Innovative Technology: Contourfive
It is not often that you find mention of CNC milling centers and great presidents of the United States in the same sentence. But then again, it is not often that you find a piece of equipment as advanced and versatile as the Breton Contourfive, a machine so precise that a bust of President Abraham Lincoln produced by it is on display at the White House.
With a birotary head for interpolated 5-axis machining, easily accessible 360-degree work area, and vertical travel of up to 1,200 mm (nearly 48 inches), the Contourfive is ideal for producing architectural and funerary art. In fact, it is the perfect machine for cutting, contouring and turning almost any complex piece from marble, granite, compound or engineered stone.
Structurally, the Contourfive features floor-anchored shoulders made from either masonry or (on request) heavy-duty metal to ensure unparalleled stiffness, as well as wide-opening front doors for protection and ease of access. A steel worktable separated from the shoulders allows operators to approach the surface from all sides — with no steps to mount — and the worktop height of 13.8 inches, plus the height of Breton’s advanced suction cup system of 9 inches for anchoring workpieces, enables easy handling of pieces while in production.
But the Breton Contourfive is about a lot more than its shell. The machine’s high-speed HD electrospindle offers rotating speeds up to 7,500 RPM to provide industry-leading precision, as well as a fully-automated tool change for quick transition between shaping, contouring and sawing. An optional lathe package is available as well.
Driving it all is a Siemens digitally controlled numerical control system that is Windows-based for ease of operation. The system features a 15-inch touchscreen (19-inch for the Contourfive NC 1200) with color monitor, a joystick for controlling features like the machine axes, spindles and tool store, as well as a USB port that provides fast uploading and downloading of data from CAM files.