Browse through some interesting projects we've recently cut!

We can CNC for miles and miles...

Our CNC router cut these parts from a sheet of 1” UHMW for a seriously heavy duty shipping case.

Posted 193 weeks ago
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Posted 195 weeks ago
<p><strong>A 3D stock price graph anyone?</strong> Not quite - this is an upper edge for a blind in a paint ball theatre, CNC cut to match our customers’ drawing.  Duck!</p>

A 3D stock price graph anyone? Not quite - this is an upper edge for a blind in a paint ball theatre, CNC cut to match our customers’ drawing.  Duck!

Posted 196 weeks ago
<p><strong>Clean as a…</strong> Getting perfectly clean, unchipped edges on melamine covered particle-board isn’t easy! Congrats to our skilled crew for CNC cutting 200 sheets of double-sided material with no chipping and no rejected parts! Our customer can now edge band and assemble the parts into box-store sales kiosks with virtually no additional touch-up or sanding required.</p>

Clean as a… Getting perfectly clean, unchipped edges on melamine covered particle-board isn’t easy! Congrats to our skilled crew for CNC cutting 200 sheets of double-sided material with no chipping and no rejected parts! Our customer can now edge band and assemble the parts into box-store sales kiosks with virtually no additional touch-up or sanding required.

Posted 196 weeks ago

Choosing our CNC router

In 2006 Boxer Custom Cases began looking for ways to help improve the speed and accuracy of our custom case production. After some research, we settled on a CNC router and vacuum hold-down system as the best system for our application. For the uninitiated, a CNC router is a machine used to more-or-less automatically cut panels of material to size by following a program (“Computer Numeric Code”) created by the user. The purchase required a lot of research and weighing of options, and even after the ink was finally dry on our order, we found it difficult to say with certainty that we had bought the exact machine we needed for the job at hand. As we roll out our new Toronto CNC cutting service www.boxercnc.com , I thought it would be interesting to look back on our purchase and see how it holds up against what we’ve learned in the last 8 years of running the machine. While there are a lot of factors at play, here are 3 main things I would take a hard look at if you’re planning on buying a wood or plastic cutting CNC router:

Purchase by the pound – we looked at a lot of small, slow machines, some really big and fast ones, and a few in the middle. We settled on a Thermwood CS 45 with a 5x10 table. Salespeople and blogs rant about the pros and cons of various technical aspects of CNC machines from the way they’re built to what software controls them. From our experience, the most important aspect in the mix (and the hardest one to fix if absent) is the weight and rigidity of the machine. Believe it or not, both have a huge impact on edge quality, tool life, material hold down, and consequently even how you can program the machine. Basically, the less vibration that your machine will allow, the better everything else can work.  This was not an obvious or well-explained fact when we were purchasing, and we lucked out by buying a machine with a very heavy, very well made frame (10,000lbs in fact!).

Buy some friends  – CNC routers, at least the good ones, are designed to run around the clock, sometimes for weeks or months on end. If you’re lucky enough to have a machine running 24/7, you’re suddenly keenly aware of what happens when it breaks down; production schedules upset, deliveries piling up, customers getting angry. That’s when having a supply of readily available parts and a team of knowledgeable people on hand becomes a top priority. The main reason we purchased a Thermwood CNC  was due to the professional service team that Thermwood’s Canadian distributor, CNC Automation, maintains. For the way we run our shop, we weren’t comfortable purchasing from a company who’s salesman doubled as the service department (seriously!) or who’s tool store consisted of parts kept in a service van. Looking back, having a good team on hand was a really good decision.

But I thought you said it would cost… – in our experience, the price of purchasing a nesting CNC router ended up being about half the cost we eventually spent on software and development, despite our machine being purchased as an all-in-one, software included package. We made some assumptions about how we would solve certain CAD/CAM problems in our case design without really, really testing them against the machine software. 3 years and a lot of hair-pulling later, we had to admit defeat and purchase a completely new CAD/CAM software chain, throwing away a lot of the programming we he had created. While I  wouldn’t have changed the machine we bought, in retrospect we should have hired a developer for a few months before purchasing and tested ideas by buying some CNC time from a company already running one. It would have saved us a lot of time and aggravation, and we could have budgeted our total cost of ownership more accurately.

If you keep these simple points in mind while shopping, you should find most of the other “learning curve” items associated with running a CNC router will be more like hiccoughs than major indigestion.  And of course, if you’re not quite ready for your own machine, you can always start with a service like ours to test your ideas and see if CNC routing is a good fit for your business. 

To see some projects we’ve cut and stay up to date on what’s next, like our facebook page at www.facebook.com/boxercnc

“CNC” ya later!

Greg Hamilton

Posted 228 weeks ago

Welcome To Boxer CNC's blog

Look back for interesting and informative posts about our CNC router escapades!

Posted 228 weeks ago
 

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