The CNC Router Table Top, Where the dust happens
CNC table top
The CNC router table top is where the cutting magic happens. The table top, also called the cutting bed, can make the life of a CNC router operator enjoyable or a nightmare.
Many times when buying a CNC router, the type of table top is often overlooked or the significance underestimated. I assure you there is a design that will fit your needs best.
For example, if you are in the prototyping business, you will probably be working with all kinds of materials and shapes. This would probably push you towards a T-slot style, which offers numerous clamping options. On the other hand, you might produce the same type of product on a daily basis which would push you towards a different style.
On higher end CNC router router tables now days, you may find a combination of different types of cutting table tops. However, it is best to be knowledgeable about what kind of CNC router table will be best for you.
If you are building your own CNC router , your options are limited unless your budget allows. However, there is still a lot of material to be covered regarding the cutting board. This information should be very helpful to your design.
The T-Slot table top
The T-slot table is often seen on traditional CNC milling machines. However, these are usually made of tooling steel and are extremely heavy. The T-slot tables found on CNC routers are usually made of extruded aluminum. There are many advantages to the T-slot type table. However this style can be very...
The Vacuum table top
The vacuum style CNC router table top is often found on higher end models. They can be very useful for many applications. However, there are drawbacks. For example the...
The Perforated table top
Similar to the vacuum table in appearance, the perforated table top is simple yet affective. Much cheaper than a T-slot style bed, yet offers similar performance. The perforated table offers a lot as far as...
The "Disposable" table top
The "The "Disposable" table top is actually one of my favorites. Especially if you are new to operating a CNC router. This table style, usually composed of one or two sheets of high density MDF board, are very useful even if you have some other table top installed. I can't tell you how awful it makes you feel when you cut into your brand new t-slot or vacuum table. Yes I know there are limit switches, touch off pad and sensors to prevent that type of mistake. However, you would be surprised at how often we "bypass" those features. The disposable bed can also...
Building your own CNC router table top
The CNC router table top on a homemade machine is a very important considerations. The budget usually pushes towards the MDF style cutaway table top, which I actually think is best because of its versatility. However, design of the table support and structure should NOT be overlooked. Continue this section for step 6 of the builders guide.