Inventables Community Forum

Hold downs and vacuum table

Hi, My friend is about to order an X-carve Pro 4x4 for cutting parts from large (4x8) sheets of Lexan. Can you help us understand how this material can be best held in place for carving and if the hold down sets are adequate? Can a vacuum table approach be used somehow?

I use CA glue and tape on polycarbonate…works really well.

Vacuum hold downs are fast and effective. They have a few drawbacks…
1). They raise up the workpiece by the height of the hold down system. This probably won’t be a problem for Lexan sheets, but many CNC machines don’t have much Z height.
2). A vacuum fixturing system will really hold things down tight but it may still be possible to drag the workpiece laterally. This can happen if you are cutting fast and deep and have powerful X and Y drives such as a ball screw system.
3). You cannot cut all the way through your material in any of the areas where the vacuum needs to hold. This may then require material waste in your design.

Thank you for your inputs. Being a newby I really appreciate the comments. Thanks again.