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I found your forum while looking for some trouble shooting advice online and I thought I'd join in.
Haven't got a feel for the scope of interest here is but I'm sure I'll learn plenty and hopefully can pass on some experience of my own.
I started my working life as a foundry patternmaker in New Zealand and then moved to Australia. Some of the more progressive pattern shops here where getting into CNC routing so I thought I'd jump on board, not even owning a computer or even a gaming console at that stage (1995).
I currently run a large 5 axis CNC router that was purchased for side work in a workshop that normally machines metal.
Materials machined on the router include, foam for mold plugs and mockups, tooling board, timber, ply, MDF, composite materials, it has a misting lubrications system that allows us to do aluminum and even at a stretch a bit of cast iron and steel machining, plus various wear resistant plastics.
The router is Anderson brand and I use Unigraphics for CAD/CAM.
 

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G'day Doug, and welcome to the forum...
 

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Hi Doug,
If you work with metal you might want to consider "PLASMACAM" CNC to cut metal quickly.
That's pretty cool, haven't seen Plasmacam before.
We will typically send out for laser cutting if it is sheet metal work.
Most common things I get in metal are aluminum aircraft parts where the plane is in for a service and the part is too hard to come by off the shelf.
I had this mild steel router frame on the router machining the guides for it's linear bearing rails and rack plus drill their holes, all machined at right angle to the table.
Wood Composite material Plank Gas Lumber
 
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