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ATC CNC Router Basics - The Beginner's Guide

2021 Top Rated ATC CNC Routers with Automatic Tool Changer

Are you looking forward to build a CNC automatic tool changer kit or buy affordable ATC CNC routers with automatic tool changer for woodworking, foam cutting, mold making, tone carving, and metal fabrication? Check out the 2021 new automatic tool changer CNC router buyer's guide for CNC machinists, fabricators, operators and beginners, we'll offer you the best ATC CNC machines with automatic tool changer spindle of 2021 with custom automatic tool changer service to fit your CNC projects, CNC ideas and CNC plans.

What Is Automatic Tool Changer (ATC)?

The full form of ATC is Automatic Tool Changer, which is a device for transferring, loading and unloading of tools between the spindle and the tool magazine. Automatic tool changer realizes the needs of continuous machining tool change between the part processes, that is, after each process is completed, the new tool used in the next process is automatically changed to the spindle, the exchange of tools is generally completed by the coordinated action of the manipulator, tool magazine and CNC router 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.

What Is ATC CNC Router?

ATC CNC router is a type of smart CNC machine kit with automatic tool changer spindle for woodworking, stone carving, foam cutting, mold making, and metal fabrication, the spindle usually carries tools magazine of 6 cutters or 8 cutters or 10 cutters or 12 cutters. The CNC tools can automatically change according to the working requirements when the machine works, no need of manual operation, which will improve the working efficiency greatly. There are two types CNC ATC kits, which include linear ATC CNC routers and Disc ATC CNC routers.

Features & Advantages

The high-power automatic tool-changing 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 change device, you can exchange the required tools at will, and the special tool setting table can accurately compensate the tool length error. 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.

Types of Tool Changer

The automatic tool changer 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. Therefore, whether there is an automatic tool change system is an important sign that distinguishes a CNC machine tool from a CNC machining center. 

Automatic tool changer device is mainly divided into three types: direct tool change method, manipulator tool change method and turret head method, we will introduce them one by one.

Direct Tool Change Method

The direct tool change method means that the tool change process is completed by the cooperation of the tool magazine and the spindle box. As the name suggests, this is a direct tool change method.

According to whether the tool magazine is displaced during the tool change process, the direct tool change method can be divided into two methods: the tool magazine shift mode and the tool magazine fixed mode. In the tool magazine shift mode, the tool magazine can be moved. Before the tool is changed, the tool magazine enters the tool change working area, and exits the area after the tool is changed. This kind of tool change method is due to more movement in the tool magazine, the layout is more particular, and the flexibility and adaptability are poor.

In the tool magazine fixed mode, the tool selection is mainly performed by the movement of the headstock. The tool magazine can be kept stationary, or it can only rotate in position. The former can only perform sequential tool selection, which is suitable for CNC machining centers with a small number of tools, while the latter can realize tool selection by indexing. This tool selection method reduces the movement of the tool magazine, can greatly simplify the design structure of the tool magazine, and the control of the tool change process is simple and reliable. 

Automatic Tool Change Method 

Automatic tool change mode with tool magazine 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 automatic 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, so it is widely used in most CNC machining centers.

Turret Head Method

Turret head is a tool change method in which the required tool is moved to the corresponding position through the rotation of the brick tower. It is generally a sequential tool change, which has the advantages of compact structure and extremely short tool change time. It is generally used for machining crankshafts and other slender workpieces that need to complete multiple processes.

The automatic tool changer of the turret head mode is divided into two modes: turret tool post tool change and brick tower spindle head tool change. The tool change method of the turret tool post is to install a ring-mounted tool post on the turret spindle. Different tools are arranged on the tool post in sequence. Through the rotation of the turret head, automatic tool change action is realized. The position of the tool depends on the rotation of the tool post. Index to position. This is the simplest automatic tool changer, which has good rigidity in structure and can withstand the cutting force of rough machining. This kind of device has higher requirements for the positioning accuracy of the rotation of the tool post. If there is an error in the positioning accuracy of the rotation, the tool cannot be sent to an accurate position.

The turret spindle head tool change method also needs to be equipped with a turret, but the turret spindle is not connected to the tool holder, but multiple sub-spindle heads distributed in octopus tentacles in different directions. Each spindle head is installed in advance. Tools required for the process. During work, by rotating the turret, each spindle head rotates to the machining position in turn according to the program instructions, thereby realizing automatic tool change. This way of tool change, because each sub-spindle is concentrated on one turret, it has higher requirements on the rigidity of the turret spindle, and the number of tool spindles is also limited. The turret spindle head tool change method is mainly used in small vertical CNC machining centers.

