Video: CNC vacuum clamping concept holds down a part and won't let go

Holding down a part while performing CNC operations can be a challenge at best, especially with small parts or after a number of machined parts, but All Star CNC Products has a vacuum concept that will hold down the part with an almost vise-like grip. 

All Star CNC Product provides solutions to hold down parts on a CNC Router using perforated gaskets to create a vacuum clamp, according to Alex Palm, executive vice president, All Star CNC Products.

“We have a number of different products that we offer all of which focus on the vacuum system that [enhances] the part holding capability within the vacuum system," said Palm. “We are the only people in the industry that have pioneered a more Innovative way of holding the parts on the CNC vacuum bed." 

All Star CNC Products
Alex Palm, executive vice president of All Star CNC Products, struggles to move this part being vacuum clamped in place to the gasket surface.

These gaskets, which come in a variety of sizes and which are replaceable, feature tiny perforations evenly spaced across the gasket's surface. Palm said that the company employs physics and the science of vacuum clamping to create a negative air pressure differential underneath the parts or underneath the material that's being processed. "We do this by creating a small cavity or vacuum chamber underneath the part and then we keep the integrity of the vacuum chamber using gasket material in order to [create the] seal."

The vacuum clamping has little to do with how much air is moved through the system. "It is not about CFM," Palm said, "it has much more to do with the strength of the vacuum pull."

See Palm demonstrate this technology in this Live from AWFS video from Woodworking Network.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).