GlobalSpec has asked its users about the latest design trends and features related to CNC Routers. They have also shared their product applications and tips on how to buy and use these products.
See the entire survey


Q:
What new technologies are influencing CNC router design?
31 answers
Answers:
3D printing is giving the router a little run for its money in the education arena, since it looks more like engineering than a router. Sorry, that's politics. Tech. influences would be mainly the software to run the CNC router and the material used to construct the CNC router itself. I see more and more low-end routers entering the school and home woodworker market.
~Terry F, Faculty/Staff, Reno, NV
CAD Drafting and file manipulation. Composite design. Green Energy application technology requiring new materials cut to tight tolerance.
~Andy S, Design Engineer, Springfield, Lane
For me, it is the software. With good software you can pay more attention to design of the piece you want to produce and less time writing G-Code.
~Frank Hertel, Technical Support, Evansville, IN
Cad drawings making it easier to control the CNC routers- the time that is cut down by more than 80%.
~Engineering, Other, East London, South Africa
Scanning systems, many CADs very easy to use, and a big revolutions on the materials, very nice for milling.
~Francisco C, Marketing/Sales, Cordoba, Spain
The accuracy and repeatability, software which can scan and develop a rout program off of the data.
~Bob F, Production Engineer, Wichita, KS
Software to mechanical planning in solid 3D full software to programming productions by PC.
~Albergoni Fiorenzo, Project Manager, Villa D'Almè, Italy
Sensors allowing the machine to take over more of the steps the operator has done.
~David S, CNC Manager, Tampa, FL
Software is taking routers to a whole new level. It is amazing what they can do.
~Jerry M, Machinist and Wood worker., Piedmont, AL
I've been looking at rotary engraving systems and small mills. Trying to find best one for the application and our budget.
~Steve P, Manufacturer, Moss Point, MS
Tools design, new different material to cut, and size of part to be machined.
~Rany K, Programmer, Montreal, Canada
The use of laser guidance High power, high speed stepper motors
~BOB S, Research & Development, Thunder Bay, Canada
Ease of programming and speed of parts production.
~Dave E, Engineer, Bloomington, IL
Accuracy, scanning for reverse engineering.
~Manufacturing, Bomaderry, Australia
Workpiece holding technique 3D scanning
~Peter B, Master Luthier, Solvesborg, Sweden
Cutter technology, vac table technology
~Michael H, Design Engineer, Brisbane, Australia
Plug and play motor and drive kits.
~Mr. Inge B, Manufacturer, Grimstad, Norway
Control and servo motors.
~Engineering, Consulting, Elwood, Australia
Mostly software designs.
~Manufacturing, Linton, ND
Software like artcam.
~Mohamad B, Engineer, Mahalla, Egypt
Laser positioning
~Tomislav DJ, Production Engineer, Bograd, Serbia
Thermoplastics
~Engineering, Design, Tijuana, Mexico
Linear motors
~Engineer, Apex, NC
Controller
~Rick B, Production Engineer, New Bern, NC
Electronic
~Dan R, Manager, Bucharest, R
Precision
~RON C, Engineering Consultant, DOVER, United Kingdom
Software
~Stephen M, Wood machinist/ programmer, Leicester, United kingdom
Software
~Other, Belize
Usb
~Manufacturing, Marly, France
Cam
~Engineering, Design, Pisa, Italy
3D
~Engineering, Design, Oslo, Norway

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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative CNC routers?
24 answers
Answers:
Shopbot and Techno
~Other, Belize
HM CNC HM 145X - they look most interesting for the money, Town Labs -my favorite CNC mill, but too small for my application. Smithy CNC is good but too expensive, their manual mills have great prices, but not their CNC machine. Looking at Bolton - they have a nice manual mill but the CNC mill I do not know much about it. We plan on buying a mill soon, hopefully CNC mill.
~Steve P, Manufacturer, Moss Point, MS
Haas
~Manufacturing, Bomaderry, Australia
We are very happy with our Techno machines.
~Terry F, Faculty/Staff, Reno, NV
Unfortunately, the Chinese routers that run with Open Source software, and are completely maintainable by the owner, with no lock-in to proprietary components or materials. The machine quality isn't as good as the American and European machines, but the affordability and ease of maintenance trumps that.
~David S, CNC Manager, Tampa, FL
Many companies but all in one direction, nice small machine with biggest possibilities at nice price. For example, the new DWX-50 Roland, 5 axis, automatic change tools, auto-calibrations systems, pre-setting Z.
~Francisco C, Marketing/Sales, Cordoba, Spain
I am trying to build a 6 axis CNC router for my Violin Shop.
~Jerry M, Machinist and Wood worker., Piedmont, AL
For the money, it is the Chinese companies. For most desirable and slightly more money, I'm liking some of the offerings from the German Companies.
~Frank Hertel, Technical Support, Evansville, IN
Spain and the Americans have very good products.
~Engineering, Other, East London, South Africa
The one I have purchased, of course. Techno Inc.
~Physician from Norway, Anaestesiologist, Oslo, Norway
We are very happy with Mach Motion!
~Mr. Inge B, Manufacturer, Grimstad, Norway
DMS Routers from Colorado.
~Bob F, Production Engineer, Wichita, KS
Biesse, lari&lari
~Stephen M, Wood machinist/ programmer, Leicester, United kingdom
Graphic designers
~Engineer, Apex, NC
CMS, BIesse, IMA
~Albergoni Fiorenzo, Project Manager, Villa D'Almè, Italy
ART, Multicam
~Michael H, Design Engineer, Brisbane, Australia
Techno Inc
~BOB S, Research & Development, Thunder Bay, Canada
Torchmate
~Dan R, Manager, Bucharest, R
Multicam
~Engineering, Consulting, Elwood, Australia
Shopbot
~Manufacturing, Linton, ND
Clarke
~RON C, Engineering Consultant, DOVER, United Kingdom
Biesse
~Engineering, Design, Oslo, Norway
Komo
~Rick B, Production Engineer, New Bern, NC
CMS
~Tomislav DJ, Production Engineer, Bograd, Serbia

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