Because the CNC machining center is equipped with a tool magazine and an automatic changeover system, it can realize that the dealer can complete multiple procedures at one time, reduce the number of special fixtures, shorten the production preparation time, and reduce the positioning error caused by multiple installations, and realize high-efficiency processing. Therefore, the performance of the automatic tool change system directly affects the processing efficiency and effect of the CNC machining center.


The automatic tool changer CNC router machine can be used in various 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.

1. Woodworking: 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.

2. Advertising: Sign making, logo making, lettering, acrylic cutting, blister molding, and decorations.

3. Mold 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.

4. Other industries: It can make all kinds of shadow sculptures and relief sculptures, which are widely used in the craft and gift industry.


CNC router with ATC is the most powerful classification of CNC machine tools. Although the engraving 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.

1. Machine Tool Operation Inspection Method.

The machine tool operation inspection method is a method of observing and monitoring the actual operation of the machine tool 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 automatic tool changer, exchange table device, fixture and transmission device, etc., which can be used to determine the cause of the fault through motion diagnosis.

2. 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.

3. 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 tool to perform these functions, and then determine the cause of the failure. Usually a test program is written with instructions for repairing the machine tool, and the program is run when a fault occurs to determine what the fault is.

4. 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.

5. 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 tool 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.

2021 Top Rated 5 Axis CNC Router for Sale at Cost Price


$100000.00 - $110000.00

2021 top rated 5 axis CNC router is designed for 3D modeling, cutting, and mold making, including automotive foam mold, ship model, building model, metalloid moulds, 3D carving and 3D cutting of large-scale instruments. Now the best five-axis CNC router for sale at cost price within your budget.

4x8 ATC CNC Router with Automatic Tool Changer Spindle for Sale


$18000.00 - $23000.00

4x8 ATC CNC router machine adopts automatic tool changer spindle with tool magazine of 10 cutters, the tools & bits can automatically change to fit different works according to your requirements. The 4x8 CNC router with ATC spindle kit is mainly used for 2D/3D machining of woodworking, cabinet making, door making, mold making, wood arts, wood crafts. Now the best ATC CNC router for sale at cost price.

5x10 CNC Router Table with Linear Automatic Tool Changer for Sale


$14200.00 - $18000.00

5x10 CNC router table with linear automatic tool changer and 60x120 inches table size is mainly used for woodworking, cabinet making, wood door making, wood furniture production and wood crafts, now the best 5x10 CNC router table for sale at a low price.

Automatic Tool Changer CNC Machining Center for Woodworking


$20800.00 - $27000.00

Automatic tool changer CNC machining center is equipped with carousel tool change magazine of 12 tools to improve the working efficiency. All the CNC machining tools can be changed automatically in the working process.

4 Axis CNC Router for Woodworking with ATC System


$22800.00 - $35000.00

4 axis CNC router for woodworking with ATC system is used for carving, cutting, milling and drilling, the 4 axis CNC machine adopts HSD automatic tool changer spindle with 8 position rotary carousel tool holder, which is suitable for machining on different surface.

Disc Automatic Tool Changer CNC Router STM1325D with ATC system


$18000.00 - $23000.00

Disc automatic tool changer CNC router STM1325D with 8 tools ATC system has no need to change tools manually during machining, the ATC CNC router is Intelligent to operate the working process with disc automatic tool changer.

Linear ATC CNC Wood Router with SYNTEC Control System


$20000.00 - $25000.00

Linear ATC CNC wood router with SYNTEC control system is used for decorations, musical instruments, wood crafts, wood furnitures, wood door making, cabinet making, windows, tables, etc. Now the best linear ATC wood CNC router for sale at an affordable price.

Small CNC Router Machine with Automatic Tool Changer (ATC)


$6000.00 - $20000.00

Small CNC router machine 6090 with automatic tool changer (ATC) and 2x3 table size is designed for those who need multiple tools for CNC routing projects without enough space for a larger CNC machine.

Moving Table CNC Router Machine with Automatic Tool Changer


$20000.00 - $30000.00

Moving table CNC router machine with 16 pieces automatic tool changer is used for high precision engraving and cutting on wood, brass, aluminum, foam, plastic, acrylic, MDF and more similar materials.

Affordable Linear ATC CNC Router with Auto Tool Changer


$13888.00 - $18800.00

Affordable linear ATC CNC router with tool changer is a full automatic CNC woodworking machine for furniture making, wood decorations, wood crafts, wood door making, and cabinets making.

Custom Woodworking CNC Machine with Carousel ATC System


$18800.00 - $22800.00

Custom woodworking CNC machine with carousel ATC system is suitable for wood, MDF, plywood engraving, cutting and milling with 12pcs carousel automatic tool changer.

3 Axis CNC Machining Center with ATC System for Woodworking


$20000.00 - $26000.00

3 axis CNC machining center with ATC system for woodworking adopts double disc tool holder including 16pcs different tools, the CNC machining center for woodworking is especially used for wood furniture production.

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