Woodworkers have been forced to adopt technological breakthroughs in response to the growing demand for more time-efficient and cost-effective manufacturing methods. The CNC machine is one of the most common choices for woodworkers in today’s manufacturing world.
What A CNC Machine Does?
CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which the motion of a tool or machinery is controlled by a computer program. From grinders and lathes to mills and routers, the process can be used to operate a wide range of different equipment.
To operate a CNC computer, the desired cuts must first be programmed into the software. After that, the computer will guide the tools and machinery to generate the desired shape.
Since a CNC machine uses a computer program to control the movement of the tools, thus it eliminates human error during the fabrication system. Human error is theoretically impossible as long as the correct commands and measurements are entered into the program.
The absence of human error means two things. The first one is there will be fewer resource wastes. The second one is an increase in production efficiency. Both, of course, will benefit you as a woodworker.
CNC devices are now more affordable, and CNC programs are much easier to use. As a result, it is now popular to see small woodworking shops or even woodworking hobbyists using CNC machines in their places.
CNC machines can be used in the woodworking industry to produce products such as door engravings, interior, and exterior ornaments, window frames, signboards, wall panels, moldings, flooring, and so on.
Different products will require different tools as well. Some of the most commonly used tools are mills, drills, reamers, and various types of bits.
CNC machines are available in different models. Usually categorized by how many axes they have. A CNC machine should have at least 3 different axes. Other available CNC machine models are 4 axis and 5 axis CNC machines.
What is A 3-Axis CNC Machine?
Understanding which form of machine you use to produce your goods is important for optimizing your design as a woodworker. You may not have considered which type of machine your product would be machined on when designing it, but, in reality, the complexity varies for each machine.
So, first, we will talk about what a 3-axis CNC machine is. It is the most basic type of machining, with the workpiece set in a single location. The spindle will then move along the X, Y, and Z lines.
Okay, let’s make it simpler. In a 3-axis CNC machine, the cutters are mounted horizontally or vertically. The cutters will then rotate while the piece being worked on remains stationary. The three available axes allow you to make cuts on the length, width, and depth dimensions.
Some of you may still wonder, “What can a 3-axis CNC machine do?”. You can use a 3-axis CNC machine to mill slots, drill holes, cut jagged corners, and flatten a certain kind of surface.
While a 3-axis CNC is a more rudimentary machining method, it may be suitable for your simple woodworking projects. It will, however, be influenced by the scale of your manufacturing process and the workpiece specifications. Accuracy and the material type will also determine whether or not a 3-axis CNC machine is the right tool for you.
Another popular CNC machine used by woodworkers is the 4-axis model. A 4-axis CNC machine is similar to a 3-axis CNC machine where cutting tools are used to extract material from a workpiece to produce the desired form and pattern.
In the case of 4-axis machining, however, it also involves rotation around the X-axis, which is referred to as the A-axis. There are different configurations available for 4-axis CNC machines, but most are categorized as the ‘vertical machining’ kind, wherein the spindle rotates around the Z-axis part of the machine.
When you need to make holes and cut-outs on the side part of the workpiece, 4-axis milling comes in handy. However, both 3-axis and 4-axis CNC machines can produce accurate results with the fast and efficient workflow of a computer program.
3-Axis CNC Machine Projects
For many projects, a 3-axis CNC machine is needed for accurate and timely results. With a 3-axis CNC machine in your inventory, you can begin working on numerous woodworking projects that would be too difficult to complete with handheld woodworking tools.
Americans are well-known for their patriotism. This is why wooden American flags are very easily sold-out. Furthermore, there is a boatload of CNC file templates available online, with almost every variety you can think of. Simply choose a template and execute it with your 3-axis CNC machine.
Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener
You can easily make the base for the wall-mounted bottle opener with a 3-axis CNC machine. Just try to think of a simple 2D form. You can then pick up a couple of screws to attach the bottle opener.
Man Cave Signboard
Signboards are one of the most common projects made using a 3-axis CNC machine. You can add custom text to those signboards for a more personal touch.
Wooden Wall Maps
It can take a few trials and errors before you’re able to make those shapes and curves. Even so, with all of the tutorials available online, this project should not be too difficult for you.
Custom Cutting Board
You don’t need to start with a wood plank to do this project, you can buy ready-made cutting boards instead. They are sold in bulks very cheaply. Just add some simple custom designs and you can use them as souvenirs or re-sell them at a higher price.
Making knockdown end tables does not require a lot of time or money. There are thousands of free CNC end table plans you can download. Using just a very little effort, you can have a new functional end table at your place.
3-axis CNC machines have been proven to be an efficient and practical tool by woodworking professionals and enthusiasts. With this machine, woodworkers can upgrade the quality and boost the production rate of their works, making it possible for them to improve their woodworking skills and gain more business profit.