Picture of Building your own CNC router/milling machine

Already at the age of 12 I was dreaming of making a machine which could make things! A machine which would give me the opportunity to create products for in and around the house. Two years later I stumbled ont the words 'Computer Numerical Control' or more specifically the CNC milling machine. After I found out people were able to build one themselves in their own shed, I knew it! I had to build one, I yearned to have it!!
For three months I tried to find the proper parts (A dremeltool, drawer slides, pieces of wood, etc.), but I didn't really know how to build a CNC. The idea fell into oblivion.

In August 2013 the idea to build a CNC milling machine captivated me again. I just finished the first year of my bachelor in Industrial Design, so I was confident enough to start a build. The real difference between now and 5 years ago was, I learned to work with metal on manual milling machines and lathes and above all I had the right tools to design a machine.

This Instructable will show you how I built my CNC milling machine. I know a lot of CNC dreamers do not have the knowledge or tools to build a full metal machine. I still think and hope this Instructable inspires you to make your own machine. I include all of the necessary steps I went through in designing and building this CNC milling machine. All of the drawings I used to build my machine will be available.

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Is it possible to know the price of each piece alone

How much money would this cost to make?

How much money would this cost to make?

Do you have a YouTube video of this running?

th3-1nonly28 days ago

I will make this when the opportunity arises, however, the guide is really comprehensive and thought through. Thank you for the great information, I will post pictures when this project is done :)

Trochilidesign (author)  th3-1nonly27 days ago

Great, I'm looking forward to that!!

bubbo27 days ago

can i ask what is the thickness of the Gantry sideplates? Looks like 20mm thick aluminium?

Trochilidesign (author)  bubbo27 days ago

Indeed, they were milled out of 20mm thick aluminium

bubbo27 days ago

Hi Trochilidesign,

first of all, great design! I'm thinking of using your design to make my own, i was just wondering: do you think it's possible to use the same dimensions and make the working area bigger? Let's say 60cm x 60cm. Or would i have to change the structure?

Trochilidesign (author)  bubbo27 days ago


Of course you can, you just need to find the longer guiderails for the gantry and make the whole gantry and the frame wider. So, yes, you would have to change the structure

phippsy271 month ago

wow thats pretty cool. im just at where you were about 7 years ago, a dreamer. Its amazing to see how far you can come (encouraging actually).

Trochilidesign (author)  phippsy271 month ago
Cool, that's the goal :)
fabiort2 months ago

Awesome proyect I am really interested in built it, but I would like to request to you the cad files

Me too

Too bad bruh

chessuraya1 month ago

Hey are the cad files for the cnc mill open source? :(

This is an awesome build ! Great job dude ..

SASABRASIL1 month ago
(removed by author or community request)
Trochilidesign (author)  SASABRASIL1 month ago
Dear SasaBrasil,

What kind of a PDF do are you asking for? Could you be a little bit more specific.
parsing1 month ago

Great work!!!!!!! thanks

PiotrM1 month ago

Hi, your project is very interesting, I'm going to do cnc machine, but I'm wondering about several issues:

- the center of gravity axis-z is not raised too high above the y-axis (u-profiles)?
- drive nut Y-axis is mounted to the plate Z-axis backplate - it might be better to mount drive nut to the Z-axis guiderailplate (between guides the Y axis)?
I will be grateful for your answer.

Trochilidesign (author)  PiotrM1 month ago

"the center of gravity axis-z is not raised too high above the y-axis (u-profiles)?"

I don't really get what your are trying to ask.

"drive nut Y-axis is mounted to the plate Z-axis backplate - it might be better to mount drive nut to the Z-axis guiderailplate (between guides the Y axis)?"

It depends on what you want. I decided to 'hide' the drive nut in the U shaped profile. and mount it to the z-axis carriage (in this case its backplate)

hsa my2 months ago

Hi, I would like to build a router using microcontroller and RIP. I need help

Total price = ?

Trochilidesign (author)  miron.bogdan.792 months ago

As you can read in the last step: I was able to build the machine for less then €1000,-. In several other comments I mentioned I don't have the exact number :)

msh13533 months ago

bravo trochilidesign thats's greet and professional

pjethy3 months ago

'too good.I am new . want to make one . could u help . I have to choose a software first free available and then I could see if i able to use it then i will make or purchase a controller board . These are the main problems for me.

Thanks in advance

nygma20043 months ago

This is just amazing. I would love to build a router, but what I am lacking most is time (2 small kids). After all I would probably ask for the BOM. I assume you have it already as I have seen this being asked below. What I could not get from your post is the working area of your baby?

Trochilidesign (author)  nygma20043 months ago

Hi Nygma2004,

No I did not prepare a Bill of Materials. Simply because of th specific parts I used and I assumed that the people who are planning to build this machine will try to source their own parts (such as guiderails, aluminium profile and leadsrews)

But since more people asked for it, I'll try to make one in my spare time. (I'm currently quite busy with studying)

The working area of the machine approximately 450x800 mm

mrdiaz3 months ago

very good thank for sharing.

michaelgc3 months ago

Beautiful, I have been looking into getting one of these for my middle school stem class. Maybe we can build one... hmmmm.

Trochilidesign (author) 4 months ago

I would like to thank you all for the support! Trochili Design has won 2 prizes with this Instructable because of your vote!

A very Impressive Build, And thanks for all the PDF's They're very useful :)

Steve Lim4 months ago

This machine is just perfect!!! I am inspired and wanting to build one. It would be nice if you can send me all the details like websites to buy, BOM, more specific guidelines and information. Thanks in advance!

kSaletta5 months ago

Such an amazing job!! Best one ive seen someone make EVER!

oscar_ib5 months ago

just awesome! congrats!

bfranco5 months ago

This is a well engineered and executed should consider offering it as a could easily get a 1000 pre-orders to get the price down, eliminate the risk, and make a nice profit. If you decide to do so, please let me know.


Trochilidesign (author)  bfranco5 months ago

Hi Bfranco,

Thanks for your positive respons! I'm already exploring the possibilities in producing kits. Since I'm a full time student as well, it'll take a bit more time. If kits will be offered, I will of course let you know!

billbillt5 months ago

Very good.....

Dear: Trochilidesign

I really like the way you figured out how to make CNC drill move to carving position because I am thinking about building a 3d printer based off the designs of this designs. I just wish it had better software.

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