Are CNC Burn Tables a Good or Bad Idea?

Are CNC Burn Tables a Good or Bad Idea?

Whether you fabricate parts for the aviation, medical, construction, or automotive industries, it can be very beneficial to add a CNC burn table to your manufacturing arsenal. These tables allow for high-end cutting using oxy-fuel, plasma, or fine plasma. Regardless of the cutting system, these burn tables assure fast turnaround times while reducing the risk of costly mistakes.

What is a CNC Burn Table?

CNC burn table is another name for a thermal cutting machine that melts materials. Some manufacturers use it to remove metal from the cutting zone via vaporization. These burn tables rely on computer-aided controls (CNC) to prevent human errors and offer parts that require little-to-no cleanup or post processing.

CNC burn tables also facilitate machining processes like turning, milling, and laser cutting. Their flexible nature allows them to hold a wide range of materials, including some extremely strong and durable metals (think steel). The materials are then burned by plasma, oxy-fuel, or lasers.

Benefits of CNC Burn Tables

No Fixed Tooling Required

For most kinds of fabrication, specialized cleanup tools need to be prepared in advance. This increases the lead time and can raise the cost of production. CNC burn tables remove these requirements and let you cycle through/vaporize the metal burned to complete the job.

Better Quality and Consistency

Many CNC table processes rely on human input, making them susceptible to error. Although machines aren’t perfect, CNC burn tables can follow instructions to within a fraction of a millimeter. Plus, these machines also run the same job a second, third, or more times with minimal deviation from the initial one. This is beneficial for producing multiple iterations of a part or scaling or downsizing production with the same machine.

Fast Cutting

Did you know that CNC burn tables can cut materials in a matter of minutes, whereas traditional machines may take hours to do the same job? The fact that modern CNC tables rely on fine plasma makes them very fast compared to other systems. Additionally, engineering teams can benefit from the short lead time of CNC burn tables; they can quickly make modifications and design parts as necessary for a given project.

Lower Costs

CNC burn tables help reduce new product development costs since they eliminate the cost of cleanup tools in each run. This enables you to gear your resources toward other critical aspects of product development, such as quality control and part testing. What’s more, some CNC burn tables like water tables keep cut parts cool and dissipate heat, reducing the cost of part replacement.

High Accuracy

CNC (computer numerical control) machines can achieve tolerances of ±4 μm, making them one of the most accurate machining technologies of our time. With modern CNC machines, you can make quick-turn cuts with high precision and dimensional stability. Parts of different sizes, shapes, and intricate designs can be manufactured with the help of this technique.

CNC Burn Table Tips

There are some best practices for getting the most out of CNC burn tables while creating the parts you desire. These include:

Consider Tool Geometry

CNC machining operations are high on rotation, and the axial traits of the workpiece or the cutting tools must be factored into the process.

Many cutting tools have a limited cutting length and are cylindrical, meaning all cutting operations would bear the shape of the tool. This causes the internal corners and other features to have a larger radius and may also require more complex machining.

The outcome also includes more metal waste, which can be eliminated with the help of a CNC table.

Expand Order Volume to Reduce Costs

CNC burn tables are best for high order volumes to keep per-unit costs low. Scaling the production volume drastically reduces table prices without creating significant overhead.

And while CNC machining is associated with high material costs due to increased wastage, the chips can often be cycled with burn tables. This means the overall environmental impact of the process can be negated to some extent.

Align Your CNC Burn Table with Project Requirements

Not all CNC burn tables are created equal—the right type for you will depend on the nature of your project. If you want it for an industrial-scale fabrication task, you’d need a more specialized table such as a high-definition fine plasmas system. However, a basic CNC burn table may be sufficient for smaller, home-based shops.

Squickmon’s is a top supplier of CNC burn tables, all of which are made in the USA. Our tables are designed to work with top plasma cutter brands, including Hypertherm and Victor Thermal Dynamics. Get in touch with a representative today to learn more about your options; our experts would be happy to educate and advise you.

 Simon Patterson

Simon Patterson

Simon Patterson is the owner and founder of Squickmon's Engineering & Engineering. With over 15 years of fabrication and manufacturing experience, alongside a mechanical engineering degree, he knows exactly what it takes to create a quality product for small fabrication shops as well as large industrial manufacturing companies. He set out to create a company that stands by their products with confidence as well as integrity. His goal was to build a company with a strong foundation, quality product, satisfied customers, and a product that is 100 percent designed and built in the USA.

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