Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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68 • December 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL A CNC router is one of the work- horses of the signage industry, and manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to help their clients get more out of their machines. Lately, that means adding accessories that open up new markets by allowing sign makers to venture into new markets. But it also means speeding up current processes to get jobs done faster. Buddy Warner at ShopBot Tools in Durham, North Carolina, doesn't have a "favorite" accessory for his router, but he knows the accessories speed up the process in his side job as a sign maker. "The primary advantage of CNC and related accessories is time savings, and time is money. If you had to do certain things manually, it would take much lon- ger. You might have to turn jobs away if you don't have the right accessories and tools," says Warner, who uses a 4' x 8' Alpha ShopBot router to make every- thing from small plaques to subdivision and municipality signs. "Not having the right tool for the job will, in the long run, cost more than the initial invest- ment." Accessories such as a vacuum table, an automatic tool changer, a misting system or a "cold air gun" open up new applica- tion possibilities and can help increase profitability for sign shops that rely on a CNC router to cut and carve the two- dimensional and three-dimensional parts for the signs they sell. CNC router accessories expand capabilities, profitability for sign shops B Y S H E L L E Y W I D H A L M Shelley Widhalm is a freelance writer and editor and founder of Shell's Ink Services, a writing and edit- ing service based in Loveland, Colorado. She has more than 15 years of experi- ence in communications and holds a master's degree in English from Colorado State University. She can be reached at shellsinkservices.com or shellsinkservices@gmail.com. CNC Router Accessories Computerized Cutters, Inc., in Plano, Texas, offers a spindle and vacuum brush head for collecting chips and dust to keep the CNC routers and the nearby equip- ment clean and free of debris. (Photo courtesy of Computerized Cutters)

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