GASKETING FOR CNC ROUTER VACUUM APPLICATIONS
For CNC Routers, for spoilboards and, most importantly, for parts...
The All Star CNC Gasketing product line consists of five major product categories:
GRID GASKETING - Non-adhesive material for the channels of the CNC router pod/table itself.
IN-BOARD GASKETING - Gasketing placed in the channels of a pre-made dedicated vacuum fixture.
COVER GASKETING - Also for dedicated fixtures for dedicated parts, but when parts have limited surface area to vacuum clamp
ON-BOARD GASKETING - The most commonly ordered product category: Quick, surface mounted gasket that creates vacuum clamp on the part as opposed to simple downdraft through an MDF spoilboard.
NESTED BASE TILE GASKETING - For customers in Nested Base environments with constantly changing parts, these gasketing tiles produce a downdraft assist to an MDF spoilboard. It also increase vacuum efficiency by preventing vacuum loss due to the non-porous nature of the covering.
Every CNC Router that is employing vacuum hold-down methods needs to incorporate some type of gasketing material. Most operators are familiar with the gasketing material that is placed in the outer most channel of their CNC router table. Many CNC Router training seminars will mention: “make sure to get some gasketing material to get good seal around your spoilboards”. This gasketing material is essential to fill the void between the router table and the spoilboard, creating a quality vacuum clamp on the spoilboards. We call this Grid Gasketing, and all new and potential users of CNC routers are taught that their machines vacuum performance is dependent on this seal.
The ideal product will fill the channel width-wise evenly and stick above the surface of the channel by roughly 1/16”. Also, a rounded channel should be fitted with a round gasket. Squared channels should be fitted with squared gasketing products. All Star CNC has a Grid Gasket product for each CNC Router Manufacturer. The proper Grid Gasketing product for a particular channel size is crucial to maximizing vacuum performance. Too narrow and it will slip in the channel. Too wide and it will pinch when trying to zero out on the z-depth.
When routing repetitive parts, best solution may very well be to make a dedicated vacuum fixture. When using a non-porous fixture material, a vacuum source can be created for each piece, reducing vacuum loss. Using a non-porous fixture board also greatly reduces the vacuum loss that would occur through the sides and exposed tool paths of a porous board, like MDF. An adhesive backing keeps the gasketing material in the pre-routed channels.
In-Board Gasketing is intended for long-term use applications. We call these dedicated fixtures as opposed to spoilboards. In-Board Gasketing is longer lasting than surface mounted gasketing because it is recessed into the fixture. When the vacuum is engaged, the gasketing can only compress down the the height of the fixture. We recommend a 3-to-1 ration in terms of how much sticking above the fixture surface.
When looking for the quickest and most cost effective way to create a vacuum clamp, the ideal solution is On-Board Gasketing. It is the easiest way to improve a vacuum hold down application on an MDF spoilboard vs downdraft hold only, and frankly it is not even a fair fight. When introducing gasketing, it changes the hold down environment from a simple downdraft system to a vacuum clamping, suction-cup style system. It is a different science. The vacuum clamp hold that is achieved with gasketing is 20X the vacuum pressure of a simple down-draft system. A simple flick of a finger can move a part on a MDF spoilboard, while a rubber mallet may not move a part out of place that is properly gasketed.
Cover Gasketing products are for small and/or narrow parts that would be difficult to gasket if using one of the other methods because of the limited surface area of the part. By covering the entire fixture with gasketing, users can route parts directly into the gasketing, and then create custom vacuum pocket areas to match the size and shape of their parts.
Cover Gasket can be supplied in pre-sized sheets or custom widths in all thicknesses and densities.
NESTED BASE TILE GASKETING
These tiles the second option for improving a Universal Downdraft Vacuum Clamp system with gasketing products. These tiles will cover an entire porous MDF surface, creating thousands of mini suction cups to hold parts. When customers are doing Nested Base Manufacturing, but want to the benefit of vacuum clamping, these tiles are the solution. Not only will they create vacuum clamps to hold the sheets, but it prevents vacuum leak from occurring through the channels of an exposed spoilboard. An improved vacuum hold-down system in an ever-changing job environment is why the users of this item make it a part of their Nested Base Manufacturing process. The product, just like all of the gasketing products, can vary in both thickness and density, to fit each customer’s unique set of variables. Not all users are attempting to hold the same substrates.
Learn more about our gasket products when you contact our company to place an order. We can help you get exactly what your business needs. Located in Grass Valley, CA, we can ship products to clients around the world.