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Working range

The working range of a CNC machining center indicates the maximum workpiece size which can be processed. Depending on the manufacturer and the chosen variant it can come to very different values:

  • Rarely you can find the axis travel range as working range. This value always is considerably larger than the maximum workpiece size and thus not usable to indicate this value.
  • Many manufacturers specify the routing area. This is the maximum workpiece size the working spindle can process. Usually this value is given for a specified diameter of the router tool.
  • Often the table size is given as working range. This can often be found at machines with matrix table. In most cases, it is possible to process slightly larger workpieces.
  • Sometimes also the range is given, which can be processed with all installed units. Usually this value is much lower than the previous two, especially on machines with many aggregates.

Because there are so many ways to give a working range of a CNC machining centre, today in their brochures manufacturers show the different types of working ranges with dimensioned drawings.

Dependence of the work area on the tool

One problem is the dependence of the working range of the different tool types used.

For the axes X and Y this usually is not so important, because the working area varies just corresponding to the differences in tool diameter. Only in special cases, such as the use of tenoning tools for windows, this has a significant influence on the usable working range.

For the z-axis, however, the tool length is crucial. Since here the differences between individual tools are much larger, the usable range will vary a lot more. So the risk of collisions with machine parts (e.g. from improper programming or using the wrong tool) is much higher. Especially matrix tables or suction cups could be damaged by this.

Most manufacturers therefore use passage height as Z working range.


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