ATC CNC Router Buying Guide
Are you looking forward to build a CNC automatic tool changer kit or buy affordable ATC CNC routers with automated tool changer kits for wood, MDF, aluminum, brass, copper, foam, stone, plastic with routing, cutting, carving, milling, drilling, and grooving? Review 2022 top rated ATC CNC router buyer's guide for CNC machinists, fabricators, operators and beginners, we'll offer you the best CNC routers with ATC kits of 2022 at cost price with custom service to fit your CNC plans, projects, and ideas.
In order to complete multiple processing procedures in one clamping of the workpiece, shorten the auxiliary time, and reduce the error caused by multiple installations of the workpiece, the CNC machine must be equipped with an automatic tool changer, which should meet the basic requirements of short tool change time, high tool repeat positioning accuracy, sufficient tool storage, small tool magazine footprint, safety, and reliability.
What Is Automatic Tool Changer (ATC)?
Automatic Tool Changer is a device for transferring, loading and unloading of tools between the spindle and the tool magazine. Automatic Tool Changer is the full name of ATC in CNC machining.
Automatic tool changer kits drive the CNC machine with continuous working, that is, after each process is completed, the new tool used in the next process is automatically changed to the spindle, and the spindle picks up the tool, the exchange of tools is generally completed by the coordinated action of the manipulator, tool magazine and spindle.
Compared with multi spindle CNC routers, ATC only needs one spindle in the headstock, the spindle components have sufficient rigidity to meet the requirements of various precision machining. In addition, the tool magazine can store a large number of tools for multi-step machining of complex parts, which can significantly improve the adaptability and machining efficiency of CNC router machines. The ATC system in the CNC machining center consists of two parts: a tool magazine and an automatic tool change device. It has two major advantages: the first is that only one spindle is reserved, which is beneficial to simplify the structure of the spindle and improve the rigidity of the spindle; the second is that a large number of tools with different types and functions can be stored in the library, which is convenient complete various complex and multi-step processing procedures.
Automated tool changer kit is composed of tool magazine, tool selection system, tool exchange mechanism and other parts, and the structure is more complicated. It is responsible for transferring the tool between the tool magazine and the spindle, pushing the tool to be used to the spindle, and then sending the replaced tool back to the tool magazine inside. Although this tool change method is not as straightforward as the previous one, it avoids the tool magazine and spindle from moving for tool change, and is replaced by an automated tool changer. In this way, the movement range of the mechanical components is reduced, the tool change is completed faster, and the design layout is also more flexible.
How Does Automatic Tool Changer Work?
In the automatic tool changing system of the CNC machine, the device that realizes the transfer and loading and unloading of the tool between the magazine and the spindle is called the tool changer. There are two ways to exchange tools: the tool exchange is realized by the relative movement of the magazine and the spindle, and the tool is exchanged by the manipulator. The device that uses the relative movement of the magazine and the spindle to realize the tool exchange must first return the used tool to the magazine when changing the tool, and then take out the new tool from the magazine. The two actions cannot be performed at the same time, and the tool change time longer.
However, the manipulator tool changer can grab and load and unload the tools in the spindle and the magazine at the same time during tool change, so the tool change time is further shortened. The method of tool exchange using a robot is the most widely used. This is because the manipulator is flexible in tool change, fast in action, and simple in structure. The manipulator can complete a series of actions such as grasping tool - drawing tool - turning - inserting tool - returning. In order to prevent the tool from falling, the movable claw of the manipulator is equipped with a self-locking mechanism.
What Is ATC CNC Router?
ATC CNC router is a type of high-end professional CNC machine with automatic tool changer for cabinet making, door making, furniture making, crafts making, decorations, musical instruments, sign making, windows, tables, and most popular woodworking projects & plans. The spindles usually carry tool magazines with 6 cutters or 8 cutters or 10 cutters or 12 cutters. The tools can automatically change according to the working requirements when the machine works, no need of manual operation. You will meet three most common types of ATC CNC router kits, which include linear ATC CNC kits, drum ATC CNC kits (rotary ATC CNC kits), and chain ATC CNC kits.
Features & Advantages
The high-power automatic tool changer spindle is adopted, with good starting performance and large torque, which can give full play to the advantages of the machine's high speed and higher efficiency. It adopts high-torque servo motor made in Japan, which has the advantages of low noise, high speed and high positioning accuracy. Equipped with a unique tool magazine, you can exchange the required router bits at will. The tool change time only takes a few seconds. The standard tool magazine comes with 8 tools, and a larger capacity tool magazine can be customized.
