There are many types of CNC engraving machines. There is a CNC engraving machine out there for both small and large format jobs. Here is a quick guide on the different types of CNC machines available for CNC engraving:
Small Format CNC engraving machine
A small format c n c machine typically has an engraving area of up to 12×12 inches, with varied depth. These are designed to be something that can be easily moved and placed onto a desktop.
Medium Format CNC engraving machine
A medium format machine is also designed to be fairly portable, and can range in size, up to around 16×24 inches. Most engraving machines of this size have ruled edge guides or even laser pointing for easy set-up of projects.
Large Format CNC engraving machine
A larger format CNC engraving machine is designed for larger and high volume industrial work. These are often less portable as size can range upwards of 24×48 inches and higher.
Specialty engraving machine
There are many custom specialty CNC engraving machines out there for different applications. These may include specialty cnc format drilling parts, higher torque machines and machines that can engrave tougher materials.
What to look for when buying a Router or Engraving machine?
Cost is often very important in purchasing a CNC router or engraving machine. Make sure to ask as many questions to determine what exactly you need. There is no point in spending too little and getting a machine that is not suited for your application. Top CNC routers or milling machines include brands like Grizzly, Shop Fox and Jet. It is best to start with these top brands when doing your research for the best cnc router for your job, then drill down on features you may need from there.
Ruggedness is also a big factor. You may want to inquire on how much ‘load’ or work that your chosen machine can churn through in a day. If you are engraving or routing tough material and have a lot of work, will the engraving or milling machine be able to hold up? It is good to ask what other applications other clients have used their machines for when buying a CNC machine.
Reliability = Less Maintenance
When purchasing a CNC machine, talk to the sales rep about how reliable the machine is and how much or how easy maintenance is. The last thing you want is your router or engraver to ‘blow out’ during an important job of yours or your client’s.
Check out the features of the machine, whether or not it comes with good software and whether or not the accompanying software is upgradable or not. Also, look carefully at whether the router parts are easily interchangeable. Remember try and make a list of what work you will be doing with a CNC engraving machine, and what features you may need to increase ease of usability. Things such as a laser point to line up your work or accessibility may impact largely on productivity.
Customer Support is Key for your CNC Machine or CNC Router
Remember to always ask how your CNC machine will be serviced in case of it malfunctioning. Time is money if you have clients to serve, so a machine out for a few days may cost you a lot of income. A manual is good, but having someone over the phone or a speedy technician could save you some tears later on down the road.
Specifications and Pricing
To consider what you need in terms of your maximum engraving area, work piece clearance, table type etc, it is best to think about what exactly you will be routing or engraving. Once you know this, choosing the right specifications and machine for your needs should be fairly simple, once you have considered all the above as well.
Prices will always vary depending on the project, but can start from anywhere around $5000 to all the way up well beyond $50,000 USD for a brand name cnc milling machine, engraving machine or router.
Remember to always do your research. Choosing the right CNC engraving machine is a fairly systematic procedure. To find the right CNC engraver try and use the tips outlined here to help you along your way. Pretty soon you will be engraving with a new CNC machine in no time!