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Bridging the Knowledge Gap: Modern CNC Router Training

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) woodworking machines are becoming more common on shop floors, with many shops finally recognizing the great benefits these machines provide. Used woodworking machines classified as CNC operate over the Cartesian coordinate system to provide 3D motion control. Woodworking professionals will design the necessary cut using a CAD-based or CAM-based design program, and the CNC machine will then complete these cuts. A CNC machine completes these cuts more efficiently and quicker than human operated machines and are more accurate.

Routers are one type of machine buyers now mostly only buy in CNC form. These machines work for cutting materials such as steel, plastics, aluminum, foams, and wood. Although these machines can be purchased in different sizes based on the type of cuts needed, all CNC routers contain the same components. Each machine contains a dedicated CNC controller, at least one spindle motor, servomotors, servo amplifiers, linear guides, ball nuts, AC inverter drives, and a tabletop that serves as a workspace. Wooden panels are held in place using vacuum pumps and fixtures while cut. Shops wanting to acquire a CNC router inexpensively instead of paying the prices seen with new machines should look for a CNC wood router sale that features used woodworking machines.

Woodworking shops that do not currently use CNC machines may be wary of making the switch. When they finally purchase a machine from a CNC wood router sale, they sometimes find that none of their employees know how to operate these machines. Fortunately, as these machines have become more popular, the number of educational programs that teach individuals how to use these machines has also increased. For instance, manufacturers of smaller machines such as Laguna, Oliver, and ShopBot say trade schools and technical schools have began purchasing used woodworking machines from these brands so STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students can learn how CNC machines work.

Madison (WI) College woodworking students receive a broad perspective on CNCs and operations so they gain an understanding of how these machines are operated and optimized. Meanwhile, the Ridgeland (SC) Correctional Facility has a woodworking vocational program that uses a Laguna Tools I.Q. CNC machine. Chicago’s West Town Woodworkers Training takes a slightly different approach, asking students to first learn history and terminology, machine operation and safety, tooling, calibration, and fixturing. The idea is students first learn how a CNC machine operates and subsequently begin designing with the functionality in mind before actually gaining hands-on experience.

While woodworking shops can become CNC proficient by hiring a woodworker who has attended a program similar to the ones mentioned above, sometimes it is not economically feasible. Instead, shops can work with suppliers of used woodworking machines to learn how to use the machines they buy during a CNC wood router sale. RT Machine Company employs a staff of trained engineers who recondition all of our used woodworking machines on-site. These professionals will know your new router inside and out, and will be able to help you and your staff feel comfortable using a newly purchased machine.

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