Pantograph from ancient Greece to CNC woodworking machines

Drawing is the oldest form of visual art. The first humans used to paint on the walls of their caves. In fact, drawing had very simple requirements, just a tool to carve the forms and some material to color everything. 

As humans evolved as species, their drawings increased in complexity. They created marvelous paintings, and sculptures in marble and wood. 

The pantograph was invented in ancient Greece precisely to draw. It is a tool that allows the reproduction of an original drawing in different scales, both bigger and smaller.

Starting from 1938, the pantograph has been used in the mass production of metal and wood carvings. 

How does the woodworking Pantograph work?

First of all, it is important to mention that the types of carvings possible depend on the number of axes that the pantograph has. The reason why is simple: each axis represents a direction of movement. A pantograph with two axes can move only horizontally and vertically. With three axes, it can also move diagonally. A pantograph can have up to five axes, which enables a complete rotation of the piece being worked. 

Naturally, a pantograph’s mechanical equipment depends on its application. If it is for a carpenter’s shop and is used for creating furniture and doors, it will need an automatic tool changer and four or five axes. If it is for the advertising or nautical sector, the equipment is much simpler.

CNC Pantographs 

The acronym CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. These CNC Pantographs have a chip and an industrial computer embedded inside them. Dedicated software is used to run these machines and is used to program the corresponding tools to create the desired object. 

A CNC Pantograph is generally quite large, it can reach 7000mm x 1700mm for 600mm and can be equipped with the following tools:

  • Bi-rotary head;
  • Possibility to insert a drilling head for panels; 
  • Possibility to insert a circular blade for cutting and faceting beams;
  • Tool magazine;
  • 3D CAD-CAM software.

These machines are specialised in the engraving and milling of panels, drilling of different types of woods, and precise and customised cutting for creating different shapes. The accuracy of these machines is excellent thanks to the CNC. 

RD-ZL 7000 The top of the range 5-axis pantograph.

To say that the RD-ZL 7000 is large is reductive. The basic model is 7000mm x 1700mm x 600mm, but can also be produced in customisable sizes by request. It comes with the possibility of having a squared suction table for panels, a bar table with manual operation or optionally completely automatic, with various possibilities of pressers for working on windows, clamps for working beams, and suction cups for panels.

Specific features:

  • A bi-rotary head with electrospindle starting from 10kw, HSK F63 max. 24000 rpm.
  • Insertion of a drilling head for panels with the dedicated Z-axis,
  • Insertion of a circular blade up to a max. of 500mm for cutting and faceting beams.
  • Daisy-shaped tool magazine transported or on request along the X-axis to insert multiple types of cutters, both for frame and candle.
  • 3D CAD-CAM software dedicated to 3D machining, also available in a version for windows, panels, and stairs.

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