High-Volume Sandcarving: Machines

Robert Robinson draws from four decades of experience in the sandcarving industry. In 1977, Robinson founded Media Blast & Abrasive, Inc., manufacturer of the CrystalBlast line of sandcarving and etching machinery and manufacturer of abrasive blasting cabinets. As a consultant to Media Blast, Robinson continues to design new machinery in response to the needs of the sandcarving manufacturing industry.

Production sandcarving machines are made to operate daily for extended time periods. These sandcarvers use larger blast nozzles to flow more abrasive and to greatly increase daily part production. Larger nozzles generate higher frictional heat, require a thicker film mask, and result in less sandcarved detail. These sandcarvers are intended for high-volume production; they are not intended for detailed, artistic applications. 

Production sandcarvers are capable of flowing up to eight to 10 pounds of abrasive per minute. Such volume requires large dust collectors. Some production machines have a separate-standing dust collector to meet the daily machine usage.

Because of the high abrasive flow rate, most production sandcarvers include a pneumatic abrasive conveyer that dries and aerates the abrasive every time it flows through the nozzle. The higher abrasive flow rate also requires a larger pressure pot to hold more abrasive. The pneumatic conveyer continuously moves the abrasive from the cabinet to the pressure pot.

—Robert Robinson, Media Blast & Abrasive, Inc.