CNC Router for Sign Making


I am retired and thought I would look into making signs as a way of keeping out of trouble.
I would like to cut lettering into a solid boards and make signs where the letters are completely cut out held together by a stringer at the bottom.
Can anyone suggest a small CNC Router setup including software for making signs about 7"-12" high and 15"-24" long.
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Tom H (in JG%Lf.39786$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com) said:
| I am retired and thought I would look into making signs as a way of | keeping out of trouble. | | I would like to cut lettering into a solid boards and make signs | where the letters are completely cut out held together by a | stringer at the bottom. | | Can anyone suggest a small CNC Router setup including software for | making signs about 7"-12" high and 15"-24" long.
Tom...
ShopBot http://www.shopbottools.com sells a 3-axis benchtop router that can do this...
...and I'm building a small (12" x 12" x 4" sorkspace) 3-1/2 axis CNC router to do joinery and small routing jobs. You're invited to e-mail if you think it might be of interest to you.
CNC sign-making can be fascinating - and the fun only /starts/ with the routing! I have some photos of my first CNC sign effort at the link below.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/PT_Sign.html
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Take a look at the CarveWright product at this site:
www.lhrtech.com
It's a much less expensive alternative than some of the CNC products currently on the market.
cdo
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cdo (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
| wrote: | || I am retired and thought I would look into making signs as a way || of keeping out of trouble. || || I would like to cut lettering into a solid boards and make signs || where the letters are completely cut out held together by a || stringer at the bottom. || || Can anyone suggest a small CNC Router setup including software for || making signs about 7"-12" high and 15"-24" long. | | Take a look at the CarveWright product at this site: | | www.lhrtech.com | | It's a much less expensive alternative than some of the CNC products | currently on the market.
But withut the ability to import DWG/DXF or gcode, it's value as a signmaking tool is nearly nil. What happens when the client wants, for example, Helvetica Bold and Perpetua Italic fonts in their sign?
Not much further can be said about the machine without some hard specifications (movement power/speed range, precision, repeatability, ...), which this outfit is surprisingly mum about...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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wrote:

Morris, you're only partially correct about the usability of the CarveWright machine. The fonts are a non-issue. It's true that their software will not import DXF/DWG or gcode, but there's no need for it. You can import any number of graphic image file formats to get an image into the machine. In addition, the software included is capable of using any of the thousands of Windows fonts available (including wing-dings and symbols) to create a carving.
As far as specs, I agree they need to get more concrete info onto the web site. An inquiry got me the following though:
Raster carving precision is 0.006" (6 thousandths) 12 inches per second max, but generally only 6-8IPS utilized during the carving process. The carving (Router) motor is 1HP and 20,000rpm
It's not at the same level as the ShopBot, but it's not priced there either...
cdo
p.s. - I have no association with the company, but I do know some of the folks involved.
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cdo (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
|| Not much further can be said about the machine without some hard || specifications (movement power/speed range, precision, || repeatability, ...), which this outfit is surprisingly mum about... | | Morris, you're only partially correct about the usability of the | CarveWright machine. The fonts are a non-issue. It's true that their | software will not import DXF/DWG or gcode, but there's no need for | it. You can import any number of graphic image file formats to get | an image into the machine. In addition, the software included is | capable of using any of the thousands of Windows fonts available | (including wing-dings and symbols) to create a carving.
Ok. I looked for importable file formats and didn't see ttf or PostScript formats. The lack of DWG/DXF (IMO) is serious for production work; and the inability to import gcodes precludes the use of standard CAM packages. A basic gcode capability isn't difficult to implement and I was surprised by the omission.
| As far as specs, I agree they need to get more concrete info onto | the web site. An inquiry got me the following though: | | Raster carving precision is 0.006" (6 thousandths) | 12 inches per second max, but generally only 6-8IPS utilized during | the carving process. | The carving (Router) motor is 1HP and 20,000rpm
The precision is a bit rough. It might have been better to give up half of the speed to double the precision. I suspect this is one of those areas, though, where everyone's mileage varies. I'm a precision freak and I admit it. The step size of the 3-1/2 axis machine I'm working on dropped to 0.0002" (on all three axes) this past week. I don't think I can reduce it any more without a faster PC or a significant reduction in speed.
| It's not at the same level as the ShopBot, but it's not priced there | either...
I bought my ShopBot because it was the only 96x48x6 machine I could afford. It's not bad; but neither is it the pinnacle of precision. After a lot of tuning, I was able to cut right close to +/- 0.0015. I'm told that it'll move at 5"/sec (the new machines go much faster) - but I'm driving mine with an old, slow P2 and can only get about 3.5"/sec.
I've seen used benchtop 'Bots being sold for the same price as the CarveWright machine and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest taking a close look. ShopBot Tools is really good about taking care of the people who own their machines (including those who buy second-hand machines from someone else!) and the support from other owners on the ShopBot Forum has to be experienced to be believed! There have been people who bought ShopBots just because of the forum. (You might suggest that the CarveWright folks actually join the forum and give some thought to following suit with a similar forum of their own.)
For example, a week ago one of the 'Botters found himself in a scheduling pickle and looked for suggestions that'd help him finish a sign in time for promised delivery. A couple of other 'Botters showed up at his door next day and finished off the gilding to get everything back on schedule. I don't think you can _buy_ that kind of help!
| p.s. - I have no association with the company, but I do know some of | the folks involved.
Then please pass along my comments - along with my compliments on a really sleek looking design!
Other than as satisfied customer, I don't have any association with ShopBot.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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