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Category: Machinery
Volume: 44
Issue: 1
Article No.: 25755

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CNC Routers & Tooling

Routers & Tooling for Plastics
Thermwood 3-Axis CNC routers handle plastic sheet processing, billets and panel processing (Model 43 and Model 45). Their 5-Axis CNC routers handle trimming of thermoformed parts, molds and composite machining (Model 67 and Model 90). They also offer the Model 70 and Model 77, which are primarily used for large scale plastic work.

Their machines can work with a wide variety of materials including Starboard®, P VC, HDPE, polyethylene, polypropylene, PETE, LDPE, PP, PS (Styrofoam), polycarbonate, acrylic, nylon and more.

Some of the basic tooling they use and recommend includes: for trimming operations/sheet operations - single “O” flute up-spiral is used for chip evacuation; for finishing – 2 or 3-f lute slow helix up-spiral is used; for composites, they recommend solid PCD or diamond-coated tooling; and for fiberglass trimming they recommend using a burr style bit for best results.

Thermwood’s CNC experts will evaluate your production needs to help determine how you can reduce costs and increase efficiency. They also offer free live demonstrations of their equipment and software using your application and product details. This can help identify inefficiencies and areas of your current process that their machines could help improve.

For more information, contact Duane Marrett, Thermwood Corporation, 904 Buffaloville Rd., Dale, IN 47523, 800-533-6901, E-mail:, Web:

Trimming Machines
GEISS AG, a worldwide leader in technology, quality and performance, manufactures trimming and vacuum forming machines that can be configured exactly to meet the customer’s specific requirements.

Depending on the customer’s specific application, the GEISS machine can be produced in any nominal size and delivered with and in any combination of the more than 100 options to meet any need in terms of the materials to be processed as well as the capacity requirement They are able to deliver a full range of features to result in equipment best suited for any need starting at basic manually loaded, semi-automation all the way up to fully-automatic operations The idea is to be able to deliver the most cost-effective solution for meeting a full range of requirements regardless of product size or the material type being processed, at any production capacity within a wide range of their clients and budget.

Geiss has now introduced the market to a fully integrated forming and trimming solution. They now offer to configure their forming and trimming machines together with an integrated six-axis robot that allows for a full-automatic solution. The user can start with palletized sheet material and without human intervention, get out the finished parts because all the handling between forming, trimming is done automatically. Addition further operations such as management of the scrap and dust and chip mitigation, or part inspection with vision systems can be integrated. Geiss already offered automatic exchange of sheet material and molds.

Despite the possibility to run in a fully automated configuration both the vacuum forming and trimming machines can be run independently of each other without the use of the robot.

Cycle times can be balanced between the thermoforming and the trimming processes by using multiples of the machines of either type together with robotic integration to reach an ideal configuration.

For more information, contact Michael J. Roche, Geiss LLC, 42 Ozick Drive, Unit 6, Durham, CT 06422, 203-988-9426, E-mail:, Web:

Reliable & Affordable CNCs
Castaly Machine offers reliable and affordable quality CNC equipment configurations that suit a variety of applications such as router, laser, plasma, oscillating knife, lathe and boring. These machines are specifically designed for cabinetry, closets, signs, and plastic applications for small to large-sized companies.

With enthusiasm and passion for their customers, Castaly offers CNC equipment that allows customers to create more while paying less. Their featured tools are engineered to be multi-functional while providing the best quality and adaptability. Whether you require new product development or collaboration with modifying an existing machine, Castaly can assist in meeting your custom needs. Their technician team provides machine installation and onsite/remote (Zoom app) operation training per customer request. They also carry a large inventory of spare parts in both their Los Angeles and Montreal locations.

They invite you to visit their showroom and warehouse in Los Angeles, CA, or Montreal Canada, meet their sales staff and technicians. They are more than happy to discuss your equipment requirements and possible solutions.

For more information, contact Jeff Ou, Castaly Industries Corp., 637 Vineland Ave., La Puente, CA 91746, 626- 968-6330, Fax: 626-336-2890, 956 Rue André-Liné, Granby, QC J2J 1E2 CANADA, 450-372-3876, E-mail:, Web:

Powerful & Affordable CNC Tools
At ShopBot Tools, design and engineering choices are based on thorough reasoning and always with the customer’s needs in mind. Their CNC tools are engineered, manufactured, and supported in Durham, North Carolina. They also develop and produce their own control system software.

ShopBot's array of CNC routers are used in prototyping, full-production cutting, carving, machining, and milling in a variety of materials, including plastics, foam, wood, MDF, and non-ferrous metals like aluminum and copper. Their full line of tools is oriented to be used for both standard and specialty operations. They are affordable, yet de- liver the professional power and precision associated with heavier and more expensive CNC equipment.

