Use this chart for reference on hold down options for our Desktop and Desktop MAX model tools that are best suited for your projects.
|Aluminum "T" Slot Deck (general purpose deck)||Universal Vacuum Hold Down Deck Kit||Gasketed Vacuum Hold Down System *|
|Flexibility||Most Flexible – Allows for multiple hold down options.||Somewhat Flexible – Allows for some other hold down options to be used in conjunction with vacuum hold down.||Specific Usage – Requires the use of special fixtures for any part to be cut.|
|Material Setup Speed||Slowest of Available Options – Material has to be manually attached each time. Production volume would remain low unless a specialized clamping fixture is fitted.||Pretty Fast – For the vast majority of items, a blank would be placed on the bed and then the vacuum would be turned on. Production volume can be relatively high and can have a decent variety of parts with one setup. (Various signs, furniture parts, anything with medium-to-large sized parts cut out of flat stock would require no special setup.)||Fastest – With the use of specialized fixtures, a blank would be placed on the bed and then the vacuum would be turned on. Production volume can be EXTREMELY high with this method.|
|Type of Hold Down||Screws, nylon nails, tabs in the toolpath, toggle clamps mounted in the t-slots, wedge clamps, and various other types of clamps.||Vacuum hold down, which can be supplemented with screws, tabs in toolpaths, and nylon nails for smaller parts that might break free.||Vacuum hold down. The addition of threaded holes to bolt down blanks for specific setups can be used if needed.|
|Type/Size of Parts||Small parts, large parts, and anything in-between, as long as there is an appropriate hold down method being used.||Optimal for large parts. Without the additional hold down from screws, nylon nails, or tabs, there is a size limitation of about 10 square inches for the smallest part. Anything smaller than that means that there is a risk of pieces breaking free of the vacuum seal. Ideal for larger items like signs or anything cut from flat stock.||Almost any size – as long as a fixture is used for it. Parts smaller than 2-3 square inches might require the addition of tabs or screws because parts of this size may break the vacuum seal.|
|Recommended Materials||Any material the machine is capable of cutting. (Woods, plastics, composites, non-ferrous metals.)||Recommended for cutting flat stock (sheets of wood, plastic, composites) ONLY. Not recommended for metal cutting without supplemental screws.||Any material the machine is capable of cutting. (Woods, plastics, composites, non-ferrous metals.)|
|Markets||Hobbyists, makers, maker pros, schools, woodworking, instrument making, furniture making, and prototyping, Can be used in production environments, but only with specialized clamping fixtures.||Anyone who uses mostly flat stock. Hobbyists, makers, maker pros, schools, woodworking, furniture making, or production environments. Particularly useful for signmakers.||Production environments with medium-to-large size runs of identical parts. Also appropriate for use when cutting identical-size blanks or when not cutting all the way through, i.e. Engraving/VCarving a variety of things on a standard set of blanks.|
|Misc||No additional environmental noise with this deck option.||A fairly significant amount of additional environmental noise is produced due to the vacuum motor. Hearing protection is HIGHLY recommended.||A small amount of additional environmental noise generated due to the vacuum pump. It is typically not much louder than the sound a spindle cutting makes.|
|*(mounts to Aluminum T-Slot Deck)|
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