A CNC wood router can be used to manufacture large numbers of furniture parts in a very short period of time. Although the setup of the tool can be time-consuming, it is well worth it for large factories that require 10,000 identical components for a chair, table or armoire, for example. The CNC router can be programmed to cut pieces out of hardwood or out of sheet goods such as MDF or plywood.
Adhesive vinyl signs are made by cutting letters out of large sheets of vinyl and applying them to a backing. These letters are cut out using a CNC sign cutter with a very fine blade attached. The machine is accurate enough that it can cut through the vinyl without cutting through the backing behind the vinyl. Keeping the backing in one piece means the letters don't fall apart after the CNC cutter has created them.
CNC cutting machines can create in three dimensions as well as two. More complicated and expensive CNC machines feature cutters that are mounted on heads that are affixed to dual axes, allowing them to rotate vertically, horizontally and laterally. The cutter is then capable of machining three-dimensional parts for machines and equipment to very high tolerances. In some cases, the CNC machine will mill the basic shape of a component. The component will then be transferred to another machine to have holes drilled into it or finer details added.
In addition to technical and construction applications, CNC machines are capable of aesthetic pursuits as well. A CNC machine can be programmed to engrave on the surface of wood, metal, plastic or other materials, enabling manufacturers to decorate and beautify their products in an efficient and consistent way. Engraving can range from subtle accenting on a piece of fine furniture to identifying serial numbers etched into the surface of machine parts.