CNC Router

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  • A Router controlled via CNC
  • Allows for the Subtractive Manufacturing of Mainly Wood or Acrylic
  • Essentially a much more basic CNC Mill with a much shorter z axis (due to sheets being the main feedstock), and a Router or Rotary Tool instead of a CNC Spindle
  • Useful for Wood Prototypes, Drone Frames, and precision wood parts
  • Also may be useful simply for automating wood cutting in an affordable way, allowing time to be spent elsewere
  • Can cut thicker wood and plastic than most small laser cutters as well
  • There is a bit of a Grey Area between a low end CNC Mill and the best CNC Routers

Industry Standards

Tabletop / Benchtop

Low Budget (150-500 USD)

  • Summary of What One Gets for This Pricepoint:
    • Typically only capable of Wood, Foam, Plastic, and towards the upper end [[Hardwoods] and *potentially* Soft Metals at extremely low Feeds and Speeds (also may only be able to "engrave", rather than cut
    • Z Axis is typically rather short so thicker materials will not work
    • Co-Mounting of Diode Laser Toolheads (Some higher end models can remove the router toolhead for a laser) or Dust Shoes etc is either not possible, or difficult
    • Frame Rigidity/Motion System Used a Major Limit
    • Nearly All Designs are Bedslingers (which can be problematic due to dust falling into the Y-Axis's Motion System
  • Common Options:

Mid Budget (500-1,000 USD)

  • Summary of What One Gets for This Pricepoint:
    • Dust Shoes are more commonplace, work area is larger (will need a proper table/bench, unlike the Ikea Lack sized FDM 3D Printers/Low Budget CNC Routers
    • Substantial Diode Lasers can be Mounted, Potentially Even Co-Mounted
    • Full on Trimmer Routers can be used, allowing for more aggressive feeds and speeds
    • Designs are either High Quality Bedslingers or Gantry Based
    • Frame Rigidity is Acceptable, Motors become the main Limiting Factor
    • One encounters something akin to the Iron Triangle ; Pick Two:
      • Frame Rigidity / Motion System Componets (Thickness of Extrusions Used (or even cast/milled parts), Plastic vs Metal Connections/Holders, Ball Screw vs Lead Screw vs *Belt Driven* etc)
      • Spindle Quality
      • Motion System Type (Bedslinger vs Gantry)
  • Common Options:
  • Genmitsu PROVerXL 4030 CNC Router
  • Genmitsu 4040-PRO

High Budget (1,000+ USD)

Shop Sized

  • Machines that Can Fit a Full Sheet of Plywood etc
  • Cost Already Starts out in the 500-1000+ USD Range
  • Lower cost units are V-Slot Roller Based
  • Mid Cost is Lead Screw/Ball Screw + Precision Ground Rod + Bushing/Linear Rail based
  • High Cost is essentially a more refined mid cost (also maybe a High Powered Laser Diode Unit for not just engraving, but also high speed cutting, and even marking(

Existing Open Source Designs

Minimum Viable Product

  • Should be Able to Handle Various Woods and Plastics, as well as composites like Carbon Fiber
  • Should be compatible with OTS Rotary Tools and Routers, as well as OSE Designs
  • Should Use either the Universal Axis or the Precision Universal Axis
  • Should Allow For Air Jets, And Vacuum Chip Extraction (A hose for each)

Basic Design


  • Either Welded Metal, or Metal Extrusions
  • Focus is on density, and squareness/levelness/parallelness, this all leads to stability and precision

Router Mount

  • A Standardized Plate with Adapters for OTS Spindles

Input/Output Panel

  • Air In
  • Suction In
  • Vacuum Cleaner Output In

Motion System

  • 2-3 axis modules for the X and Y axis
  • 2 axis modules for the Z axis (Perhaps of a larger variety)

Wasteboard (Sacrificial Board) + Holder System

  • A Board of Cheap Wood is put above the baseplate to allow for some room for error and to protect the surface from wear



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