Units 19-20 Whitworth Road

Washington, NE37 1PP


Mon - Fri 8.30 - 5.00

Saturday & Sunday CLOSED


Sales Department

Units 19-20 Whitworth Road

Washington, NE37 1PP


Mon - Fri 8.30 - 5.00

Sat & Sun CLOSED


Sales Department

Project number 2

Use Your CNC Router To Make A Folded Panel Sign Tray?

In this new ‘how to’ tutorial we will show you how to produce a simple folded panel out of aluminium composite material that can then be folded by hand.  The final example also has cnc routed acrylic that can be used in the stencil cut area of the panel.

If we used thicker acrylic you could get a nice pronounced pushed through look for your logo being applied to the rear of your panel. In this instance we used only 3mm acrylic and 3mm composite (really you should use thicker dibond for structural integrity).

Let’s start off as we normally do with the setup of V-carve (this tutorial assumes you are using V carve to apply your toolpaths etc).

Step 1:  Prepare your project in Vectric V-Carve Pro or your favourite CAD drawing package such as  AutoCAD or Coreldraw.

Before we start anything we need to prepare the settings for the job in V-Carve Pro (this is material dependant,  such as thickness and the size of your material to be used)

Job Type:  This would be single sided – no need to process this job on the flip side of your material.

Job Size:  What size is your piece of material? the sheet today is  915 x 610 mm with a thickness of 3mm.

Z Zero Position:  This is where the machine takes it’s Z height from – we choose material surface.

XY Datum Position:  You have the option to pick where the job starts on the material and use an offset should you wish too.  Here we have picked bottom left.

Design Scaling:  This option is not required in this project.

Modeling Resolution:  This is the resolution that the 3D representation uses in demo and toolpath previews. You can view your design in 3D and check for any errors on your drawing.

Appearance:  This is purely there to give you a basic representation of the material you will be cutting – or near enough as.

Once you have set up your job you will be ready to move onto the next step of of your project for CNC routing. 

The file supplied for you in this tutorial can be modified to suit your needs.  Once you have the drawing imported into V carve Pro you can then move onto the next step – picking the relevant tooling and applying toolpaths.

Step 2:  Pick your tool & apply toolpaths.

In this step we choose the relevant tools that we will use for each type of toolpath that we wil be using.  We will use a v-bit and an aluminium cutting tool for this job.

Please see below for our tool selection:

We are using a 12mm diameter v-bit (90 deg) tool for cutting the folds into our material.

As for the drills into the four corners of the folds and profile cut we are using a 3mm cutter specifically for dibond and aluminium.

Speed and feed rates have been set using the recommended parameters from the tool manuafacturer.

As you can see we are using only two tools in this job, V bit for the folds then the end mill (3mm diam) for the profile outline cut and the logo.  This is for the composite panel but we will use a different tool for the acrylic. Which is shown below after the dibond toolpath settings.



Aluminium Composite Toolpath Settings

Please look at the following screenshots to get a feel for how we have set this particular job up for processing on the cnc machine.

V groove toolpath settings

Drill hole settings

Logo profile settings

Drill hole settings

Acrylic Panel (logo) Toolpath Settings

What type of tool was used for the acrylic?

We used the following tool with relevant settings applied in the toolpath section of V Carve:



Job Setup

Material Setup

Pocket toolpath settings

Profile Toolpath settings

Step 3:  Process your material on the CNC router.

Follow your usual cnc workflow on the machine that you have.

Want to download the V-carve file?  No problem, please click the link below to download the project file for you to use in your projects.  Software used in this tutorial Vectric Aspire (same applies for V Carve Pro)

Why use a CNC Router  |  What type of tooling to use for CNC Routing?  |  How to make staircase stringers on a cnc router


A little bit about Radecal Machine Sales:

We specialise in the sale and service of CNC routers UK wide.  We have a wide range of machines to suit your needs.