Cutting Edge Engraving Through CNC Machining

CNC engraving technology has evolved in the last decade as computer-aided design and manufacturing embraced various industries. The advantage of minimum lead times has allowed faster production. It does not matter whether it is a prototype or repeat machining of design; the technology is available as the file is in the CNC computer’s memory. Stored files already have the calculation of the earlier tool path which allows machining a design again. Software programs that enhance design methods are available off the shelf. The programs are easier to learn.

The quality and speed of the engraving are relatable to both the software program and the build quality of the CNC router.

CNC Routers for Engraving

The engraving on solid wood and non-ferrous metals require that the build quality of the CNC Router is strong. Any basic type CNC Router uses 3-axis configuration which means that solid object on the Routing table provides stability during the engraving process. Among several manufacturers of CNC Routers Omnitech from China has created a niche in the manufacturing of affordable CNC Routers for engraving. 

The OMNI 1325 model is the perfect engraving CNC Router; not only it is robust in build quality it is priced reasonably, making it affordable for production as well as interior designers.

The 3-axis control motor on the 1325 model is AC servo type. Construction is of robust build and heavy duty suitable for woodworking, channel letters, sign making, custom millwork, engraving, artistic sculpting among others. There are other models in the same range with Model OMNI 3030 ideal for hobbyists because of the working size of 300 mm x 300 mm. The OMNI 1224 has aworking size of 1200 mm x 2400 mm. With a decent 2,2 kW spindle at 24000 rpm, this router is a big seller for engraving large pieces.

Software Quality

The programs based on advanced vector algorithms with a simple interface allows editing so that modifications to the tool path is easily incorporated. Some advanced tools use mirroring and merging 3D relief which makes repeating symmetrical design modeling simple and easy. Other advanced engraving techniques use fade relief tool for creating shadow perspectives. Engraving is a form of sculpting. Smart engraving strategies utilize software programs for the engraving of text and irregular shapes.

The engraving process of incising a design on a hard surface was primarily used in the jewelry trade embellishing gold and silver vessels. The process graduated to printing plates where the intaglio etching method oncopper printing plates became the standard. It was after the introduction of computer numerical control that engraving by CNC machines became sought after for the ease and speed. Jewelers have the small 3030 model in their premises allowing them a high degree of personalization and the capability of engraving on awide variety of surfaces. These surfaces could be round as in rings, vessels, cups or flat surfaces. With software capable of translating picture half-tones to G-code the process of engraving images has become simpler and artistic.


Enhancing Stone Processing Capability via CNC Router

Understanding the nuances of granite stone sink making

CNC systems are the cornerstone of stone fabrication. Advancement of production techniques using stone is primarily due to the use of computer numerically controlled routing machines. One such machine that is getting appreciation all over the world is the OMNI-CNC Stone Carving CNC Router. This Chinese CNC router is becoming popular primarily for the robust construction, precision and affordability.

The stone carving router from OMNI CNC is a 3-axis machine equipped with a powerful 4.5kW water cooled spindle capable of 24000 rpm (revolutions per minute). The feature of this CNC router is the machine table with coolant tray on wheels that allows moving the stone plate easily.

Anatomy of Stone Sinks Routing

CNC machines can slab cut stone particularly granite which is the hardest stone. . After cutting the stone with bridge saws the edges are routed on the CNC machine for application of epoxy. The edge work involves half bull nose edges and sink bottoms with a radius generally measuring three eights of an inch. This prevents flat bottom edge of the sink allowing the slope to the drain. CNC machining forms the perfect shape.

The other advantages of CNC stone routing is there is hardly any wastage of the granite or engineered stone. Remnants (remaining pieces from a larger slab) are utilized in countertop production which has made the use of CNC router an important cog in the kitchen production industry.

China produces some of the finest granites as stone quarrying is big business. The evolution of CNC stone routing in China has taken the industry into world class status as Chinese engineers such as OMNITECH began the process of innovation. In less than a decade the name of OMNI CNC is synonymous with CNC routing. One of the hallmarks of the OMNI CNC Stone Router is the machine frame which has extra thick steel tubes welded providing stability to the heavy stone workpieces. Along with the gantry that also has reinforcing ribs constructed out of tubular steel the firm beam assembly is a fine example of OMNI’s precision engineering and quality of workmanship.

To understand the beauty of granite stone sink routing a quick perusal of the You Tube video (link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_VRp2XTzMI.) shows the efficiency of the machining under a bed of water on the wheel configured table. The CNC machine’s chief feature is the accuracy particularly when making ogee edges. The quality of machining is exemplary – of course it does not matter if the CNC router has to bevel edges or straight edges or has to have a Dupont edge (a combination of ogee and half round). The OMNI CNC router is up to the task with its high spindle power and advanced control system.


Affordable CNC Routers for Aluminum Composite Machining

Aluminum composite materials are the most preferred material in the signage industry. There are several reasons for the popularity of the material the main is its relative affordable cost and the second being it very versatile. The material is waterproof, rust proof and the smooth finish is ideal for durability in outdoor signs.

Aluminum composites comprise the bonding of a non-aluminum layer sandwiched between two aluminum layers. The process of cutting through these three layers with a clean edge or finish requires engineering tools.


While it is true that a sharp knife can do the job for a straightforward cut it is very slow and when large sheets have to be cut it can be cumbersome. Also corners and rounded profile are indeed challenging to use a sharp knife. The other known tools are panel saws, circular saws and table saws that can easily cut through composites. Handling large sheets is an issue for these tools.