How Many Types of Automatic Tool Changers?
Automatic tool changers are mainly divided into three common types: linear type, drum type, and chain type, we will introduce them one by one.
Linear Type Tool Changer
This is a type of in-line tool changer, which used for magazines with 4 to 12 tools. It is featured by fast tool change and easy to use.
Drum Type Tool Changer
This is a type of rotary tool changer, which is also known as CTM type ATC and disc type ATC. It is used for magazines with 8 to 20 tools.
Chain Type Tool Changer
It is mainly used for vertical CNC machines with lower tool changing speed. It is designed for magazines with more than 30 tools, which has the best tool carrying capacity.
How To Change Tool in CNC Machining?
Rotary Tool Holder
Rotary tool post is one of the simplest automatic tool changers, commonly used in CNC lathes. It can be designed into various forms such as square tool rest, hexagonal tool rest or disc type axial tool rest. Four, six or more tools are respectively installed on the rotary tool holder, and the tools are changed according to the instructions of the numerical control device.
The rotary tool holder must have good strength and rigidity in structure to withstand the cutting resistance during rough machining. Since the turning machining accuracy largely depends on the position of the tool tip, for CNC lathes, the tool position is not adjusted manually during the machining process, so it is more necessary to choose a reliable positioning scheme and a reasonable positioning structure to ensure the rotary tool After each indexing, the rack has the highest possible repeat positioning accuracy (usually 0.001-0.005mm).
Under normal circumstances, the tool change action of the rotary tool holder includes the tool holder lifting, the tool holder indexing and the tool holder pressing.
Spindle Head Changing
Spindle head changing is a relatively simple tool change method for CNC machines with rotating tools. This spindle head is actually a turret tool magazine.
There are two types of spindle heads: horizontal and vertical. Usually, the spindle head is replaced by the index of the turret to realize automatic tool change. On each spindle of the turret, the rotating tools required for each process are pre-installed. When a tool change command is issued, each spindle head turns to the processing position in turn, and the main motion is turned on, so that the corresponding spindle drives the tool to rotate. The other spindles in the non-processing position are disconnected from the main motion.
This spindle tool changing device saves a series of complicated operations such as automatic loosening, clamping, unloading, loading and tool handling, thereby shortening tool changing time and improving tool changing reliability. However, due to the limitation of the space position, the structure size of the main shaft components cannot be too large, thus affecting the rigidity of the main shaft system. In order to ensure the rigidity of the main shaft, the number of main shafts must be limited, otherwise the structure size will increase. Therefore, the turret spindle head is usually only suitable for machines with few processes and low precision requirements, such as CNC drilling and milling machines.
Automatic Tool Changing System
Since the rotary tool rest and turret head type tool changer can not accommodate too many tools, they cannot meet the processing needs of complex parts. Therefore, automatic tool change CNC machines mostly use automatic tool changers with tool magazines. The automatic tool changing device with a tool magazine consists of a tool magazine and a tool changing mechanism, and the changing process is more complicated. First of all, all the tools used in the machining process should be installed on the standard tool holder, and after pre-adjusting the size outside the machine, put them into the magazine in a certain way. When changing, first select the tool in the magazine, and then the tool changer will take out the tool from the magazine or the spindle for exchange, put the new tool into the spindle, and put the old tool back into the magazine. The tool magazine has a large capacity and can be mounted on the side or above the headstock. Since there is only one spindle in the headstock of the CNC machine with the automatic tool changer with the magazine, the rigidity of the spindle components should be high to meet the requirements of precision machining.
In addition, the number of tools in the magazine is large, so multi-process processing of complex parts can be carried out, which greatly improves the adaptability and processing efficiency of the machine. The automatic tool changer system with tool magazine is suitable for CNC drilling centers and machining centers.
How To Choose Magazine And Tool?
Tool Magazine Type
The function of the tool magazine is to reserve a certain number of tools, which can be exchanged with the tools on the spindle through the manipulator. There are various types of tool magazines, such as disc magazines, chain magazines, etc. The form and capacity of the magazines should be determined according to the technological scope of the machine. In the disc tool magazine, the direction of the tool is in the same direction as the spindle. When changing the tool, the spindle box rises to a certain position, so that the tool on the spindle is aligned with the bottom position of the magazine, and the tool is clamped Hold, the spindle is under the control of CNC, release the tool handle, the disc tool magazine moves forward, pulls out the tool on the spindle, and then the magazine rotates the tool used in the next process to the position aligned with the spindle, the magazine Backward, insert the new tool into the spindle hole, the spindle clamps the tool holder, the spindle box is lowered to the working position, the tool change task is completed, and the next process is processed. The advantages of this tool changing device are simple structure, low cost, and good tool changing reliability; the disadvantage is that the tool changing time is long, and it is suitable for machining centers with small tool magazine capacity.
