Set up guide for the CNC router

AutoCAD is the only drawing program that works accurately for use with the School CNC router.  Please refer to the guide below on how best to set up for routing.

Discuss in advance with the workshop staff either in person, phone call or email, your drawing and timing enquiries. Your drawing will need to be checked in Toolpath for any issues that could require correction.

Costs are involved in using the router. The workshop staff will give you an accurate price when you have it checked. Please note the workshop can be very busy at times, particularly when there are set class projects.

Sheet sizes

  • Maximum Sheet Size – 2400mm x 1200mm
  • Minimum Sheet Size – 1200mm x 1200mm

Tips for drawing set up

  • Drawing must be 2D DXF File.
  • All drawings are to be done on a 2400mm x 1200mm sheet.
  • No other objects can be shown outside your 2400mm x 1200mm sheet.
  • Your file for the router can only show the 2400x1200 sheet and the cut-outs inside it.
  • Minimum distance from edge of sheet to cut-outs is 50mm.
  • Minimum distance from cut out to cut out is 20mm.
  • To stop the sheet disintegrating these distances are important for job quality.
  • All shapes must be enclosed and joined polylines.
  • Toolpath, the program which runs the router, only recognises enclosed or joined shapes drawn as polylines. This also gives the operator the ability to make the machine cut either inside or outside the shape. There can be up to 0.4mm error on the size of cut-outs. It is the student’s responsibility to produce a fully operational drawing.
  • Smallest shape that can be cut out successfully is 150mm x150mm.
  • Sometimes cut-outs have to be tabbed to help hold them to the table when being cut.
  • To stop movement on the table, it is fitted with a vacuum that hold your cut-outs down, but if they are too small, they can move. To stop this, the operator can tab your cut-outs to the main sheet.
  • Shapes smaller than this will be cut on the Laser.
  • Make sure it is a single line drawing.
  • Toolpath will recognise double lines and double shapes and will not process them to be cut. If they are on your drawing, you will have to be remove them before the cutting process can commence.
  • Microstation and 3D drawings converted to AutoCAD can give DXF errors that make your file inoperable.
  • When saving your drawing, save it as a DXF file.

drawing set up in program example

Router materials

Materials that can be cut or engraved by the router:

  • MDF
  • Ply
  • Acrylics
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