Their CNC tools range from the Desktop tool line; the ShopBot Desktop, Desktop MAX, and Desktop MAX ATC, that are highly precise and compact enough to fit on a shop workbench; to Full-Size Gantry CNC tools, like the PRSalpha, PRSalpha ATC, and ShopBot Zeta (pictured) that are great for cutting full sheets of plastic and other sheet goods; to custom tool configurations. They not only provide a wide range of tool sizes, we support the success of each user with a range of services, including technical support, an active online forum, and production support services.

For more information contact ShopBot Tools, Inc., 3333 Industrial Dr., Durham, NC 27704, 888-680-4466/919-680-4800, E-mail:, web:

CNC for Rapid-Prototyping
AXYZ Tailored Router Solutions™ now offers the AXYZ Innovator Router to their line-up of CNC machines. This entry-level industrial CNC router replaced the legacy Z-Series model, offering a significant increase in performance while including a robust construction and high precision accuracy that AXYZ machines are known for, all at a cost-effective price. The AXYZ Innovator is available in two standard sizes, 4’ x 4’ (1.2m x 1.2m) and 5’ x 8’ (1.5m x 2.4m), with a gantry clearance of 6” (152mm).

The Innovator has been engineered to include the following new features: a heavy-duty frame with cast gantry legs for added rigidity; integrated servo motors replacing stepper servos for smoother motion and higher speeds; premium helical racks offering a new level of cut quality and it is designed to be more easily upgradable for option installations in the future, including the exclusive 3-position tool changer.

For more information, contact AXYZ Tailored Router Solutions, 5330 South Service Rd., Burlington, ON, L7L 5L1, Canada, 800-361-3408/905-634-4940, E-mail:, Web:

Ultra-Smooth Routing
Techno CNC Systems offers the Titan Series machine with all steel construction, providing the rigid foundation required for ultrasmooth routing results. The Titan includes a 12HP HSD automatic tool changer with 8-position tool rack, and a pneumatically operated dust collection hood that concentrates air flow at the cutter, which provides optimal dust collection performance.

The multi-zone vacuum t-slot table is constructed from very hard phenolic, which is very stable material, and holds tight tolerances for precision cutting. The Titan series is connected to a 10HP Rotary vane vacuum pump, which has very quiet operation (82db). For easy sheet alignment, (3) material pop-up pins are included and precisely placed to handle and align various size materials. The Titan series is powered by brushless drive motors, and is controlled via easy to use and learn hand held controller.

It features: 12HP HSD high frequency automatic tool changer spindle; maintenance free brushless motors and drives; multi-zone vacuum t-slot table; pneumatic material pop-up pins; automatic tool length calibration via closed loop touch pad; automatic z-zero via secondary touch pad; easy-to-use hand-held controller (optional PC based system available); and open architecture that works with all industry standard CAD/CAM software.

For more information, contact Techno CNC Systems, 29 Trade Zone Dr., Ronkonkoma, NY 11779, 631-648-7481, E-mail:, Web:

High-Performance CNC Routers
CAMaster builds high-quality, affordable, American made CNC routers for a wide range of applications and budgets, with competitive pricing and unparalleled support. Each CAMaster CNC router is designed and built at their facility in Cartersville, Georgia and comes with one of the industry’s best after-sale support programs.

Their Cobra Elite series is a multipurpose, heavy-duty CNC Router that is a perfect mix of precision engineering, industrial performance, and unbeatable value. The Cobra Elite is highly customizable and is best suited for high production shops that require both high speed machining and high tolerances. Table sizes range from 5-feet to 20-feet long with single or double heads for multiple operations.

Their Panther series is a full production CNC router that is designed for mid-size production shops requiring high performance, reliability, and affordability. It is popular with sign makers, woodworkers, and skilled craftsmen. The Panther is offered in 4’ x 8’ and 5’ x 10’ sizes Their Stinger series is an entry level machine that is popular with small shops, schools, and hobbyists.

For more information, contact Cody Smith, CAMaster, Inc., 149 Wansley Dr., Cartersville, GA 30121, 866-405- 7688, E-mail: Web:

High-Speed Spindles
Precision Drive Systems (PDS), is a world-class repair center, manufacturer and distributor of high-speed spindles serving all CNC and robotic end-users, machinery manufacturers and integrators. PDS operates worldwide service locations, providing better-than-new repairs (within 2 microns) on spindles for wet and dry material removal precision machining applications. Since 1996, PDS’ factory trained engineers and technicians have successfully rebuilt and globally supported more than 36,000 spindles.

PDS stocks a myriad of collet and automatic tool change spindles in varying power and size ranges as well as a full array of spindle accessories including collets, tool holders, measuring equipment, variable frequency drives, chillers and more. PDS invented a useful new, patent-pending tool for automatically achieving accurate stroke measurements on HSK clamping sets, Digital Stroke Gauge.

PDS offers extensive engineering resources and commonly enhances OEM spindle design for better product life and finish quality.

From high-speed spindles for wood, plastics, non-ferrous and metal cutting to arbors, aggregate, moulder and tenoner spindles, PDS has the best solution for economical repair, expert customer service and industry-leading turnaround time.

