Introduction: CAD CAM CNC Mill Dust Collection

You just got your first CNC bran new right out of the box !

You take a long time to carefully set it up; now it is ready to go.

You pick a piece of wood that was lying around and you proceed to your first test !

Dust everywhere, your bran new CNC got dirty almost instantly !


All CNC user, have encountered the same problem; dust !

What to do with it ?

No matter what material you mill, it will generate dust.

In this article, I will show you how to solve this problem by making your own dust collector.

At first, you will probably use a conventional vacuum nozzle and hold it as close as possible to

the CNC end milling tool.

Although this technique is widely used, it actually only collects a certain fraction of the dust.

To increase the amount of dust collected, the dust must be trapped and force into a conduct.

Furthermore, the suction force of the vacuum system must be sufficient.

To make a dust collector you will need the following:

1) CAD-CAM Software (in this project we used RoutCad CAD-CAM Software)

2) Hard Plastic like PVC

3) Vacuum Hose

4) Vacuum

5) Strong Duct Tape

We design a top half and a bottom half conduct with the RoutCad CAD-CAM Software.

The top and bottom files have been attached.

The pictures show the top and bottom half of the suction cup.

The design is compatible with most z-axis of vertical cnc milling machine.

To obtain the maximum suction force the amount of air that enters the top of the suction cup must be kept to a minimum.

This is achieve by making the hole of the top suction cup as close as possible to the diameter of the end milling tool.

For the bottom half, the diameter of the hole should be approximately 0.5" to 1", this will allow dust and small particles to be sucked while providing maximum suction at the bottom.

Every time you turn on the spindle, turn on the vacuum cleaner as well.

This yield a cleaner cut and your cnc will last longer.

Step 1: Make the Top Half of the Suction Cup

The top half of the suction cup will contain a big hole for the vacuum hose, a small hole for the end mill tool, and 4 small holes to screw the top half suction cup to the bottom of the z-axis.

Step 2: Make the Bottom Half of the Suction Cup

The bottom half of the suction cup will contain a single hole 0.5" to 1" in diameter. This is were the dust and small particles will be sucked.

Step 3: Insert the Vacuum Hose to the Top Part of the Suction Cup

After fixing the top half of the suction cup to the z-axis of the cnc, you should be able to insert the vacuum hose by turning it into the big hole. Use an x-acto knife to cut any excess of vacuum hose bellow the top surface.

Step 4: Use Strong Duct Tape to Join the Top Half and Bottom Half of the Suction Cup.

The top and bottom half of the suction cup will create a conduct to channel the dust and small particles into the vacuum hose. Make sure there is no area where the air can enter, otherwise this will significantly diminish the effectiveness of the suction cup.

Step 5: Connect the Vacuum Hose to the Inlet of a Strong Vacuum Cleaner

The stronger your vacuum system the better it is. If you have access to a house style central vacuum system, use it. Otherwise use a regular portable vacuum cleaner.