When most people think of CNC machines, they picture large, costly, and revolutionary equipment that can be used to significantly boost productivity. All of this is true, but there are also smaller, more portable CNC machines that can handle production workflows. From desktop CNCs to CNC router kits, these smaller machines can carve and cut many different materials.

Smaller businesses can use this equipment to automate the production of woods, plastic and metals. In fact, some portable CNCs are capable of performing tasks beyond the scope of your typical 3D printer. This means that you get to save on costs, improve flexibility and deliver higher-quality end products.

How portable CNCs work

Portable CNCs are essentially smaller versions of your typical large-scale CNC machine. Most CNCs consist of a programmable centre that's flanked by movable parts. These parts can be programmed to automate many different production workflows. The same framework holds for smaller CNCs, with the difference being that larger parts are more condensed.

You may find that the CNC router is designed to fit along a flat plane that can still carve materials with high efficiency. The compact design allows you to save money, install the machine in tighter spaces and work with a variety of materials.

Benefits of portable CNCs

1. A cost-effective option for small-scale operations

The most obvious benefit of portable CNCs is that they cost less to purchase. You don't have to face high capital investments in order to automate your production process, especially for small-scale operations. Portable CNCs allow you to start with a desktop-size machine that can work with volumes of up to 400mm. You can also select from multiple motors and spindles that have sturdy frames. This added durability results in lower maintenance costs and minimal downtime.

2. Ability to engrave many different materials

Portable CNCs can be programmed to work on a variety of materials. From wood to PVC and acrylic, these smaller-sized machines still pack lots of punch into their frame. They also use interactive software to help you accurately specify dimensions and cutting processes. You can feel confident using portable CNCs to automate the production of many different end products.

3. Open-source software for ultimate flexibility

Speaking of software, portable CNCs are industry leaders in using open-source software. The smaller machines make it possible for developers to experiment with different lines of code and motion-controlled movements. In this way, your smaller CNC may be able to work on very soft material, carve faster and engrave unique designs.

Contact a CNC machining contractor to learn more.