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Set up guide for the CNC router

AutoCAD is the only drawing program that works accurately when using the School CNC router.

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

There is a cost to use 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.
  • 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 your responsibility to produce a fully operational drawing.
  • The 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, the table is fitted with a vacuum that hold your cut-outs down. They can move if they are too small. 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 remove them before the cutting process can commence.
  • Microstation and 3D drawings converted to AutoCAD can give DXF errors that make your file inoperable.
  • Save your drawing as a DXF file.

Router materials

Materials that can be cut or engraved by the router:

  • MDF
  • ply
  • acrylics.

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Contact us

For more information contact the supervisors, Greg Shield or Anthony Swanborough.