CNC Wood Machining - Beams
The building industry has seen a remarkable growth in projects and complete systems utilizing heavy beam, timber frame and lamellar wood construction elements, which are evermore popular and endowed with their own unique aesthetic - a lightness, and a oneness with great structures. CMS is the leading edge supplier both for the high technology CNC equipment used to machine and process the complex, massive, uniquely jointed timber elements, as well as the software used for the design and extrapolation of the information needed to run its CNC systems, whether in the composition of the elements for the entire structure or in the single parts ready to be assembled.
PMT - machining timber frame components
PMT, CMS' moving gantry system, meets a range of heavy timber beam component needs on a very large scale, when needed, including such structures as those required in sports arenas and other large facilities, where design preferences for support structures that hold up as long as possible in case of fire are preferred over steel. PMT with it powerful working unit and heavy framework is capable of machining components reaching lengths of 60 meters, or more. PMT is loaded manually with a crane, since the components to be machined are very large and heavy. Once placed in the work envelop a laser determines the orientation of the component to be machined and adjusts the CNC program accordingly. CMS provides specific part support systems depending on the work to be carried out.
PMT - holding system
Even though the components worked on PMT can be very large, heavy and awkward to hold, PMT provides several part holding systems to make setting, holding and working these components a straight forward job. In the upper photos, on the right-hand side, is shown PMT's adjustable pod system, which typically uses a laser projection system to indicate pod placement on the floor and then the component placement on top of the pods. The pods are freely placed and held by vacuum to the floor, as well as vacuum for the pod's top surface, which holds the part. The pods are adjustable for various heights, as needed.
PMT also provides for a fixed rail system like that shown at the bottom which makes positioning for straight parts simple and predictable. The parts are held in place by side restraint wedges during the machining cycle. In addition for highly industrialized requirements, PMT also provides a mobile rail support system with chip conveyor belt take away system, providing the optimum handling and setting capabilities for maximum flexibility and reduced set up time.
Capabilities / Accessories
PMT comes with a range of capabilities and accessories.
Here are some important ones:
- PMT comes with CMS' powerful KX5 working unit, 28 kW (37.5 hp), providing maximum power from 4,300 rpm to 12,000 rpm, where its most needed, with 18 kW power (24.1 hp) at 965 rpm and 195 Nm for working with large saw blades, capable of a 400 mm depth cut in one pass with blade of 1120 mm diameter.
- lots of tool storage capacity, with additional specific storage for long drill bits and large diameter saw blades
- special "long arm" aggregates for machining from the underside of the work piece, up to 700 mm reach from the edge
- standard "chain" mortising units, 50 mm width and thickness from 8 to 15 mm
- special extra wide "chain" mortising unit, 150 mm width and 12 mm thickness and much more...
A range of processing capabilities
PMT has a broad range of processing capabilities. As seen in this photo, heavy processes are part of the norm:
- large, heavy roughing and milling tools for material removal and shaping of large cross-sections on timber frame parts
- large diameter saw blades for easily cutting through heavy timber cross-sections
- long length, deep hole, boring bits, up 700 mm (27.55") in length deep pocket "chain" mortising devices
Timber beam: the building blocks
An up close perspective of the size, girth, and mass of large scale timber elements, giving a sense of why they're capable of supporting massing structures while adding grace and elegance to them at the same time. These elements rest easily within PMT's large massive work envelop and are brought to their desired shape and size, with required joinery, with the same ease.
Timber beam joints: a bridge
When properly done, the massive timber frame elements go together with structural simplicity. Though massive and unwieldy, all the many holes with compound angled joints line up perfectly and join together, as planned, at the job.
Timber frame long span, suspension, bridge
A completed long span, river crossing, timber frame suspension bridge - beautiful, functional, long lasting and a perfect fit with its world.
Timber frame trusses and support structures
In addition to its native beauty, timber frame construction allows design freedom and feasibility for the architect and do-ability for the manufacturer and builder -- stunning and strong.
Timber frame domes
Timber frame construction falls behind in no area when viewed against other structural icons. Here when applied to spherical and domed architectural design, it results in vaulted, inspired impressions.
Timber frame integrated structures
Timber frame construction techniques integrate well with other building disciplines, as illustrated in this photo, with sweeping exo-structure, large open areas, beautifully and naturally bathed with sun through extensive glass expanses.
Wood beams, timber frame: Case History and Technology Overview
Manufacturing capabilities and widely varied projects of timber frame manufacturer, Ducret-Orges, is featured in this case history as well as the CMS' PMT CNC machining centers for processing timber frame components.
A wide range of machining processes is shown for PMT, illustrating how heavy timber frame components are held, manipulated and machined, including large saw blades, heavy milling tools, various profile cutters, chain mortising devices, deep hole drilling, as well as infeed and outfeed operations.
PMT - massive timber with complex joinery
PMT is shown with its flexible vacuum pod support system holding a massive curved timber frame element. The initial process involves the use of PMT's large diameter saw blade around the outside of the timber element and for heavy end cuts, followed by large heavy milling cutters for trimming the edges and illustrating its 5-axis machining abilities. The range of work includes pocketing, drilling, deep chain saw mortising, along with a view from underneath the part as PMT's extended "deep" reach underside aggregate is used for milling pockets along the curved underside of the timber element, meaning that work was completed on all the surfaces of this timber frame element.
Wood Beams Sector and Ducret-Orges Case Study
(click folder on the left to download)