M.1000 Vacuum Table System

Item Number:

12324

499.00 499.0 USD

499.00

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Description

The STEPCRAFT M-Series CNC Systems are one of the only benchtop CNC's that offer an integrated flow-thru vacuum table solution. When processing panels and sheet material, there is no better way to hold the material in place than with vacuum. There are no clamps to accidentally hit and no tape to deal with. Simply place your work material on the vacuum table and it is held securely in place while you mill, carve and engrave.

The M-Series Flex-Grid Vacuum Table uses our grid system which allows you to section off areas of the table to adapt to specific shapes and sizes of panels that need to process. Or you can simply leave the cord around the perimeter of the table to maximize the material work area on the machine.

When you have long production runs where you are cutting the same parts over and over, you can easily design a vacuum fixture that sits on top of the vacuum table to focus all the vacuum hold down to a very specific shape making the M-Series CNC a true production machine.

When cutting parts out completely, it is necessary to use a sacrificial board (also known as a spoilboard). These are typically made from MDF. You simply cut the MDF to the required size for your project and set up the cord in the grid so that it is just inside the perimeter of the spoilboard. Then you surface both sides of the MDF, removing around .030" to .040" to eliminate the compressed glue layer on the MDF. Doing so, allows the vacuum to flow freely through the MDF, securely holding your material in place. To cut parts out of your material, you will usually program it so the cutter passes about .010" below the bottom of the material into the spoilboard.

The M-Series Flex-Grid Vacuum Table is designed to fit on the machine in place of the standard MDF/T-Track, or Aluminum T-Slot tables. It will sit flush with the top of the machine giving you access to the full Z height of the machine. You can also position the vacuum table in the lower table location on the M-Series to give you even more working Z height.

 
 

Vacuum Table FAQ

WHAT TYPE OF VACUUM IS REQUIRED FOR OPERATION?

The Vacuum Table is designed to work with a standard shop vac with a 2 1/2" hose which will provide more than enough holding power for your projects. Please note that most shop vacuums use a single motor for both suction and cooling. As such, we do NOT recommend using these types of vacuums for long periods of time as they can overheat and burn out. If you have jobs that will need to run for 10-15 minutes or more, we suggest the Fein Turbo II shop vac. This vacuum uses dual fans; one for suction and one for cooling. They can run for longer periods of time without worry about them overheating.

WHAT VACUUM SHOULD I USE FOR LONG RUNS?

If you use your M-Series CNC for long periods of time each day then you really should look into a dedicated Vacuum pump system like the Black Box Storm. This is designed for production CNC use. Call us or email to find out more information.

CAN I USE A DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM AS A VACUUM PUMP?

No, dust collection systems are designed to move a high volume of air for effective dust removal from shop tools and machines, however, they operate at a very low pressure. They would not have enough power to provide any holding force for the vacuum table.

CAN I USE THE SAME SHOP VACUUM FOR THE VACUUM TABLE AND MY DUST COLLECTION?

No. Vacuum airflow works like water, it will always take the path of least resistance. So when you use the same vacuum for dust collection and vacuum hold down, the path of least resistance is the dust collection so this will divert all of the vacuum flow away from the table and to the dust collection system. You get the most holding power, we recommend a dedicated vacuum for the Flex-Grid Vacuum Table System.

SHOULD I BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT MY VACUUM'S PSI OR CFM RATINGS?

When using a high-flow vacuum there are two things to keep in mind when choosing a vacuum pump: airflow and air pressure. These types of vacuum tables can be leaky as air will move through the spoilboard and around its edges. Because of this, you want to choose a vacuum that has as high a "CFM" value that you can get. This refers to the amount of airflow that a vacuum can generate. A typical shop vac will produce from 90-180 CFM depending on the size. The higher the CFM, the more airflow you have which helps hold parts in place. Air pressure will affect the amount of force that a part is being held down with. A typical shop vac can deliver 4-8 PSI of hold-down pressure. The best solution would be a powerful vacuum with high CFM, but those pump systems can be very expensive. A 6hp shop vac like those from Rigid at Home Depot will deliver a good amount of CFM at around 6-7 PSI of holding force making them a good solution for these vacuum tables.