For machining centers that require a large tool magazine capacity, a chain tool magazine can be used. The chain tool magazine has a compact structure and a large tool magazine capacity. The shape of the chain ring can be made into various types according to the layout of the machine. Shape, the tool change position can also be protruded to facilitate tool change. When the number of tools needs to be increased, it is only necessary to increase the length of the chain, which brings convenience to the design and manufacture of the tool magazine.
Tool Selection Method
There are many tools stored in the general tool magazine. Before each tool change, the tool must be selected. The commonly used tool selection methods include sequential tool selection and arbitrary tool selection. The tools are inserted into the tool holders of the magazine in turn according to the process requirements. The processing is to adjust the tools in sequence. When processing different workpieces, the order of the tools in the tool magazine must be re-adjusted. The advantage is that the drive and control of the magazine are relatively simple. Therefore, this method is suitable for automatic tool change of small and medium-sized CNC machines with large processing batches and small number of workpiece varieties.
With the development of numerical control system, most numerical control systems at present adopt the method of arbitrary tool selection, which is divided into three types: tool holder coding, tool coding and memory type.
Tool Coding Method
Tool coding or tool holder coding requires a coding strip installed on the tool or holder for identification, which is generally coded according to the principle of binary coding. Tool coding The tool selection method adopts a special tool shank structure and codes each tool. Each tool has its own code, so the tool can be reused many times in different processes, the replaced tool does not need to be put back into the original tool seat, and the capacity of the magazine can be reduced accordingly.
However, each tool has a special coding ring, the length of the tool is lengthened, it is difficult to manufacture, and the structure of the magazine and the manipulator becomes complicated. The way of tool holder coding is that one tool only corresponds to one holder, and the tool taken out from one holder must be put back into the same holder, which is very troublesome to pick up and deliver the tool, and it takes a long time to change. At present, the memory method is widely used in machining centers. In this way, the number and the position of the tool holder in the magazine can be correspondingly stored in the PLC of the CNC system. No matter which holder the tool is placed in, the tool information is always stored in the PLC. The magazine is equipped with a position detection device, which can obtain the position information of each tool holder. This way the tool can be taken out and returned at will. There is also a mechanical origin on the magazine, so that the nearest tool is selected each time a tool is selected.
What Is ATC CNC Router with Tool Changer Used For?
ATC CNC router machines can be used in a wide range of industries, such as furniture and home improvement, wooden crafts, cabinets, screens, advertising, musical instruments or precision instrument shell processing industries. And the materials that can be processed mainly include various non-metallic materials such as wood, glass, stone, plastic, acrylic, and insulating materials.
Home doors, 3D wave board machining, cabinet doors, solid wood doors, craft wooden doors, paint-free doors, screens, craft window making, shoe polishers, game machine cabinets and panels, computer tables and panel furniture making.
It can make metal molds such as copper, aluminum, iron and more, as well as non-metal molds such as wood, stone, plastic, PVC, and more.
Advertising & Hobbyists
Sign making, logo making, lettering, acrylic cutting, blister molding, and decorations.
It can make all kinds of shadow sculptures and relief sculptures, which are widely used in the crafts and gifts industries.
CNC router with ATC is the most powerful classification of CNC machines. Although the machining strength and speed are incomparable to other CNC machines, as a fully automated mechanical equipment, daily inspection and maintenance are also very necessary. A CNC router with tool changer is completely different from the detection and fault diagnosis methods of ordinary CNC machines.
Machine Operation Inspection Method
The operation inspection method is a method of observing and monitoring the actual operation of the machine to determine the position of the malfunction and thus to trace the root cause of the fault. Generally speaking, CNC machine kits adopt hydraulic and pneumatic control parts, such as automated tool changer, exchange table device, fixture and transmission device, etc., which can be used to determine the cause of the fault through motion diagnosis.
State Analysis Method
The CNC system can not only display fault diagnosis information, but also provide various states of diagnosis in the form of diagnosis address and diagnosis data. For example, when the system returns to the reference point incorrectly, you can check the status value of the relevant parameter to determine the cause of the failure.
