Computer Numerical Control (CNC) fabrication systems use computer-generated code to operate an automated series of functions. This level of automation allows for unparalleled accuracy across a range of materials. CNC machines utilize high precision motors, stable frames, and reliable motion tracking devices to allow for fully automated processing, and perfect repeatability. CNC systems additionally allow for rapid prototyping, where full control of the final products is handled during the design process. It lets one automate the design, style, and production of virtual models through 3D CAD modelling. CNC machines allow for rapid changes in production. This change in flexibility allows for increased production efficiency and capability for each shop equipped with such versatile equipment. At Streamline Automation, virtually all our machines and equipment are automated and compatible with controllers that can employ CAD designs. However, there are different CNC fabrication systems that you can employ for your project depending on the type of design. Hotwire foam cutting and foam milling help you achieve different results with different application styles, while still using CNC and working with foam in unison. Let’s dive a little into what makes them different and unique in the world of custom fabrication.
Foam milling CNC machining is a cutting technology that utilizes special bits to cut foam to exact specifications. This type of machining is ideal for creating custom foam inserts. Excess material from a solid block of foam is cut away to create empty spaces for the product to lay in. CNC milling is one of the best ways to cut high-density foam and this machining offers a number of benefits. CNC milling yields highly accurate results with consistent product quality, making this type of machining particularly useful in certain industries like aerospace, biomechanics, and electronics. CNC milling is particularly useful in the programming of products with complex shapes.
A hot wire foam cutting machine is an electrical cutting tool for forming structures from foam and similar materials. This device consists of a thin cutting wire made of hard metallic elements or metallic alloys. When operated, wires are heated via electrical resistance to an elevated temperature, evaporating material as it makes contact as it passes through the wire. Foam products are employed in numerous industries attributing to the overall versatility and usefulness of the material itself. With various kinds of foam available and all materials ready to use, the need for a machine to sculpt them is evident.
One of the great advantages of using the hot wire foam router is the removal of large inside areas of the foam. Having to mill negative spaces out of the structure isn’t as efficient. Similarly, milling an overall structure with a complex design may be the optimal usage of FROGMill™ and FROGMill™ Lite where large material blocks are reduced to a sophisticated product.
If you’re still unsure of which CNC system may be the perfect fit for you, or you would like to learn more about how FROG3D® systems may help you and your organization increase production capability and expand manufacturing capability, contact us or see samples of our work here.