There are many factors to consider when choosing your ideal CNC router system. Speed, power, price- all of these are key determining factors. But what about the router table size? Most customers are accustomed to the standard 8′ X 4″ or 10′ x 5′ sizes, but what should you be taking into consideration when choosing the table top size?
Cutting Options, Material Sheets, and Pendulum Processing can all play a part in your ideal Router Table Size
Cutting Options: If dealing with a standard, one spindle configuration, the gantry will be able to reach all points in the work area. However, if you are considering adding a knife, drill, or second spindle, then you are looking at an extended gantry configuration. This is so that each tool is able to reach every point on the work area. It is important to keep the extended gantry in mind when designing the work space for the machine and calculating the shop floor space requirements. An extended gantry will require more clearance around the machine than a standard gantry.
Material Sheets: What is the most common type of material you will be cutting on your router? What size do those sheets or blanks most often come in? At the bare minimum you need to find the router table size that will handle the largest full sheets of material you are cutting. It doesn’t do you any good to purchase a space-saving 4′ x 8′ model when you’re cutting 5′ x 10′ MDF sheets. And the opposite is true as well; buying a larger machine than is necessary means higher machine costs and waste of shop floor space.
One material of note is aluminum composite material. ACM is typically sold in 62-63″ wide sheets and thus a standard 5′ wide table would not properly affix the material.
Pendulum Processing: Pendulum processing is a technique where an operator is loading or unloading material on one end of the router while the machine is cutting on the other end. There are obvious advantages to this type of processing. The machine is constantly working and the throughput it considerably higher. However this type of processing is only possible on larger router table sizes. It may be worth a discussion with your CNC router sales rep to discuss the cost benefits of adding an extra long table top. This technique can add 30-50% additional throughput for only the upfront cost of the additional table and a multizone vacuum system.
All MultiCam CNC Routers are customizable for our customer’s needs. So whether you’re typically cutting full sheets of ACM, or small blanks of acrylic, we can find the router table size to suit your shop. To see our complete router lineup click here and to see our routers in action, visit our YouTube channel here.