For more information, contact, Calvin Stiles, Precision Drive Systems LLC, 4367 Dallas Cherryville Hwy., Bessemer City, NC 28016, 704-922-1206, Fax: 704-922-1217, E-mail:, Web:

Cutting & Milling Tools
Hufschmied offers a range of tooling specifically designed for milling plastics. With plastic materials it is crucial to keep the milling temperature as low as possible. This can be achieved with tools from their Universal- Line and Sharp-Line. Depending on your requirements and your machinery, the solution to your processing problem offers you a choice of one, two or three-flute cutters.

Hufschmied tools are designed to minimize burr formation and provide a quality edge finish at high feed rates minimizing secondary operations. When it comes to cutting thermoset the avoidance of burr formation is critical to a high quality edge finish. Their Universal- Line and Proto-Line are well suited for this category of materials.

For the processing of PMMA, cast or extruded, the Frasen Per Plex product range of single-fluted milling cutters produce a mirror-like surface finish without the need for additional polishing tools or any other polishing action. When working acrylics, milling cutters and drills need to produce sharply defined cutting edges. For this approach, Hufschmied supplies the FPE tool system with a single-step roughing and finishing cycle producing these very sharply defined edges. For polycarbonate and PET their Sharp-Line will provide a sooth finish with long tool life.

For more information, contact Erin Marciniak, Hufschmied USA, 42 Ozick Drive, Unit 6, Durham CT 06422, 419-341-6337, E-mail:, Web:

“O” Flute Plastic Tools
Vortex Tool introduced XP tooling for plastics. This new tool series improves upon their already popular single edge “O” flute design by incorporating XP geometry. Designed for hard and soft plastics these tools provide superior part finish and tool life over their existing tools. Their initial offering is in some of their most popular sizes. They will be adding more tool style in the future.

Tooling for Laminated Composites
Vortex also offers the Series 9800 tornado compression tooling has been engineered to excel in cutting laminated composite materials. The router bit’s unique roughing and finishing flute design yields clean finished edge quality while eliminating delamination of the material.

Available in four sizes, Series 9800 tooling is offered with or without CVD diamond coating to increase tool life with highly abrasive substrates. American owned and operated, Vortex Tool Company, Inc. designs and manufactures a wide variety of standard and custom high-performance router and insert cutting tools for the woodworking and plastics industries, and provides re-tipping and sharpening services for all makes and models.

For more information, contact Lucas Molepske, Vortex Tool Company, 5605 East Jelinek Ave., Schofield, WI 54476, 800-355-7708/715-355-7707, Fax: 715-355-7353 E-mail:, Web:

Coated CNC Router Bits
Amana Tool, a producer of industrial quality carbide-tipped, solid carbide and replacement carbide cutting tools, recently introduced their Spektra™ extreme tool life coated CNC router bit line.

Their Spektra bits feature a nACo® nanocomposite coating with an extreme Nano hardness and heat resistance. With a brilliant distinctively-tinted coloring, nACo provides additional improvements in four critical aspects of router tooling.

nACo coating is a micro-thin ceramic coating which enables the tool's cutting edge to retain crucial sharpness and lubricity. This provides longevity and produces cutting results of the highest quality. The coating also prevents high heat and oxidation, which is detrimental to cutting tool performance. The multicolored hues, while attractive, will dissipate upon use and yet coating will remain fully effective.

nACo offers approximately 4,500 Vickers for impressive solid hardness on cutting areas of the tool, for an increase up to 2.5 times the life compared to uncoated bits.

The range of tools is aimed at use in the high production wood and plastics industries. Featured are solid carbide compression spirals for use on wood, wood veneer, plywood, MDF and laminates. Also offered are solid carbide “O’ flute tools for use on acrylic (Plexiglas® Lucite®) and many other plastic materials. The tools are available in a variety of sizes. The compression tools are also offered in a 5-piece set.

For more information, contact Frank Misiti, Amana Tool, 120 Carolyn Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735, 800-445- 0077/631-752-1300, Fax: 631-752-1674, E-mail:, Web:

Cutting & Polishing Tools
Wood- Cutters Tooling Inc. represents EURACRYL cutting tool and machining products. Since 1980, Wood-Cutters Tooling has provided customers in the plastics, wood, and metals industries with quality products and service.

Tools for CNC milling machines include over 1,000 standard tools featuring cuttings edges of monocrystalline diamond, polycrystalline diamond, and solid carbide.

EURACRYL products enable processing of PMMA, PC, PETG, SAN, mixed materials (e.g., PMMA + aluminum or paper), as well as production of high-gloss, standard gloss and satin surfaces or surfaces to be glued.

Tools for edge polishing include 2,700 options of diamond milling heads for over 180 models from at least 50 different machine manufacturers, including Bermaq, Codema, CR Clarke, EFC, Euracryl, Kuper, Martin, to name a few.

For more information, contact Eric G. Jansen, Wood-Cutters Tooling Inc., 4685 Spartan Industrial Dr. SW, Grandville, MI 49418, 616-257-7930, E-mail:, Web:

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