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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm new here. I am a retail sign maker and am going to invest in a Probotix Meteor CNC router. I will need to cut sign blanks out of 2'x4' acrylic sheets. I am worried about slippage and shifting during cutting and do not want to use double stick tape. Any recommendations?
 

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For such material a vacuum bed would probably be the best solution. The Meteor MDF top can be removed an a torsion box/vacuum box could be hung inside the frame.
For the little experience I have cutting acrylic on a CNC I used t-track clamps around the perimeter, and tabs to keep the parts in place as they were cut.
You could just pre-drill and screw your acrylic sheets down to the MDF bed. Be sure and not put a screw anywhere the bit may run.

I'm going to recommend you intentionally try many strategies. That's the only guarantee you'll figure out what works best for your specific needs.

4D
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum! You might take a few minutes and complete your profile - name, location, etc.

Another thought for clamping 2x4 sheets on the perimeter is that you need to make certain the center stays in contact with the bed. If you use an upcut bit then the center will flex upward and that could lead to disaster very quickly. That's one area where a vacuum table would be beneficial or at least a combination of clamps and vacuum.

I've cut 1/4" and 3/4" but they were smaller pieces, less than a square foot, so clamping on the outside was fine.

David
 

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Mike
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If you plan on doing a lot of these type signs then 4D's suggestion of a vacuum torsion box would be a good way to go. It would be easy for you to make one yourself just check YouTube and you will find several ideas on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Double Stick Tape

May I ask why you don't want to use double stick tape?
I had originally thought this would be too time consuming and we would use a lot of the tape. However after seeing the investment needed for a vacuum table type system, I am reconsidering just using double stick tape. Is this an effective method?
 

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I started using double sided tape. I now use clamps and t-slot. Nothing worse that watching an almost complete cut come loose, shift, or start spinning on the bed. Not good for the vocabulary!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vacuum tables

So it seems the consensus is pretty much to invest the money in the proper vacuum table. Any recommendations? I don't really have the set up to make my own and would prefer to purchase.
 

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Theo
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I started using double sided tape. I now use clamps and t-slot. Nothing worse that watching an almost complete cut come loose, shift, or start spinning on the bed. Not good for the vocabulary!
I tried double sided tape, my problem wasn't with work shifting, rather it was in getting it to unstick, then spend 10-15 minutes cleaning the sticky off. About the same results using rubber cement. On the other hand, lots of people swear by one or the other. I just swore at each.
 
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Mike
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If you go with double stick tape you need to make sure both surfaces are clean of dust. I don't recommend carpet tape because of cleanup issues. I use what they call turners tape, it is made with crape paper and special adhesives that usually come off clean. The plastic bond side there would not be any problem with, it is the bed side that you need to make sure it is flat and clean. I use it on small parts when I am cutting them out of small pieces that have little or no clamping area. I have never had a problem with it coming loose. I also use it for template routing.

If I were doing a lot of plastic routing I would make a small vacuum system that fit the project I would be cutting.
 
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