2D CNC Profile Machining is removing material with either a cutting or engraving tool-path. This also includes 2.5D machining usually associated with V-carving tool-paths. The machine is guided via the machine data file. The data is created using a pre-processor or tool-pathing software. Vector based curves are loaded into this software and different tools are assigned depending on the type of cut required.
What is a vector?
A vector is a line or curve that can be scaled para-metrically without loosing any quality or becoming distorted. These file types are usually named as .dxf or .svg file formats.
More commonly known file formats such as .jpeg, .bmp, and .png are associated with photos and pictures and are built from pixels. When scaled larger they become pixelated or blocky and the image is no longer recognisable. These file types maybe used for certain machining processes such as laser engraving an image but are not suitable for calculating tool-paths for cutting, v-carving and engraving with a CNC machine.
Design Part in CAD Software
Create a vector (.dxf)
Create the toolpaths in CAM
Cut Part on CNC Machine
Vector graphics software such as Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator are a few of the programs that can be used to edit and create vectors for machining purposes. Inkscape is a popular choice by many because it is readily available and open source.
Many great CAD software programs can also create vector graphics or DXF files that can be used in the creation of part machining. When creating vectors for machining for the first time users must ensure they capture the line or curves only and that no fill has been added, the line thickness isn't that important but the thinner the line the greater the level detail can be achieved. Usually 0.5 - 1 mm is a good rule of thumb.
What is 3D Machining?
3D Machining usually is used to create more abstract geometry and organic forms where surfaces have to follow smooth continuous curves and shapes. It is created with both a roughing tool-path to remove the bulk of the material. Then a finishing tool-path to remove the remaining material, leaving behind a clean finish that requires minimal sanding or finishing.
Laser Diode Engraving uses a blue / purple laser that runs at low voltage and produces a fine cone of light. They are similar to those found in DVD or Blue Ray players. The laser is mounted on a X/Y axis with linear movement. The speed and power of the laser is adjusted depending on the cut or engraving. A photo maybe loaded into the software which turns it into a grey-scale image that is engraved on to the surface of a wooden sheet.
The Machine bed size is 270mm x 300mm (A4 sheets will fit).
We are able to laser engrave on to a range of different wooden materials such as:
We also are able cut through certain materials like:
Paper (various thicknesses)
Foam sheet (2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm)
We are NOT able to use reflective or metallic materials, plastics are not suitable because of the poisonous gases that are produced when they are heated.
Maximum sheet thickness is 25mm.
About these Services
Our 2D Profile machining service is tailored towards low volume part manufacturing and profile cutting.
We offer a variety of cutting and engraving services depending on our customers requirements.
“One offs” or custom products, where customers require the manufacture of parts for a specific project or the reproduction of an existing part.
Signage, we are able to produce or re-produce signs, corporate branded products, logo engraving with high precision and quality.
If you have any questions why not drop us line!
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