Following almost 20 years in business and thousands of successful projects undertaken, Northern Ireland-based Cutting Edge Designs
specialises in routing, trade signage, acrylic fabrication, panelling, wood and laser cutting, printing, 3-D carving, finishing and assembly and CAD design.
Since its inception, the Newry company has been working closely with the cutting tool experts at Tamworth-based Industrial Tooling Corporation
(ITC) to manufacture an extraordinary number of high-profile projects.
Founded by David Hogg, Cutting Edge Designs was set up in a small room at the back of his family’s furniture business with a single CNC routing machine. Now, the company is credited for designing, machining and delivering unique projects for some of the most recognised brands in the world.
When the first Tekcel routing machine was installed more than 15 years ago, the company turned to ITC for not only its wide range of cutting tools but also the technical support and service that is second to none.
Mr Hogg said: “Prior to starting the business, I worked at the sign-making factory that was using cutting tools supplied by ITC, so I was already aware of the range of products and services the company could offer.”
Cutting Edge Designs machines a variety of materials ranging from wood, veneer, MDF, plastics, metals, rubber, through to composites.
Mr Hogg continued: “During the early years of our business, Sally Hunt from ITC was fantastic at providing technical support with regards to what tools to use on specific materials and also the speeds and feeds required to optimise machining performance and eliminate vibration.
“While it is always important to have technical expertise from our cutting tool supplier, nowadays the key factor for us is service and supply. From this perspective, ITC always has cutting tools in stock, and these are delivered the next day.”
Cutting Edge Designs has worked with a long list of well-known customers, including names like Ferrari, Guinness, M&S, Liverpool Football Club, Subway and KFC, as well as famous artists and sculptures and the TV and movie industry. It also worked on the sixth series of Game of Thrones
television series – machining beech wood doors with ITC cutting tools.
Produced from trees downed by Storm Gertrude in a location known as the Dark Hedges, Cutting Edge Designs was commissioned by HBO Studios and Tourism Ireland to produce 10 doors and each unique door incorporated designs, iconic symbols and references from the episodes. Receiving the artwork and 3-D models, the sub-contractor converted the files into CAM models and applied ITC single-flute routing tools and its Tekcel router to the task.
Mr Hogg added: “We decided on using an ITC 12mm diameter ball nose tool for our initial rough cutting. This removed the excess material, making it easier and more efficient for the smaller tools to do the finer details. A 90deg woodcut angle was also implemented to prevent lifting or splitting of the wood along the grain.
“The rough-cut cycle took about 6 hours per door. Following this, we then utilised ITC’s 3mm diameter ball nose to achieve all the important finer details, machining with a step-over rate of 0.2 to 0.3mm. This fine detail work took an average of 50hr per door to complete. When each door was finish machined, it was sent to be sanded and professionally stained by one of Game of Thrones set painters. The project can be viewed on the website: www.cncrouterit.co.uk/game-of-thrones-doors
For the majority of the machining, Cutting Edge Designs applied ITC’s 180 Series of solid carbide tools. For finish machining, the company applied ITC’s 180-1181-10-A-XL single flute cutting tool, a 3mm diameter tool that demonstrates exceptional tool life and rigidity. This is credit to its reinforced 6mm diameter shank, 10mm length of cut and 30deg helix geometry that is produced from an ultra-wear resistant micro-grain carbide.
Mr Hogg concluded: “We use everything from routers and engraving tools through to ball nose tools, drills, compression spirals and special tools supplied by ITC.
“The range is extremely diverse and the quality is unbeatable. Regardless of the material we are cutting, ITC always has the solution for our business.”