Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a manufacturing process that uses software to dictate the movement of tools and machinery to cut materials to meet the specifications of a range of projects.

The process is used across a variety of industries and applications and offers a range of benefits. However, choosing a supplier with access to the latest machines, tools and the best quality materials is a huge factor in the success of your project.

Quick links

Click on the links below to jump to the relevant sections:


What CNC machining services do Panel Systems offer?

The designs and projects that CNC machining can cater for varies widely. From restaurant table tops to a children’s playground tower, the ability to cut materials to the correct specifications can save businesses valuable time and money.

Panel Systems offers the following services:

  • Cutting and drilling for bespoke projects
  • In-house CAD team
  • Supply of all associated accessories and fixing systems
  • CNC routing service
  • On-site support and fixing advice
  • Edge profiling and face grooving
  • Experienced Panel Systems team with knowledge of a number of materials.

Solid grade laminate, Plywood & MDF are just some of the materials that can be cut into limitless designs using CNC machining.

Panel Systems is a one-stop-shop for the materials and cutting service so we will support your project every step of the way from planning to fitting.

Read our guide to find out more about making designs fit the right space.

What is CNC machining and how does it work?

The CNC machining process uses pre-programmed computer software to dictate the movements of factory tools and machinery to cut materials to fit project specifications. It is widely used in the automotive, aerospace, construction and agriculture industries.

Computer aided design (CAD) files are drawn to fit the specifications of the project and uploaded to the machine, which cuts the material to shape.

Benefits of choosing Panel Systems’ CNC machining service include:

  • Flexible approach
  • Speed
  • Control
  • Reliable service
  • Large capacity

Panel Systems staff has years of experience using CNC machining to cut solid grade laminate for various markets including:

  • Toilet cubicles
  • Locker doors
  • Changing room furniture
  • Medical equipment
  • Children’s playground panels
  • Indoor/outdoor table surfacing
  • Retail display areas
  • Van conversions
  • Specialist automotive panels

At Panel Systems, we work carefully with customers who use our CNC machining process. An initial meeting will usually take place to discuss the requirements of the project, before optimisation software is used to calculate the most economical way to cut the material.

Read our guide to find out more about what CNC machining is.

CNC machining for laboratory worktops

CNC machining is used to cut solid grade laminate for use as worktops in laboratories. Panel System’s tooling means that spaces for gas taps, sinks and other equipment can be cut to exact measurements to ensure the full project is fitted correctly.

The benefits of CNC machining solid grade laminate for use in laboratories include:

  • In-house CAD design team
  • Reliable service
  • 3 and 5 axis machining facilities
  • Access to the latest technology
  • High-quality machining

The investment required in a laboratory fit out means that not only do the materials need to be long lasting but the cutting process must be accurate too. Jagged edges or a poor quality finish will result in materials that do not fit project requirements or a sub-standard finish.

To find out more about the use of CNC machining for laboratory worktops, read our guide.

CNC machining for underfloor heating

CNC machining is used to cut Ravatherm XPS (formerly known as Styrofoam) for use as insulation in underfloor heating systems. The CNC machine is programmed to cut grooves for water-based underfloor heating systems to allow the pipes to sit flush, providing insulation for the system and helping to save energy.

The process is used to cut insulation for:

Water-based underfloor heating – Ravatherm XPS is cut for use in water-based underfloor heating. The grooves for the pipes are routed into the insulation board to the required shape to house the water pipes, providing an effective method of insulation, increasing the efficiency of the overall system.

Electric matting underfloor heating – we supply 6mm to 10mm Ravatherm XPS sheets for use in electric matting underfloor heating systems. These thinner sheets sit underneath the electric matting of the system to provide insulation.

Benefits of using CNC machining for underfloor heating systems includes:

  • Material is easily cut
  • Fast service
  • One-stop-shop
  • Design retention
  • Flexible service

To find out more about how CNC machining can be used for underfloor heating systems, read our guide.

Why are CNC machine tools important?

When choosing a CNC machining service, it’s important to choose a supplier with access to the latest, high-quality CNC machine tools. Cutting tools play a vital role in the quality of completed projects and inadequate tooling will result in products that are not always fit for purpose.

Advantages of high-quality tools include:

  • High precision
  • Smoother finish
  • Ability to machine a wide variety of materials
  • Greater dimensional accuracy

Panel Systems has access to both 3 and 5 axis machines which means we can cater to a wide range of projects and both allow for quick and accurate machining time.

5-axis CNC machining allows for much faster machining speed and higher tool accuracy which means a better quality finish on every project. Other benefits include:

  • Lower costs
  • Less wastage
  • Less time spent on cutting materials
  • Faster project turnaround times

To find out more about CNC machine tooling and Panel System’s capabilities, read our guide.