A good quality knife-cutter is the ideal entry point for developing
CAD/CAM as an important strand in the Design and Technology
curriculum. The machines are quiet and inherently safe to use making
them the most child-friendly option for a huge variety of project
outcomes in just about every area of the subject. This versatility
and a low initial cost means that almost any department can get
started with real CAD/CAM activity. These machines are far more than
entry level tools and remain essential to provide full CAD/CAM
capability alongside milling and laser technology.
TechSoft supply a broad range of Roland machines which represent the
industry standard for CNC knife-cutting technology.
Print and Cut machines provide brilliant large-format colour
printing - but that’s not all. They also cut out precise profiles
around the graphics so decals and self-adhesive wraps can be
produced in one operation.
An individual Graphics department will probably find all the
capability they need in Roland's VersaStudio BN-20. The BN-20
has a modest desk-top format, a modest price and (importantly)
card-cutting capability straight from 2D Design. We supply
specially-formulated card that accepts the advanced print technology
that the BN-20 shares with its bigger brothers. Print and cut
packaging projects have never been made to such a professional
The larger TrueVIS range is ideal for large banners and vinyl
graphics making it a fantastic whole school resource.
Milling, Routing and Engraving are all, in effect, the same thing.
All machines in our milling and routing range are capable of
milling, routing and engraving - it’s more about choosing the right
tooling and scale of machine for what you have in mind.
A common misconception is that Engineering courses require CNC
milling machinery that will cut steel. This is not always the case.
TechSoft’s approach is to supply high quality ‘student friendly’
machines that will deliver components quickly with the minimum of
fuss. When required, the larger Roland machines will happily cope
with suitable grades of alloy.
Whether you will be Routing, Milling or Engraving,
TechSoft have a machine that will exactly meet your needs. The Roland SRM and MDX ranges provide
versatile and popular options for education but, for machining
steel, look at our Sieg CNC millers. If size and speed matter,
then our RouterCAM machines will make short
work of furniture panels and batches of student projects.
Once schools have a laser they wonder how they ever managed without
one – so why is this?
Above all, lasers provide the simplest way possible to get from the
CAD drawing to the finished product. They work with extraordinary
accuracy and delicacy, and the finished edge is usually just that –
finished. Lasers have large work areas and are quick to produce
results, so class sets of work can be cut and engraved in normal
lesson time, with students directly involved in setting-up and
outputting files - great for building confidence. Turnaround is fast
and with a few important exceptions, lasers will cut and engrave a
huge variety of materials so just about every area of Design and
Technology is able to get the benefit.
It might be tempting to think that a LaserCAM is the
only CAD/CAM machine that you will need and it is certainly true
that they can revolutionise the quality of work that students
produce. It is important to remember, however, that lasers do not
accept 3D data and must not be used to cut vinyl material because of
harmful fumes. Milling and knife cutting machines will still be
needed alongside lasers to give students a realistic experience of
real-world practice, and to have the right mix of tools available
for specific applications.
LaserCAM machines are built for world-wide commercial markets and
TechSoft have an exclusive arrangement to supply LaserCAM to UK
Education. This allows us to work closely with the manufacturers to
ensure all necessary safety standards are met and operation is
seamless from 2D Design V2. LaserCAMs are supplied as a package that
includes everything you need including the highest specification,
totally automatic, extraction and filtration system available.
Lasers have made a huge impact on student project work but we are
often asked “Why can’t they be used to cut metals?” In industry,
lasers are used routinely for metal-cutting, but high costs and
significant risk management issues make the technology unsuitable
for educational use – at least at the moment! To meet the need for
metal profiling in education, TechSoft are delighted to introduce
PlasmaCUT - plasma-beam technology that lets you slice through up to
12mm mild steel with no more hassle than it took to cut card on a
PlasmaCUT is a high speed profiling machine that works from 2D CAD
files generated in 2D Design V2. The machine is housed in an
interlocked protective enclosure and connects to a high-efficiency
extraction system which captures the particulates produced when
plasma cutting mild steel. PlasmaCUT is not a machine for a regular
classroom or design studio, but it will fit into any workshop space
where there are the usual provisions for hot metal working.
Specialist engineering schools will clearly be interested in the
potential PlasmaCUT has to bring sheet metal cutting up to date and,
more widely, PlasmaCUT will fit naturally alongside other CAD/CAM
and ‘benchwork’ techniques. It has the power to revolutionise what
students are able to do in their project work.
3D CAD with Rapid Prototyping (RP) is now an essential tool to
enable designers to compete in global markets - it is something all
design and engineering students need to know about and, ideally,
have access to. TechSoft have been supplying 3D printers since 2004, originally supplying just the professional-series FDM machines from Stratasys - very reliable machines
which build in strong ABS.
In recent years, many low-cost alternatives have come onto the market in the wake of significant media interest about this 'new' technology. Our experience has places us in a strong
position to appraise these budget 3D printers. In our opinion the Robox stands out about the crown for accuracy, reliability, cost effectiveness, ease of use and safety. It is certainly
the ideal machine for use in education - parts just 'lift off' the bed (no glue or tape) and the transparent slide-up cover is automatically locked when a build is in progress. Add to that
the automatic levelling plus very fine resolution builds in both ABS and PLA, and you will understand why we recommend it. The Robox offers students the chance to print prototype (often
functional) parts with sufficient accuracy and strength for project work. With the optional dual material head providing soluble support removal, there is also the opportunity to make
really complex shapes then dissolve away the supporting structures. An amazing machine for such a low cost.
Brother make high-quality CNC embroidery machines for commercial and
domestic markets and have a long-standing reputation for
reliability, long life and excellent back-up. Their range includes
computerised sewing, embroidery or combined capability, so whatever
resources you already have, we can supply a machine to take you on
to the next level without making existing machines redundant.
Design work can be anything from simple geometrical shapes and
patterns to vectorised, colour-mapped or ‘straight’ photos – just
about anything is possible. 2D Design V2 gives you all the tools you
need for the design so, with a site licence for the software, you
will have full-class access with no limit to the number of ‘seats’
you can provide. The only ‘extra’ needed will be at least one seat
of Brother’s PE Design embroidery software to convert designs into a
These great value Brother machines will unlock the potential of CNC
embroidery for all students.
TechSoft offer two systems for transferring crisp, full colour
images onto a huge variety of project materials. They each offer a
professional system to enhance projects or to rapidly and
economically add value to
'blank' products. Great for enterprise or in-house production
of 'branded' products.
Both have their place in a busy D&T Department. See our
image transfer section to decide which is best for you.
Every department needs a fast, good quality colour printer so why
not choose one that will deal with 'regular' paper printing and
become the heart of a system that can transform project outcomes in
almost every area of Design and Technology? The LIT process
uses an enhanced OKI laser printer and allows images to be
transferred onto almost any material that students will
be using. LIT can't be beaten for versatility.
Sublimation uses a dedicated Sawgrass inkjet system with gel inks for
reliability and ease of use. The first choice for textiles and
enterprise work, sublimation does not effect the tactile qualities
of the fabric and images are bright and durable. Media for
sublimation needs to be polyester-rich or polyester-coated which, in
practice, usually means fabrics or ready-prepared blanks (phone
pouches, mugs, mouse mats, etc.).