by William Sampson
Technology is impossible to ignore in the caval- cade of new products targeted at the woodworking industry in 2017. Whether aimed at big factories or small shops, everything from hand tools to hardware seemed to have a hi-tech spin this year. Here’s a sampling of products that caught our edi- tors’ attention over the past 12 months. Hand-held CNC router
We’ve seen CNC technology become ever more accessible regardless of the size of the shop, with benchtop
CNC routers becoming more robust, and CNC technology in general becoming more affordable. But this year,
a new product brought that technology to the hand-held
router. Shaper Origin by Shaper Tools Inc. won the AWFS
Visionary Award for Productivity and Product Innovation in
Power Tools. It is a hand-held router that can be steered by
a smart-phone sized guidance system. The user guides the
router’s cursor within a general guide shown on the display,
and the system keeps the cutting head precisely on track,
cutting even and consistent curves, engraving patterns and
logos, and executing other precision cuts.
Digital drill press
If we can have hand-held CNC routers, why not digital,
computer controlled drill presses? The Nova Voyager DVR
drill press from Teknatool International marries a computer
and a heavy-duty floor-standing drill press. It offers comput-er-controlled, continuously variable speeds, and makes it a
breeze to choose exactly the cutting speeds you need.
No discussion of new products in 2017 would be complete
without Industry 4.0. That phrase describes new initiatives
to use technology to get machines communicating more
seamlessly with their operators, with each other, and with
manufacturers and suppliers. At the AWFS Fair, two special
Visionary awards highlighted Industry 4.0 initiatives.
Technology plays a big role in the standout woodworking products of
Editors’ picks: 2017 top products
Shaper Tools introduced a handheld CNC router called
the Shaper Origin. It won an AWFS Visionary Award.
The Nova Voyager DVR drill press brings computer
precision to a stationary drill press.