doors and drawer fronts for those cabinets.

There are several kinds of drawers to choose from, side mount or undermount slides, blind dado or dovetail joints, slide-in bottom or full thickness bottom. It is interesting that, depending on the mounting system selected, the drawer will be a different size and built a little different but, the user does not need to deal with any of that. Just tell the machine to make drawers and it takes care of all the details.

doors and moldings

MDF doors are high-end designs that replicate quality five piece doors. They are made using a reverse 3D printing technique where, instead of adding a little material on each pass, a little is removed. This means that every door in the system can be made with the same standard tools that come with the machine, and there are already over 450 different door and drawer front designs. This same technique is also used to make moldings. Hundreds of profiles are available and each can be adjusted in both width and depth and then used to make either straight or arched moldings.

the cut center takes care of it

The cut center is really easy to use, even for people with no real machine operating experience. The control takes care of the complex areas automatically like tool management and tool life monitoring, vacuum hold down and spoilboard management and routine maintenance. It then guides the operator every step of the way and if he doesn’t understand any step, it will play a video showing him exactly what to do. And if that isn’t enough, the operator can connect to a live Thermwood technician, right on the touch screen, who can answer questions and help with any problems. This virtual service is available whenever needed, as long as you own the machine, and it’s free.

Over time, Thermwood plans to add additional products to the cut center, based on user feedback, and these additions will be available to all cut centers as a free download. System software updates are also released as a free download.

less cost over time

In the past, if you wanted to automate your cabinet production but didn’t want to deal with computers and software, you were pretty much out of luck. Today there is finally an answer, it is called a Cut Center and it can be leased for about the same cost per hour as a single employee.

more info

Here at Thermwood, we are excited about this new product and direction.  We hope it brings the benefits of modern automation to a new segment of the woodworking industry, who (for a variety of reasons), are uncomfortable with or can't work with current methods.  You can learn more about this incredible new technology at cutready.com

 

 

Save big money on your cnc router purchase in 2011

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Aug 22, 2011

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, 5 Axis, Stimulus, Tax, 3 Axis, Model 90, Model 45, Cost, CNC Routers, CabinetShop, CNC Router, Thermwood, Stimulus, tax incentive, save money on cnc router, Why Purchase a Thermwood

Section 179 Tax Deduction/Bonus Depreciation

Thinking of purchasing a new cnc router in 2011, and still on the fence because of the uncertain economy? Some great news is the current dual benefit of the Section 179 deduction/100% bonus depreciation which helps make 2011 the ideal year to purchase your new cnc router!

These newest changes are as follows:

SAve money on a cnc router purchase from Thermwood

  • The Section 179 Deduction limit has been increased to $500,000. The total amount of equipment that can be purchased increased to $2 million. This includes most new and used capital equipment, and also includes software.

  • The “Bonus Depreciation” has been increased to 100% on qualified assets. However, this can be taken on new equipment only.

 

2011 is the Year to Do It!

Due to the extension of Section 179 under the 'HIRE Act of 2010' - the enhanced limits under the 'Jobs Act of 2010' - and the recently enacted 100% Bonus Depreciation under the 'Tax Relief Act of 2010':

You can basically write-off 100% of all the equipment and software your business needs to buy or finance this year!

Write off up to 100% of a new Thermwood cnc router purchased in 2011

Depreciation Bonus At A Glance:   

  • 2011 Deduction Limit - $500,000 (up from $250k previously). Good on new and used equipment, including new software.

  • 2011 Limit on equipment purchases - $2 Million Dollars (up from $800k previously).

  • “Bonus” Depreciation - 100% (taken after the $500k deduction limit is reached). Note, bonus depreciation is only for new equipment. This can also be taken by businesses that exceed $2 million in capital equipment purchases.

    The above is an overall, “simplified” view of the Section 179 Deduction for 2011. For more details on limits and qualifying equipment, as well as Section 179 Qualified Financing, please visit section179.org

    An example of Section 179 at work:

Section 179 example

For more detailed information: please click here.


Calculate your savings on a new Thermwood CNC Router

 

 

Calculate your potential savings: please click here


 

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