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CNC POINT TO POINT OR BEAM SAW / CNC MACHINING CENTER8/12
Hi we are a small - medium shop doing mostly closets - cabinets looking to expand.
I would like to know from your experience whats better a CNC point to point router OR a beam saw and a CNC machining center.
And which brand would you recommend .
Whats the best and easy to use software ( using now KCD for design &cut list ) .
With a point to point you still need to cut the panels then machine them
If you are going to stick with closets a beam saw plus ptp might be a decent option. However, if you want to expand and do the majority of your machining on a nested based router, I would recommend that. Nested based machining, with the ability to fixture parts is the most versatile option for cabinets shops in the small to medium size group. I can only think of a couple of times in the last 13 years that I wished we had a beam saw. The router does everything from panel products, solid surface, solid wood, and mitre folding anything. Just can't get that type of mix through a point to point. I have lots of experience with both. Go to Atlanta for the IWF show this month to see them in action.
We own two 5x12 flat tables and run nested all day long. Would never go back to the point to point and saw thing. Tons of closets
Nested base hands down.
Ben, it might help to clean up your nomenclature a bit. A point-to-point generally refers to a pod-and-rail machine used in conjunction with a beam saw where the part blanks are cut and then machined on the p-t-p. Most nested base machining takes place on a flat-bed router.
Both approaches can be equally effective. With a router, you generally have just the one machine (of course you can have multiple machines), the one footprint, and less handling of the parts between machines. With a saw and p-t-p, you need space for two large machines as well as room for loading materials, etc.
With a saw, you can cut larger volumes of parts by cutting stacks of material and you're not spending time at the CNC machine cutting the perimeter. If you do a large volume of like parts (catalog-based), the saw and p-t-p might be the way to go. If you're doing a lot of customization, it's harder to take advantage of the saw's efficiency, in which case nesting might suit better.
A lot of the software packages available focus on nesting and some don't address saw and p-t-p at all. When using a saw, especially if you cut a lot of material, simpler patterns and fewer saw cycles should be factored in along with material yield. As with anything else, some software does it better than others.
In the shameless plug department, CADCode's software covers both forms of manufacturing and some shops do both.