CNC Programming Check Method
The CNC programming check method is also called the program function test method. It is a method to confirm the cause of the failure by compiling a special test program segment. You can use the manual programming method to compile a function test program for the system functions (such as linear positioning, circular interpolation, thread cutting, canned cycles, user macro programs, etc.), and run the test program to check The accuracy and reliability of the machine to perform these functions, and then determine the cause of the failure. Usually a test program is written with instructions for repairing the machine, and the program is run when a fault occurs to determine what the fault is.
Instrument Inspection Method
Instrument inspection method refers to the use of conventional electrical instruments to measure the voltage of each group of AC and DC power supplies, phase DC and pulse signals, etc., to find faults.
Numerical Control System Self-Diagnosis Method
The self-diagnosis of the numerical control system is a diagnostic method that uses the internal self-diagnosis program or special diagnostic software of the system to self-diagnose and test the key hardware inside the system and the control software of the system. It mainly includes power-on self-diagnosis, online monitoring and offline testing. The CNC machine uses the system's self-diagnosis function, which can easily display the interface signal status between the system and each part, and find out the general location of the fault. It is the most commonly used method in the fault diagnosis process.
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Customer Reviews and Testimonials
- Asa Uribe from United StatesPosted on Jan 07, 2022An amazing ATC CNC router with tool changer for the cost. It is packaged extremely well, and easy to put together. Works very well. It does exactly what you tell it to do. The customer service for in my opinion is outstanding. I had an issue and got the answer for it with in minutes. Very knowledgeable service team. I have made several cuts and haven’t had any problems.
- Zachary from United StatesPosted on Jan 21, 2021Long story short, I'm really happy with the five axis CNC router, it runs really well and the I've found the software SYNTEC easy to follow. Any questions I had were answered promptly and when you contact the help desk, it's Mike that responds and his suggestions are simple to follow and always right on point. If you're thinking about getting into CNC, I highly recommend STYLECNC.
- David Smith from United StatesPosted on Dec 18, 2020This is a solid, well-made CNC machine. It's a whole lot better than the old craftsman CNC router table I had. That was a piece of junk in comparison. I purchased this machine two months ago and I haven't seen anything close to the quality and features of this machine in this price range. It's very good value for the machine price.
- Franklin Sosa from United StatesPosted on Oct 30, 2020My father in law bought me STM1325C for my birthday of 2020. I was very great full. Compared to other ordinary CNC router machines, its amazing for cabinet door making. It requires patience, research and careful studying. It takes time to learn this CNC kit. You have to know how to use design software and have a basic understanding of G-Code, GRBL, machine setup, and general knowledge of the working functions of the CNC machine.
- Christian from United StatesPosted on Oct 23, 2020After connecting the power I used this cnc router for the first time to make some simple door. I was very impressed with this machine and accessories. They work seamlessly together.
I was using red oak to make door and table and it is beautiful after finishing. I didn't feel the need to do any hand sanding because there were no boo boos.
- Benjamin from CanadaPosted on Oct 23, 2020I did a research online for multi axis CNC router for three months, and I inspected five CNC machine manufacturers from German and China, finally, I made a decision from the quality, technique, skill, power and price, I bought it from STYLECNC. 62 days later, I got the machine with 7 days door-to-door training at the same time. Now I can use the machine easily for 3D mold making, I have to say, it's a great buy for me.
- Dave from United StatesPosted on Feb 23, 2020I really like the 3 axis CNC machine. When I received this machine, it was completely packaged and included with various training videos and user manual. I used it to make a wooden door and the effect was great. This machine is really suitable for my work. Thanks to the help of STYLECNC.
- Hilliard from United KingdomPosted on Feb 21, 2020I had a lot of fun putting it together and making my first cuts. I used the CNC machine to make musical instrument - guitar, automatically change tools, automatically cutting. Fun to use and can let it do the fine details. I have really enjoyed this machine so far. Easily my favorite purchase of the year.
- Selye János from SlovakiaPosted on Feb 14, 2020Just purchased this 5-axis CNC machine 2 months ago, Well packaged. All parts received. Directions worked with a small learning curve. Assembly was straight forward and modular. Sturdy construction. I figured out some techniques to make them behave. Plenty of expansion capability. It works fine. I am glad that I found this unit and it is really convinient for my 3D woodworking projects, it made the whole process much more simple. I like it.
- Ahsan Habib from BangladeshPosted on Feb 06, 2020I just finished a set of raised panel cabinet doors which is about the most challenging thing I use a cnc router table for. The doors ended up nice with the good fit, the minor flaws are most likely due to the operator, not the tools.
Overall, I would recommend this machine to the friend.