Picture of Building a CNC router
This instructable will show you how I built my CNC router. I hope you can draw some inspiration from my build and that this instructable will be helpful for your future projects. This instructable shows all the steps I went through in designing and building this CNC router.

The main thing I like about a CNC router, is that it is so versatile. You can use it as a drilling machine, a router, a saw, a mill and even as a lathe. Because my workshop is very small (it’s more like a shed), I didn’t have the  room for all of these tools, but I still wanted to be able to make very precise parts for different projects. That’s why I started to think about building a CNC router.

After doing some research I decided to design and build my own machine. It took me almost 6 months to build and design the machine from start to finish. Before starting the actual designing of the machine, I did a lot of research on the web. I recommend taking a look at the following websites: and These websites will provide you with a ton of information and answer most of your questions on CNC related topics.

Please note:
I built this CNC router as final project for school (also called 'profielwerkstuk' in the Netherlands). When I started the build, I was 16 years old and I finished it when I was 17. Although I have done a couple of larger projects in the past and have been doing FTC robotics for the last few years, I didn’t have that much experience with building CNC machines. This machine actually is the second CNC machine I built.  The first one was a wooden test machine, which I built to gain some experience and learn more about CNC machines. I tried to build this machine as good as possible, with the tools, the knowledge and the budget I had at the time. I think the machine came out pretty nice and I hope you enjoy reading about it.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 154Next »
lowe6 days ago
Only 1500 for all aluminum cnc? Thats pretty good
-Maxi9 days ago
Hi dude, could I get your email? I'm looking to start making a cnc machine but I have some questions. I speak dutch so communication won't be a problem.
wdvalenz11 days ago

Great Job,

Could you please send the source files to my mail: please.

Kamikage26 days ago

Hello there :)

firstly... wooooow, that's VERY impressive :P

Secondly, I need a hand. Maybe a couple of hands. I am a heavy sketchup user, I designed lots of things, usually houses and pieces of furniture. Recently, I've been confronted with the need for a new bed. Looked on Ikea and some other places and found something that might fit but looking at the thing, it's not really worth the money. So I sat down and I designed my own bed in sketchup. Since I would like to be able to take the thing apart and I'm no big friend of metal... joints. MANY joints. The bed is basically built like a wooden jigsaw puzzle, using commercially available beams - usually around 45x45x2400mm, 19x100x2400mm, 25x50x2400mm and so on. Once all pieces are ready it can be assembled and used (at least according to sketchup design) without using any nails, screws or glue. I have a router (my boyfriend does). And a saw and mostly manual woodworking tools. But with the amount of joints in the design, it would likely take me and my boyfriend ages to finish the actual bed.

So I've been looking after a CNC router and I've come across your design. I think I'd like to build one myself, rather than buy one, because if I build it (based on your design) and it breaks (or, more likely, if I break it) at least I can fix it myself.

Do you think you would be ok with sharing more than the 18 steps (as in... really detailed) and maybe help me if I have questions during the building process? (If needed I can make use of german or danish).

Many thanks for your help and once more... wooooow coool machine :))))))))

Oh, I just tried opening the sketchup file at the end of the article, unfortunately my version of sketchup (8) can't open it. For the time being I haven't yet taken the step to sketchup make because I'm still running vista on my machine.

What kind of materials can it cut?

Benne (author)  buckslayer241 month ago
It can cut all materials softer or as hard as aluminum. Aluminum works well, but I'm currently building a new machine that's a lot more high end and ridgid that will work even better for this. I haven't tried steel, but I don't think it's ridgid enough for that.
xemestan1 month ago

Ola boa tarde! Parabéns pelo projeto!

Podes me enviar seu projeto em PDF para meu email? Pois não estou conseguindo baixar:

Muito obrigado!

QuentonR2 months ago

Thank you Benne you are an inspiration.

todos2 months ago

Ben is this-->

your set of ballscrews?

If not what was your choice?

NoumanM3 months ago

which type of cutting bit are you using in your project

kingkhalid3 months ago

like your cnc i want to build one can you send me your drawings and about how much does it cost my email plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Benne (author)  kingkhalid3 months ago
Both the total cost and the drawings that I have are in the Instructable

Hi! Nice Job! Any chance to see a video of it in action? And can you do 3D parts by using the appropriate software to e.g. sculpt wood moving all 3 axis simultaniously? Is this a hardware or software limitation if one can move all 3 axis at once? I have noticed that a lot of people use two motors on the x axis. Have you noticed any need for that? Have you ever thought about driving the nut on the z axis and not a threaded spindle? Would there be any advantage of not moving the z axis stepper motor along with the z-axis? Yes and like one other commenter already stated you did an very good job writing English. Easy to read and understand!

