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Which auto tool changer CNC router is better for me?

April 18, 2024
which auto tool changer CNC Router is better for me?

Everyone should be familiar with the CNC router, i.e. a CNC machine kit whose tool paths can be controlled by computer numerical control. It is a computer-controlled machine for cutting various hard materials, such as wood, composites, aluminium, steel, plastics and foams. It is one of many types of tools that have CNC variants. A CNC router is very similar in concept to a CNC milling machine. But are you familiar with the CNC router with auto tool change? It is a high-end type of CNC milling machine that has a higher working speed, higher accuracy, longer service life, and so on. If you are planning to buy a suitable ATC CNC router for your workshop, then you should know it well firstly. 

1. What is the auto tool changer (ATC)? 

The auto tool changer is a device for transferring, loading and unloading tools between the spindle and the tool magazine. Automatic tool changer is the full name of ATC in CNC machining. ATC CNC router is a kind of CNC machining centre with an automatic tool changer kit that changes the router bits in the tool magazine automatically instead of manual operation based on different designs for making cabinets, wood doors, furniture, crafts, decorations, musical instruments, sign making, windows, tables, and most popular woodworking projects and plans.

The auto tool changer cnc router machine usually carry tool magazines with 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 bits and cutters. The tools can change automatically according to the job needs as the machine works, without the need for manual operation. You will know some common types of ATC CNC router kits, which include linear ATC CNC kits, disc ATC CNC kits (rotary ATC CNC kits) and simple ATC CNC kits.  

2. How does the auto tool changer work? 

In the auto tool changer system,  there are two ways of exchanging tools: the relative motion of the magazine and the spindle, and the manipulator. The device that uses the relative motion of the magazine and spindle to perform the tool exchange must first return the used tool to the magazine when changing the tool, and then remove the new tool from the magazine. The two actions cannot be performed at the same time, and the tool change time is longer.

The tool change manipulator can grip and load and unload the drills in the spindle and magazine at the same time during the change, so the tool change time is further shortened. The robot method of tool change is the most commonly used. This is because the manipulator is flexible in changeover, fast in action, and simple in structure. The manipulator can complete a series of actions such as grasp - pull out - rotate - insert - return. To prevent the drill bit from falling, the movable claw of the manipulator is equipped with a self-locking mechanism. 

3. Features and advantages of ATC CNC router

ATC CNC router adopts high-power automatic tool changer spindle, with good starting performance and large torque, which can give full play to the advantages of high machine speed and higher efficiency. It adopts Japanese-made high-torque servo motor, which has the advantages of low noise, high speed and high positioning accuracy. Equipped with a unique tool magazine, it can change the required drills at will. The tool change time takes only a few seconds. The standard tool magazine comes with 8 tools, and a larger capacity tool magazine can be customized. 

4. Different types of auto tool changers for cnc routers.

1) Linear ATC CNC Router

This is a type of in-line tool changer installed on the back of the machine body, which is used for magazines with 4 to 12 tools. It is characterized by quick tool change and easy to use. 

The ATC CNC router with linear auto tool changer is suitable for milling, drilling, cutting and edge chamfering. Excellent spare parts, accurate precision detection instrument, which ensure the machine with perfect location and working accuracy. As for the auto tool magazine, for example, the most popular atc cnc router M5ATC, includes 4 linear tool changer kits, the tool changes are done quickly.

2) Disc ATC CNC Router (carousel).

This is a type of carousel tool changer, which is also known as rotary type ATC. It is used for loaders with 8 to 20 tools.  The rotary tool post is one of the simplest automatic tool changers, commonly used on CNC lathes. It can be designed in various shapes such as square, hexagonal or axial tool support disc. Four, six or more tools are installed in the rotary tool holder respectively, and the drills are changed according to the instructions of the numerical control device.

The rotary tool holder must have good strength and rigidity in its structure to withstand the cutting resistance during rough machining. Since the accuracy of turning machining depends largely on the position of the tool tip, for computer numerical control lathes, the position of the tool is not adjusted manually during the machining process, so it is more necessary to choose a reliable positioning scheme and reasonable positioning structure to secure the rotary tool. After each indexing, the rack has the highest possible repeat positioning accuracy (usually 0.001-0.005mm). Under normal circumstances, the changing action of the rotary tool holder includes lifting the tool holder, indexing the tool holder and pressing the tool holder. 

3) Simple multi-process tool changer of cnc router machine. 

Also called spindle tool changer, it is a relatively simple tool changing method for CNC machines with rotating tools. This spindle head is actually a turret tool magazine. There are two types of spindles: horizontal and vertical. Typically, the turret indexing is used to replace the spindle head to perform automatic tool change. The rotary tools required for each process are pre-installed in each turret head. When a tool change command is issued, each spindle head rotates to the processing position in turn, and the main motion is activated, so that the corresponding spindle drives the drill bit to rotate. The other spindles in non-machining positions are disconnected from the main motion.

The spindle tool change device saves a series of complicated operations such as automatic loosening, clamping, unloading, loading and unloading, thus shortening changeover time and improving changeover reliability. However, due to the limitation of space position, the structural size of the spindle components cannot be too large, which affects the rigidity of the spindle system. To ensure the rigidity of the spindle, it is necessary to limit their number, otherwise the structural size will increase. Therefore, the turret spindle head is usually only suitable for machines with few processes and low precision requirements, such as CNC milling machines and drilling machines. 

For now, you should already know the auto tool changer cnc router well. We Missilecnc as a professional manufacturer, have many years experience to produce all kinds of cnc router, have experienced produce team and after sale service team. If you plan to buy a cnc router, welcome to contact us at any time, will give you suitable advice help to choose a best machine !

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