Fortunately the use of CNC routers has solved the problem rather admirably. These routers such as the OMNI CNC Basic Type Router are perfect for indoor and outdoor signage cutting as well as engraving. The Router can cut several types of material such as

•  Plastics

•  Composites which include
o  ACP – aluminum composite panels
o  ACM – aluminum composite material
o  Other solid surface material

•  Non-ferrous material among others.

The CNC router from OMNI CNC is widely used in-
ACP Cladding of building facades. Thermoplastic core is bonded between two aluminum panels. The bonded ACPs are light in weight, rigid and strong. Patterns similar to other materials such as wood, stone or marble can be painted lending to imaginative interiors in partitions or as wall screen decorative paneling. ACP panels can be drilled, punched and cut into complex shapes making installation easy which saves cost and time. Other uses include

•  Creating signage for indoor and outdoor use
•  Models and prototyping
•  Architectural elements for decoration

The router is robust in build with strong machine frame and its high frequency spindle of 3kW or more is powerful and rated to work with minimum or zero maintenance. The spindle can handle 6000 to 18000 revolutions per minute which can tackle the most intricate cutting job with precision. Another feature that allows this high positioning precision is quality stepper motors. This motion system can divide steps into micro steps due to stall torque and high power at low speeds. This is an essential feature for accurate cutting of aluminum composites with smooth finished edges.


Precision Engineering of Shuttles by CNC Machine

CNC routers are the perfect machine tools for creating precision parts irrespective of its size. It can be a large part or a small part and the efficacy of machining master patterns for shuttles or inspection features for jigs. Even low volume production of components such as trialing shuttles is perfectly suited for CNC machining.

The textile industry is perhaps the biggest gainer of CNC technology. The ease with which shuttles are machined is a testament to the complexity of weave and weft. Jacquard patterns named after the founder Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834) allowed Jacquard shredding facilitating automatic production of pattern weaving that had no limits. Jacquard is an automatic control mechanism that has made jersey machine-knitted textile very popular. The shuttle design is complex as the weft and weave need to match the pattern. The Jacquard process allows greater control with lesser repeats allowing large designs woven across the width of the loom.

CNC machining of shuttles is a major niche business and mostly in-house in large and small textile centers. The proper aligning of the thread in the shuttle follows the jacquard pattern and with slight alterations quickly machined on the CNC router allowing several variations of the design weave. An example of a jacquard weave used on a skater dress
With advanced CAD / CAM software, visualizing the design is very simple and alterations can also be seen before actual machining. The advantage of CNC machining is the freezing of the shuttle design and producing as many numbers as require. Importing the design at alter date on the PC platform is a simple task. One of the best CNC routers for shuttle making is OMNI CNC from China. They have developed superb logistics and design capability that specific CNC routers for just shuttle production are a niche specialty. The result being that OMNI CNC perhaps has the most affordable CNC routers for shuttle making.

The example of shuttle carving by a CNC router can be witnessed in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjqIBGefErc). The modelling is simple and is used to explain the intricacies of the wear and tear of the eyelet that is precision engineered.


Accurate Engineering Modeling Via CNC Prototyping

CNC machining is most suited for creating precise parts be it large or small components. They are routinely used in
• creating master patterns for molds
• Large sample parts before using in production to verify the fit and form
• Display models
• Inspection fixtures for assembly jigs
• Production components for low volume use
• Engineering models
• Injection mold creations

Aerospace applications witness widespread use. Testing parameters in aircraft design is very stringent in the sense that components cannot be allowed to fail when operational. Prototyping allows quick development and performance improvement on the fly meaning parts can be improved constantly. The advantage of the CNC applications is the G code language technology that can save existing parameters, which allow minute changes in the tool path altering the configuration of the component ever so slightly. Most satellites are prototyped as there is no possibility of large volume production of satellites. The example of Cassini and recently Juno which is orbiting the planet Jupiter are excellent examples. The Rosetta spacecraft is already on its way in a controlled descent to meet its end on the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from orbit; this is another fine example of a prototype manufactured on a CNC machine. The Rosetta space craft has so many instruments onboard that space is perhaps the costliest in terms of real estate. Without CNC machining capability this mission by the ESA (European Space Agency) could not have created history and our knowledge of the cosmic origins would have remained static.

The best example of prototyping via CNC modeling is the latest iPhone 7 model. Countless software simulations were carried out to see how the removal of the headphone jack would make space more efficient. Once the software froze the design validating the design was turned over to 3D modeling. Technologies such as fused deposition in 3D systems simulated the iPhone 7 housing design. The next step of actually machining the housing from the material that would be used in volume production happened resulting in the iPhone7 still retaining the simplicity of design as envisaged by the late Steve Jobs with additional form and function. The net result of this prototyping has resulted in a larger battery and twin camera lenses which make the iPhone 7 perhaps the best camera phone just short of a top-of-the-line DSLR (digital single-lens reflex).

CNC machining for prototyping is preferred for the following attributes
• Speed
• Tolerance precision akin to large volume manufacturing
• Accuracy pertaining to original 3D design parameters
• Capability of machining wide variety of materials
• Concept stage to prototyping with fast turn-around times
• Simulation helps in pointing to problems in final part production

Types of materials used in prototyping via CNC Router machining
• Polychromatic
• All type os plastics
• Polypropylene
• Acetyl
• Radel
• Aluminum
• Brass
• Steel
• Titanium
• Brass
• Foams
• Modeling board

CNC machining allows precision parts prototyping that cannot be done by any other machine. The process also allows excellent finishing by removing machine marks, edge breaks and if required be ready for plating, priming or painting operations to obtain textures or high polish as required by the design.