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.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 144Next »
hemant06012 days ago
Can you provide drive nut details of all three axis.

do you have any of the files in a format google sktechup can open?

also I was glad that you included the wiring (most don't) also what did you use as a microcontroller/ computer

lnr062612 days ago
I'm thinking of using this as a base for my cnc machine, just had a few questions.
What sort of resolution and repeatability have you managed to get on this?

Are there any changes you want to make to the design after a few months of use?

Did you manage to find the time to make a bom?

With this design, how complex would it be to switch out the spindle in the future? On that note, what are you using as a single currently? I'm on mobile, so i may have missed it in your description.

Thanks for posting this, it looks to be a very well made cnc.
crr0952523 days ago

Could you post the link to where you got the guide rails and the lead screws?

JohnR321 month ago

I've looked at a few of this type of machine and yours is definitely one of the best designed and presented. I think I'd like to have a go at making one based on your design. I might need to make it a little smaller though (600x400mm workspace).

woodbutcher532 months ago

Very nice machine. I love the clean and simple looks of it. I think you have a design I would like to duplicate. Its beautiful. Thank You.

Trochilidesign (author)  woodbutcher531 month ago

Thanks! I look forward to your version, maybe even and improved one!

jaythenarwhal3 months ago
How much money would this cost to make?

How much money would this cost to make?

Trochilidesign (author)  mosbahbnsad1 month ago

It all depends on your chosen parts and where you buy them. If you manage to source your parts from eBay (second hand), you can keep the costs low

mosbahbnsad3 months ago

Is it possible to know the price of each piece alone

Trochilidesign (author)  mosbahbnsad1 month ago

It all depends on the price you can get on the raw materials, so it's impossible to give you a price of each piece alone

znipe2 months ago

Nice work!

noticed that there are no thickness on sideplate gantry can u specify what you used?

Trochilidesign (author)  znipe1 month ago

I used 20mm 60-series aluminium plate

LazyH1 month ago

Awesome looking build, the only thing is that you have the steppers labeled as spindles where as your spindle would actually be the dremel rotary tool.

Do you have a YouTube video of this running?

th3-1nonly4 months 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)  th3-1nonly4 months ago

Great, I'm looking forward to that!!

bubbo4 months ago

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

Trochilidesign (author)  bubbo4 months ago

Indeed, they were milled out of 20mm thick aluminium

bubbo4 months 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)  bubbo4 months 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

phippsy274 months 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)  phippsy274 months ago
Cool, that's the goal :)
fabiort5 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

chessuraya4 months ago

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

glogothetidis4 months ago

This is an awesome build ! Great job dude ..

SASABRASIL4 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
Trochilidesign (author)  SASABRASIL4 months ago
Dear SasaBrasil,

What kind of a PDF do are you asking for? Could you be a little bit more specific.
parsing5 months ago

Great work!!!!!!! thanks

PiotrM5 months 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)  PiotrM5 months 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 my5 months ago

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

Total price = ?

Trochilidesign (author)  miron.bogdan.796 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 :)

pjethy6 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

nygma20046 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?

1-40 of 144Next »