CNC router or Cut Center...Which is Better for Me?

Nested based manufacturing and CNC routers are well known to most cabinetmakers. Thermwood Cut Centers, less so, but there is a big difference between the two, even though they produce essentially the same products. This difference means that cabinetmakers wanting to automate must make a decision. Which direction is better for them? 

The major difference between a CNC router and a Thermwood Cut Center is in who addresses the details of each cabinet design and how involved the user must be in the underlying technology.

CNC router - the Basics

A CNC router system consists of three fundamental elements:

  • A PC computer able to run sophisticated software
  • A cabinet design software package that can produce the required CNC programs
  • A machine to execute the CNC programs.

With a traditional CNC router system, the user designs the cabinets and addresses all of the design details. They must also become intimately involved with the underlying technology. They are responsible for selecting, installing, learning and running the software.

They must also understand the intricacies of the machine control and operation so that their programs run properly. They must adjust and maintain machine parameters, select and set up tooling and deal with vacuum hold down and the spoilboard.