Complex Shapes on a Flat-Table CNC Router

A discussion, with examples, about cutting complex art shapes, bas-relief, curved mouldings, et cetera, on a flat-table CNC. December 11, 2012

Question
I know the flat table routers are great for cutting up sheet goods for cases, etc. How do they perform for cutting curved rails and panels for passage and cabinet doors? What about curved moldings? We have a W and H with a jig but the setup is slow. Is a 5 HP head large enough?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor L:
I bought a 5x10 Omnitech CNC in 2007 and besides being great for cabinets, I do a lot of very custom curved molding, arched rails, carvings, and just about anything I can dream up or be asked to make. As for the 5HP I would look at 10HP - it should not be that much more. Also buy the biggest format (table size) that you can. You will always find work that you need it for. An auto tool changer is a must as well.



From the original questioner:
In my shop I have a 20 HP rotary phase converter. For the Striebig Panel saw I had to install buck boost tranformers to make it work. Iím assuming I should be ok with a 7.5 HP head and a 10 HP vac pump using the phase converter?


From contributor L:
Not just any phase convertor will work with CNC. Make sure your CNC manufacture says it will do the job. Everything that the CNC dose so well is based on very precise power voltage and stability.


From contributor W:

I am with Contributor L on checking out all power issue's work completely through prior to purchase. I am in an old tire manufacturing facility so power is the last of my issues.


From the original questioner:
Iím in the process now. What about cutting arched rails?
I have all Freeborn shaper cutters. Does anyone make tooling that could be used with their cutters?


From contributor W:
It is far easier than that. My shaper cutters are over at the shaper. You will still make moulding in a traditional way, yet the radius stuff to match is done on the CNC.