The CNC machining process is used to cut precise designs into sheet materials with minimal material wastage. However, the CNC machine tools used during the process can have a huge impact on the finished product. Poor quality tooling results in an uneven finish and an unsatisfactory end product.

When choosing a CNC machining service, it’s important to pick a supplier with access to the latest, high-quality CNC machine tools.

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About This Guide

This guide will look at how the quality of CNC machine tools can impact on the finished product and why it’s important to choose a supplier with both experience and access to the latest technology.

The advantages of high-quality CNC machine tools

Having access to the highest quality and the latest CNC machine tools, provides the following benefits for every project:

High precision — when the CNC machining process is carried out with high-quality tools, it offers a more precise cut than outdated or worn tools. Higher precision provides designs that are completed to exact specifications and which will fit project requirements. 

Time saving — with high-quality tools offering a more precise finish, time is saved on re-cutting materials. As a result, products can be delivered on time to meet the needs of each individual project. 

Smoother finish — poor and outdated tooling can result in jagged edges or imperfections on the finished product, while the latest tools provide a smoother, more accurate finish. 

Ability to machine a wide variety of materials — with access to 3 and 5-axis machines, Panel Systems is able to cut a variety of materials for a range of applications including solid grade laminate and Ravatherm XPS (formerly Styrofoam) sheets. 

A wide range of materials can be machined on a  a CNC Router, the application and design depends on individual projects. 

Greater dimensional accuracy — the tooling available at Panel Systems allow for greater dimensional accuracy, meaning results will fit project specification with little to no deviation.

Introducing the technology

CNC machining is used to transform  sheet materials into finished panel products by carefully and precisely cutting, drilling, shaping, and edging into the final component.

CNC machining relies on instructions from Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or Computer Aided Design (CAD) files. The CNC machine interprets the design as instructions for cutting into the material.

Panel Systems has two types of CNC machining facilities available:

3-axis CNC machine

On a 3-axis machine, tools move along straight three-dimensional vectors (up and down, left and right, backwards and forwards). The piece of material being cut remains in one place while the machine cuts the material to the correct specifications.

5-axis CNC machine

5-axis CNC machines are the best available and have the ability to create complex, precise and intricate designs. This machine provides the most flexibility when it comes to the range of products it can cut.

On a 5-axis machine, the tool moves in five directions. It is also possible to use a much shorter tool than on a 3-axis machine so is able to get closer to the material. This allows for a much faster machining speed and reduced tool vibration. This results in:

  • A smoother finished product with fewer imperfections
  • Less wastage
  • Lower costs
  • Less time spent cutting products

Who can benefit from high-quality CNC machine tools?

CNC machining and its tools can be used to cut materials for a wide variety of applications and a range of industries. The Panel Systems team can discuss requirements for bespoke projects on an individual basis.

Commercial sector

Panel Systems supplies CNC machined products to the commercial sector where being able to produce high volumes of the same design repeatedly is essential for both supply and pricing products competitively. The quality of the products produced is also vital in the commercial sector.

Laboratory worktops and toilet cubicles — when cutting solid grade laminate for use as laboratory worktops, it’s essential that the material is cut to precise specifications. Fitting the material around gas taps, sinks and other applications means any inconsistencies in cutting mean fittings will not fit and the worktop is not fit for purpose.

Underfloor heating — Panel Systems uses CNC machining to cut XPS foam for use in both water-based and electric underfloor heating systems. The machine is used to cut grooves into the XPS sheets in which the pipes for the system can sit.

Construction sector

Many of the tools, equipment and materials required in the construction industry require CNC machining. For example, Panel Systems CNC machines Aluminium Honeycomb, which is used in sandwich panels for engineered applications such as transport, aviation and industrial.

Accuracy and high-quality finishes are particularly important in this sector as inconsistencies can have an impact on project deadlines and costs.

Need More Help?

The Panel Systems staff have a wide range of knowledge and experience in a range of materials and industries so please contact us to speak to one of our experts and discuss your project requirements.

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