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  • Flatbed Cutter & CNC Machines, advice needed please?

    Posted by David Wilde on January 22, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Morning all,

    We are increasingly seeing a requirement to be able to cut and shape ACM, Aluminium, perspex and foamex.
    Therefore I have begun looking into machines which might be suitable.

    The only problem is, that none of the companies that sell these machines actually want to give you a price without them calling to give the hard sell.
    Every listing has ‘click for quote’ and I have no idea whether these machines are £1000 or £10000000000000.

    Can anybody help point me in the right direction?
    With a guide on how much I might be investing (obviously I don’t want the £10000000000000 version if can be avoided).

    Thanks in advance

    David Wilde replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Paul Stenning

    January 22, 2024 at 11:58 am

    We’ve had a Veloblade Nexus from Vivid Laminating for around 18 months and paid £60k for it.

    We looked at most on the market at the time, the likes of Zund and Kongsberg were just a step too far and for us it came down to a choice between the Veloblade 2516 and a Summa F1832.

    Initially we would have liked to have gone for the more tried and tested Summa, but we had demos on both and the Summa didn’t outperform the Veloblade in any area.

    My only criticism, and it wouldn’t be a deal breaker is that the software can be a bit glitchy and it’s not that intuitive. If I were buying again and I had the space I would go for a 3m bed not 2.5m

    Whichever you go for, I’m sure you won’t regret it, it’s probably the best investment we’ve made, being able to cut ACM, Acrylic and Foamex to shape has been great and it’s also made us much more efficient, and more accurate at cutting posters, roller banners etc.

  • David Wilde

    January 22, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you Paul, that’s a great help.

  • David Stevenson

    January 23, 2024 at 11:54 pm

    You could have a chat with these guys
    We got our 8×4 ATC CNC from them.
    Has a 12-tool carousel so no need to keep setting up and adjusting for different materials/finishes.
    It was £35,000 but you could go up or down on cost depending on what you need.
    Fantastic piece of kit that gives us an edge over some of our local competitors and adds some nice new products to our range.

  • David Wilde

    January 24, 2024 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks David I will take a look at what they have to offer.

  • RobertLambie

    January 29, 2024 at 2:11 am

    Hi David

    I think you need to consider exactly what you intend to do with your machine.
    Flat-cutting letters and shapes from ACM, Acrylic, Foamex, forming pan signs etc. is all pretty much bog standard stuff. The software for these simple processes does not have to be complex and the most decent CNC machines will do it in their sleep. My point here is, watch you are not overestimating the model you will require for these basic functionalities.

    Machine bed cutting size, matters! If you want to make ACM pans for shop fronts etc, you want 8x4ft or 10x5ft cutting area at “a minimum”. Just make sure you have the area in your workshop available. The Gantry width on the machines varies greatly, so the bed width might be 5ft but the overall width can be 8ft wide.

    You may want to consider second-user models. plenty of auction sites, as well as the likes of eBay. Big savings, but the issue with second-user machines is you will pick up large routers for £10k – £15k but like a second-hand car, you do not know how hard it’s been run. You will also not get trained or after-sales support. That said, when you contact a CNC supplier, and ask them about ex-demo and second-user model availability, you may be surprised.

    I would certainly list AXYZ Automation, based in Telford, as one to consider.

    No matter who you go with, be clear right away what it is you need the machine to be able to do.
    Do not let them over-spec you on functions and stuff you will never require. Do not get me wrong though, once you have your machine, it will open up doors, and inspire you to offer stuff you hadn’t even considered before.

  • RobertLambie

    January 29, 2024 at 2:13 am
  • David Wilde

    January 30, 2024 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks Rob, as always very helpful advice 👍

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