Work Examples

These pieces were routed with inexpensive All Thread rod as the leadscrews. Software backlash compensation was not used in cutting any of these examples.

There are also examples that builders have shared on the Gallery page.

The 10x9, 18x24, 25x25, and the 24x48 machines were designed to use a variety of components, and better leadscrews will improve the quality of work.

CNC Carving
These two used the same g-code.
The above used a 60º Vee bit in a 5 amp trim router.
CNC carving
This pattern was cut with a 0.05" bit in a Dremel.
Both pieces are four inches square.
6 inch wood carving
The pattern above was cut into a 6 inch long piece of oak with a Vee bit in a trim router.
This is an 8 x 10 inch letter cut from 1/4 inch birch plywood. It was cut with a 1/8 inch straight router bit in the 5 amp trim router.

The feed rate was 36 ipm and the time for the cut was under 3 minutes. It was carved in one pass.

The CNC machine used hardware store threaded rod as the leadscrews.
Letter cut with 17 x 20 router
Cut in ¼ inch birch plywood.

Trim cut with All Thread
Used 5/16-18 hardware store leadscrews.
Even mundane projects can be dressed-up with a little CNC work.

This is a box for an electric fence control. The routed piece is made of 3/4 inch pressure treated southern yellow pine and is approximately 20 inches long. It was cut in four passes with a 1/4 inch straight bit.
25 x 37 cnc machine carving a sign
A trim router carving a sign with a Vee bit.
Signs carved with the 25 x 37 cnc machine
Carving five is as easy as carving one.
This PC board was cut with a machine using All Thread leadscrews and a 0.03 inch diameter bit.
The holes are 0.1 inch apart; an IC is in the top row of holes to show the scale.
The traces are 0.028 inch wide and 0.072 inch apart. The holes are 0.03 inch in diameter, and the pads are 0.07 inch in diameter.
This was done at one depth of cut for the outline pass, and a second pass was run for drilling the holes.
The speed was 12 ipm to protect the tiny bit from breaking.
PCB with IC
PC board carved and drilled.
This four inch diameter gear was cut from 1/2 inch thick acrylic.

It was cut in five passes of  0.1 inch each with a double flute straight bit in a trim router.

The trim router's rpm had to be slowed to prevent the plastic from melting. An inexpensive speed control served well.

Determining the correct feed and speed is a trial and error process.
CNC cut plastic
Plastic cut with variable speed.
The tables, of course, have 3D capability. The wood carving is a set of shapes routed into a southern yellow pine 2 x 10.
A 1/4 inch round bit was used, and the piece was not sanded before varnishing.

The software used to draw and generate the 3D g-code was Rhino3D with RhinoCAM. This 3D software package is over $1000.
CNC cut wood
3D shapes
The sun carving is a 3D cut that used MeshCAM for the g-code generation. An image was imported into MeshCAM, and MeshCAM interpreted the dark and light as depth and height.

MeshCAM is a relatively inexpensive 3D program, but it is more suited to art pieces such as this, rather than pieces that require specific dimensioning.
For the most part, it only dimensions height, depth, and width of the entire piece; everything else is relative to these.
This work is a four inch square piece of MDF trim that is one of a pair of blocks for the top corners of a door casing.

The parallel path cuts were 0.005 inch apart, so it took over 3 hours to carve at 30 ipm when cut with 18 tpi All Thread. Better leadscrews would permit faster speeds.
A Dremel Vee bit was used with an 1/8 inch adapter in the trim router.

The router bits used for these cuts are shown on the Bits page.
Sun carving

These plans do not include directions for the software and electronics because the suppliers cover this information for their own products.
These plans do give directions for deriving the Step per Inch values that are needed to configure the software for these machines.
The machines were all designed to use NEMA 23 stepper and drive components such as those from Geckodrive, Xylotex and HobbyCNC.
Mach3 and TurboCNC are popular controller software options. Other software and motor suppliers can be used.
The above vendors work with the Do It Yourself market and have help forums and documentation.
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