jdtilden5 months ago

i like your cnc i want to build one can you send me your drawings please and about how much does it cost thank you

hasannebso6 months ago

wow you amazing i love to build this router please can you send me the plane and the sketchup drawings

Benne (author)  hasannebso6 months ago

I just added the Sketchup drawings to step 1 of the Instructable. The drawings are not very detailed and not fully complete but I hope they will be helpful. I dont have a full set of plans, but the sketchup drawing and the pictures + documentation should be enough to build your own machine.

cnclover6 months ago

hi i am very interested in building this machine , can you give me the autocad file so i can modify the size of the machine before printing the design , thank you very much

paulgentile726 months ago

here is a great cnc build I found-

drphil1117 months ago

Great piece of engineering and building. Have build one CNC machine already in wood. Need to move up to the next realm. Would you please send me your sketchup drawings. Thanks.

hamzas7 months ago

hi first of all thanks for sharing this info... great project i want to build this same design but in 2x scale is the same electronics will work and motors torque should be enough for acrylic or aluminium ??? and if possible please send me the plan on i should be really thanks-full to you thanks

How much did this cost overall?

kSaletta8 months ago

Wow this is such an amazing machine!!! Its so awesome how you made your own machine that you use to make parts! You did such a nice job on this!

Benne (author)  kSaletta8 months ago
Thank you!
jmacangus8 months ago

A fine piece of engineering.

skhawale11 months ago
Is there any substitute for the Leadshine M542 co troller because it is'nt available in India.

hey dude, i am salam siddique from mumbai

i have build a cnc mill myself and below are the pics you can see

i have to tell you that it is very tough to find cnc electronics here in india

i myself ordered tb6560 3-axis cnc driver from ebay

so it is good if you order from ebay or you can make one, there are lots of articles on the internet but if you are a beginner i recommend you to buy one

if you need anything just google it........

best of luck....

Djidde9 months ago

Very, very impressive man. Any chance you could send me the drawings in sketchup and some additional information? Would live to design further upon your great execution!

Dr Soup 3211 months ago
Holy cow my friend, nice work!
coldmow12 months ago

Gruwelijk vet van je dat je het op Instructables hebt gezet. Dit is echt vet.

lcsmbs1 year ago

I am also designing and building a CNC router but I am not to sure about the dimensions. I want it to be pretty similar to your as I think it is one of the best designs around. Could you please email me the sketchup plan. Email is:

Much appreciated.



todos1 year ago

Hi and from me very nice project and really understantable posting. I am thinking of making a cnc on my own and i want some help in selecting dimensions of linear rails,bearings etc. and cutting bed?how i will configure the area of cutting?


Benne (author)  todos1 year ago

What materials you should use depends on the size of the machine you want to make, your budget, the precision etc. You'll have to provide a bit more information, so that I can help you better. I used 16mm fully supported rails for the Y and Z axis. You definitely want supported rails, when your machine is larger than 500/500mm. The cutting area will be about 20cm smaller in each axis than the lenght of your rails, but this also depends on your design. A good website with more information is: There you'll find most answers to your questions. Good luck with building your CNC router!

todos Benne1 year ago

Generally i want to cut aluminium and wood as you did and for the frame i will use also aluminium.So your length of the rails in your project is x:1050mm,y:840,z:400 and the travel area almost 20cm smaller in every axis.

It is worth to make a bigger cnc?If i want a cutting area of 1100mmx925mm i will use 1300mm x 1150mm rails?

If i made a bigger from yours i will lose precision and where i should pay attention?It change anything in the z axis;

If it easy for you can you send me some sketch up or any other information for my first steps.I sent my email to you with pm.

Sorry if i am asking stupid things but i am trying to understand what is the best dimensioning for my project.

Thanks and keep going with nice projects!

Benne (author)  todos1 year ago

I just send you an email with the sketchup drawings and some more information that might help you. Hope this helps.


Benne Congratulations on an impressive piece of designing and construction. Is there any chance that you could edit the instructable to include some critical dimensions and a bill of materials and parts (BOMP). Bog Trotter

Benne (author)  Bog Trotter1 year ago

I haven't made a BOM, because most of the materials I ordered locally or from Dutch suppliers. In the instructable you can find the main components I used and the dimensions of the cutting area, rail lenght etc. I can send you the sketchup drawings, if you pm me your email address, but the drawings arent very detailed. If you want to make a copy/similar CNC router, I'm afraid that you will have to figure out a lot of dimensions yourself and see what materials you can use. But the sketchup drawings and all of the pictures probably can help.


benwade1 year ago

I can not tell you how much I admire the work you did here, and the quality of the instructable you have made. You will do well in whatever you undertake. I'd like to add that your English is fantastic.

1-40 of 154Next »